Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ranch Update

I figured I should give an update on things going on around the ranch, rather than politics. Things have been going pretty well. The weather has cooled off some, we've gotten some rain and a little grass has actually grown. It's almost Fall, and breeding season is in full swing. We've bred over 25 does, and have just about 25 left to breed. It looks like January and February are going to be some very busy months. The first doe is due January 12th.

I am very glad that most of our kidding looks like it will be done during the cold. You may ask why? I mean, having newborns born in freezing weather might be kind of dumb? Well yeah, it does take some work to watch all the does so we can be at all the births, catch the kids so they don't freeze, and then keep the newborns warm after they are born. BUT, it isn't that hard. We have a big barn that the pregnant does can stay in that is right out the back door, so checking on the does is pretty easy. We also have 2 stalls right out the back door that are insulated, and even in really cold weather, if we keep the slider shut, it won't freeze in them. We don't use heat lamps or anything like that, as I have heard of too many barn fires happening from them. As long as the kids have lots of cozy bedding and each other to snuggle with, typically they do just fine. Sometimes I will also put "sweaters" on the kids to help keep them warm.

The benefit to having kids in the winter is because by the time the weather starts to warm up and the parasites come out, the kids have a jump start on things, and are much stronger and much much more ready to handle all the parasites and bugs. From my experience, cold weather kids grow MUCH better than kids born in the warm weather and it is definitely worth the "hassle" of keeping them warm when they are little.

Paul (below) is one of our 6 month old Nubian bucklings. He's out of Six-M-Galaxy lines. Our other standard size Nubian buckling is Powerhouse, and he is out of Pruitville Nubians. They have already been breeding the does and are becoming big boys! I am so pleased with how well they have grown.

Our guard jenny is due this month. She was bred last October, so is due anytime. Her udder is growing and her belly isn't small! Can't wait to have a cute little donkey foal!

The sheep are doing good as well, and are coming into heat and getting bred. Lambing season will be going on at the same time as kidding season...just to make things a little more hectic!

These are the two grandmas on the ranch. Calevah is the dog. She is 15 or so, and I don't think is going to make it much longer as she can't walk well. "Grandma" is the goat. She is 12, and is doing surprisingly well for her age although she has slowed down a lot lately. The past few days they've been laying together - never have done that before! I thought it was sweet.

As usual, there is always some kind of baby being born (or...hatched) on the ranch. This guinea hen hatched out 4 guinea chicks and 1 duckling.

I hope you all have a fabulous day!