This time of year means kidding season for us here at Yellow Birch Farm! This year we had a total of 16 pregnant does, and already 10 baby goats have been born. They’re pretty adorable and are keeping us entertained already.
Although the goats are quite capable of giving birth without us, we keep an eye on them during labor to make sure all goes well. We like to be on hand to help if there are any complications, especially for younger does giving birth for the first time. We had a few late nights in the barn last week, staying up with does in labor, and drinking plenty of tea to keep us warm! We also have heat lamps set up in the birthing stalls to provide extra warmth to new kids on cold nights.
It’s amazing to watch these baby goats come into the world. They are up and standing within minutes, trying to get the hang of walking around on spindly legs, and drinking their mother’s milk soon after that. The does’ early milk is known as “colostrum” and is full of nutrients and antibodies that are really important for the kids’ health.
Within a day or two, the babies are hopping and leaping and playing with the other kids – true goats already! They’re very playful with us, too. We try to spend a lot of time with the babes to help socialize them and get them used to us. This will make handling and caring for them easier in the future, as well as milking. We usually do not breed our does until they are two years old, so for now all they have to do is eat up, grow strong, and enjoy their life at the farm!
We name our goats according to their ancestry lines, and we have three lines right now: constellations, flowers, and birds. This naming system helps us keep track of who’s related to whom, and makes naming babies even more fun. Our 2017 arrivals (so far!) are listed below after their mothers’ names:
Lyra: Orion & Stella
Subaru: Ursa & Aurora
Yarrow: Ivy, Clove, & Olive
Magpie: Paloma & Ava
For more baby goat pics and more, follow us on Instagram at yellowbirchfarm