The weather has definitely warmed, and we even had over a week with no rain! (It’s been a wet winter). And to welcome spring in cuteness, our three older does all kidded within three days.
The process has taken two years, from the time we took our first three does from their wild mums and raised them, bought three more Anglo Nubian does and a buck then got all of them in kid.
The first doe to kid this week had a longer than normal labour, resulting in her first born being still born and the second one only just making it (more on that in a future post).
Sadly, we lost another doe a week ago. She had an early labour which resulted in both her and the kid dying. Losing an animal you are close to is never easy, doesn’t get any easier and always prompts questioning… Last week I was ready to throw the towel in and give up on my ambitions to have milking goats. Accepting that life and death are intertwined is one of the hardest concepts I grapple with, having many animals we are never far from one or the other. Obviously new life is always a delight, so I am learning to come to terms with death. All cultures have customs related to both life and death, over time I have implemented my own, including ways of honouring the departed souls… being present with the animal if possible, a karakia (prayer), a tree planted over a grave.
The two others thankfully had straight forward births and all kids are healthy, so I am feeling on a little cloud again and feeling like I can keep going. Now I need to figure out how the milking is going to happen. I am reluctant to separate kids from mums, for the same reason I don’t separate the calf from our milking cow until it is almost a year old. So far one of the does stays put when I milk her, the other are more hesitant… It’s going to take a bit of work and getting systems in place but I am confident I will work something out.