The other day I was complaining to a coworker/friend about potentially having to travel to Alabama to retrieve Boy Genius from his stay with Mema when I really didn’t want to leave Prada in her current state. Knowing that avoiding summer trips for the sake of a goat probably sounded a little strange, I began to try to justify my complaints when my friend said simply “You’re nesting.”
Any mom or soon-to-be mom probably knows all about “nesting.” It’s that basic and innate feeling – no, more like a need really – to ‘get ready for baby.’ It usually involves buying baby clothes, setting up the nursery, packing your hospital bag, and so forth. Sometimes it can involve more random activities – like painting and re-tiling a closet/small room in the basement for your dogs or scrubbing and re-scrubbing the refrigerator … then again, maybe that’s just me. Whatever the activity, I think it’s mostly driven by anxiety or nerves and the feeling that you can’t sit still … even though you might be as big as a house.
Well, I guess that’s sort of what we’re going through with Prada. Now I know there are non-goat people, and probably even some goat people too, reading this who think I’m crazy. I’m presuming that once we’ve been through this a time or two or fifteen that I won’t be so anxious. But Prada’s our first goat-mama-to-be, and she’s a first-timer herself.
When we had Candyman on property, let him have free reign with Prada rather than specified breeding days. So we don’t know her exact due date but we have a window of expectancy; based on when he was here, her earliest due date would be July 23. We are thinking that he got to her pretty early on in his stay here with us. That, and the progression of her udder, tells us she’ll be kidding sooner rather than later.
When it turned out that we didn’t have to trek all the way to Alabama this weekend, that meant that we could spend some time getting ready around the farm. A few weeks ago we finished up the kidding stall in the goat house, which is where Prada is living right now, as her time grows closer.
Once she kids, initially the kids will nurse straight from her, but we won’t let them do this for more than a few days at most because we’ll bottle-raise to make them more docile. So today, Bryan built a milk stand or stanchion.
He built a sturdy frame and closed it in so that there’s storage under the table for milking/grooming supplies. He put it on casters but we may remove them because it’s a bit tall with them on. Prada needs help to get up on it right now, probably because her belly’s so big! It’s pretty much ready to go once we get a feed bucket mounted on the front and I put a stain (at least) on it to protect the wood from the elements, both weather- and goat-related. Prada’s already broken it in for us; when we put her up there to trim her hooves, she ‘marked her territory.’