Today started just the same as the past few, I get up and run outside and walk Bertie and Bella from their shed in the not-yet-fenced pasture to their old yard with the boys. I have to drag them up since all they want to do is eat along the way. Bertie was a couple days overdue so I have been checking on her often. About an hour later I looked out the window and didn't see her, so I ran to check on her. She made herself a nest in the barn and refused to get up. So I ran to get some grain to maybe entice her to get up and by the time I get back she is up and fine and really wants the grain. This goat is the queen of false alarms. I tie her- and Bella, who has jumped the fence in order to get Bertie's grain- in the lower pasture just in case. And leave them for a bit.
About an hour later, when we come out to clear the old barn wood and work on fencing, she is standing in the grass. Not eating, obviously contracting. Finally in labor. I lock her in her shed and she stuffs her face in the corner and pants.
Cohen went down to check on her after lunch and comes running back saying she is making a lot of noise. I put Annika down for a nap and go to check. There are feet.
A couple minutes later kid #1- a buckling.
Bertie immediately starts to clean him up. Both are talking to each other quietly.
It doesn't take him long to attempt to stand.
About 5 minutes later she starts to push again.
And out comes kid #2- a doeling.
She took a little longer to stand and attempt to eat, but was up and moving with in 30 minutes.
They both nursed and are now all dry, calm and comfortable with their Mama in their barn.
The kids - my kids- love them, and have been checking on them a lot.
None of them quite had the stomach to watch the birth, though Cale tried.
I've mentioned that we have a doe due to kid this Friday. Currently she shares a shelter and pasture with all of our other goats- including the buck. We had planned to get another shelter up and another yard fenced well before now, but when you have five kids- one of whom is just over 1 yr old, and a husband that works 6 days a week, sometimes things don't get done. There is only so much you can do with a baby on your hip or during one hour of daylight in the evenings and 1 full day a week.
So now the problem is that she needs to be separated from the boys. NOW. We didn't have time to make the shelter we had planned to make, and upon further discussion we realized we didn't really want a ton of small shelters around the pasture, but would rather save up time and resources to build the big barn.
So we came up with a quick, low cost shelter that should do the job of keeping everyone safe and dry, but easily taken down when we no longer need it.
You will need pallets (9), 6 ft. t-posts (9), 3 cattle panels, fencing staples, screws/bolts and a large tarp.
We used the t-posts, driven down so that they were about 4 ft tall, to secure walls to the ground.
Then just simply placed the pallets over top of them. Then attached the pallets together using lag bolts.
Once one wall was complete, we stapled one side of a cattle panel on to the pallets. This way we could better see where to place the 2nd wall.
Then we built the 2nd wall, and stapled the cattle panel to it as well.
We used part of the old barn wood, cut into 4 ft pieces, to side the shelter.
We stapled the 2nd cattle panel at the other end. And wired the 3rd in the center to bring them all to the same level. There should be at least 6 inches overlapping on the panels.
Here is what it looked like when it was done, except for the tarp:
Then we topped with a tarp. We got a 16' x 24' tarp. The 16 ft was a good width, but it was a bit longer than we needed. Which is okay if we need to make it longer in the future.
Not completely done, but almost. Just needs the tarp secured a bit more, a few more siding boards cut, straw on the ground and maybe a stall added for the babies.
It was a gorgeous weekend to be outside. And we spent most of it out in the soon-to-be pasture. Measuring. Pounding. Clipping.
Down the hill...
And back up again.
Here are the hard working farm hands. Especially that dog. Can't you see how hard he's working? The kids did a lot...Rylan placed all the clips on all 40+ t-posts. Cohen helped measure for the placement. And they all enjoyed whacking down the cockleburs and throwing them in the burn pile. Goats can't eat cockleburs so we have to get them out of there- or at least greatly reduced.
Once the posts were done, we headed out front. Paul tilled up where my strawberries are going and the boys and I measured and staked out the blueberry rows.
And now I have 3 rows of blueberry bushes- 16 total plants.
We ran out of time and didn't get to the blackberries or strawberries, but hopefully I can get them in the ground before it rains tomorrow.
And one last picture...of Bertie. She is getting wider and her udder is filling up. I felt the baby(ies) move earlier in the week. We are less than 2 weeks from her estimated due date! And we have so much more to do before these kids are born!