Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No frozen ears this year

Most of our kids this year did not begin arriving until around the first of March. Usually, I try to begin kidding in January, but the older I get, the less I like getting out in that cold weather to check on kids. We kid out on pasture, but if the weather gets severe enough, I will move the newborns to the barn and out of the weather. (It's not the goats' fault they are having kids in the middle of the's the producer's, so I don't mind helping out.)

The kids pictured here were born March 12. It's been a cool March here, but these kids were born outside with no assistance. The dam, ECR Scarlett, is a 3-year-old Sports Kat daughter out of ECR M4If you'll look closely at this doe, you can see that the tips of her ears are missing. That is the result of frostbite when she was born. She arrived on the night of Jan. 3, 2008, when it was 8 degrees. Ironically, she was conceived during one of the hottest summers we have ever had. It was 108 degrees when we were doing our flush in Aug. 2007. There was a 100-degree difference between the time she was implanted as an embryo and the time she was born. That is a true testament to the hardiness of the goats -- or the lunacy of the producer!

Where're the ear tags?

These are some of the several dozen kids born in what I refer to as my "back pasture". This is where my commercial herd spends the winter. This herd consists of mostly unregistered, high-percentage Kikos and a few registered percentage Kikos. These goats are great examples of low-maintenance.  These kids have never been touched by human hands. Normally I at least catch and tag them as soon as I can after they are born, but this year family and business obligations have taken up more time than usual. I've taken a few notes on some of the does, but I have yet to tag any of the kids. Some years I have gone out and tagged all the kids and figured out later who belonged to whom. With this group tho, some will be registered as 50% Kikos and some as 75% -- and they will need different colored tags. I'll have to find an opportunity to see which kids belong to which dam before I can determine their percentage and what color tag they will need. The colored kids in this photo are out of ECR Rusty, our best-known herdsire. The white kids are out of ECR Xtender, a CCR Xcelerator son. You can see the meat on those Xcelerator grandkids already.