We're just 4 days away from Duchess' due date. Last year she had two adorable bucklings. She's only had bucklings thus far. I'm really hoping for at least one doeling, which we would keep. I would like her to have a buddy in the barn. Cookie is our herd queen and Chai is her kid, so they're together 24/7. Duchess is kind of a third wheel. When Duke, our wether, was in the barn with the ladies, he and Duchy were buds. When they get together, they still play like old times. It's pretty cute. However, Duke is out in the Buck Barn full-time with Buckles, as goats need at least one companion.
Last season Cookie's due date came and went, and my concerns that we never quite lined up her cycle correctly with our driveway visits with the buck were confirmed. This was a big factor for us deciding to have an intact buck live on the farm and do all of our breeding here. No more truckin' goats to and from another farm. You could argue that driving goats around is a lot less work than owning an intact buck. I would agree with you. But it's not without its challenges, and for us the benefits of having our buck here outweighed them. I wrote a short piece about this on homstead.org if you want more details.
Back to last season. For whatever reason, I had a specific date stuck in my head for when Duchess was due. I was ready. I had felt baby goat kicks, her udder had filled some, and I thought we had a week to wait. Nope! I missed the entire thing because I didn't look at the actual calendar where I had written down her real due date, which was a week earlier than my brain led me to believe. Zipper and Henry Piglet Buttons arrived without a human audience and I am still none the wiser as to Duchess-specific labor signs... I will not miss the births this season. I will not!
Henry Piglet Buttons got his last name because our theme last season was clasps, i.e. Buckles, Zipper, Buttons. Side note, this is a great way to remember what year everyone was born just by their name. I can't remember where "Henry" came from, but "Piglet" was due to his cute little piglet-like face. Luckily for him, his new owner renamed him with just one name. But to me, he'll always be Henry Piglet Buttons. The one and only goat (so far) that's been in our house.
The next post will hopefully contain some photos/video of this year's adorable goat kids. Until then, I'll be in the barn.