Thursday, February 23, 2012

This is why I don't always get birthweights

This photo of newborns was taken with a zoom lens straight down a steep hill.
It would be great to weight each kid as soon as it hits the ground. I could keep great stats and calculate average daily gain, etc., etc. And in some years I have done that with some goats. And since 2004, I've been sending buck kids to one or two performance tests a year (let them do all the weighing and calculating). 

But in reality, when I'm in my truck heading to the office and I see a doe with new kids 50 yards down a steep hill, I'm not going to jump out, climb down the hill (cause I know I'll have to climb back up) and weigh the kids. I can't afford to miss an appointment that may cost me several hundred dollars just to see if a baby goat weighs 6 pounds or 8 pounds. At weaning time I'll estimate the birthweight at 7 pounds and go from there. 

The birthweight of the kids in this photo is moot anyway. I've had the Kiko-cross doe for 7 years, she's a Rusty daughter that never needs deworming and always has twins with no assistance. Common sense tells me to keep her. And the sire of the kids is a double-bred Xcelerator buck. After 11 years, I'm pretty confident in those genetics.

I don't even know if the doe here has boys or girls. In a few days she'll bring them up by the fence and I'll try to get a look under their tails. For now, the most important thing is if they are healthy. Even from a distance, they look OK to me.

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