We are expecting!

Kids kids kids! Yes, we’re hoping for multiple! Goat kids, that is. 🙂  Prada is pregnant and, by the looks of her, due anytime!

Momma-to-be Prada, June 20, 2010

We exposed her to herd contributor Candyman from late February to late April (he was on property with us from 2/22-4/25) and in the last month her udder has ballooned.  The development of the udder was the surest sign to us that she was successfully bred. Compare these photos, taken less than two months apart.

Prada’s udder, May 3, 2010
Prada's udder, June 20, 2010

We are estimating that she’s due sooner rather than later, so late July.  She’s a first freshener (i.e., this is her first breeding) so she could have only one kid this time but we’re thinking at least two are in there.  Repeat fresheners are more likely to birth multiple kids than first timers.

"Proud Papa," Candyman, on property March 2010

When we first got Milky and Prada, their previous owner gave us a book which has proven to be an excellent resource: Your Goats, A Kid’s Guide to Raising and Showing by Gail Damerow.  It’s written very plainly, aimed at youth, and has never quite made it to the bookshelf.  It’s always open on a table or nightstand somewhere because it’s so helpful for looking up and explaining things to the “new” goat farmer.  Based on the chapter on kidding, we prepared a stall in the goat house so that Prada’s got a place to stay and kid without the other goats or Max (or any other animal for that matter) being able to get to her and the kids during or after the kidding.

We spent much of Saturday preparing the kidding stall.  We mounted the grain bowl and the soda/salt container on the wall, as well as a hay rack to keep the hay from getting soiled.  We also cut a “keyhole” that Prada can stick her head through to get to a mounted water bucket on the outside of the stall; this is so that kids are accidentally “dropped” into the water bowl at kidding time.  Nigerian’s typically do not require any assistance during kidding, usually only needing human involvement if the kids’ legs aren’t positioned right on the way out.  Most people I’ve talked to about their “kidding experiences” tell me the same thing: “I went out one morning and she had kidded during the night.”  As much as I’d like to see it happen (and hopefully have it go smoothly enough so that I don’t have to be involved), I guess an easy birth in the middle of the night is the best you can hope for.

We actually are thinking that Milky may be bred too.  Though we exposed her to Candyman while he was here as well, we never saw him “get her.” In fact, what we saw was her masterfully escaping him at every turn.  As strange as it may seem, we think she just doesn’t like him.  Candyman is the buck she’d been exposed to twice when we bought her and the one by whom her previous owner thought she’d been bred.  Turned out she wasn’t bred and after seeing her with Candyman, I’m thinking he just wasn’t her type. 🙂  She may be bred though by our very own Seth!  She’s kidded before, so she had an udder already, though it was pretty pruny because she’s been dry since before Christmas.We’ll be watching her (and her udder) very closely over the next month or so for changes/signs of more kids to come!

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