Breeding, Kidding and Milk
Raven Cove AP Cassiopea AR*D x Straw and Berries Captain: Due April 10, 2023
Captain throws flashy colors, thick coats, sweet personalities, hardy dispositions, and soft udders. My doe Windy is from him and Klondy. His dam, Harpy, is a top five all time milker (see stats below). Cassiopea has large orifices, huge teats and high milk production. She earned her milk star as a first freshener. Excited for these F2 Mini Alpines!
Packa Sweets Klondy's Windy 2*D x Packa Sweets Cassiopea's Cottonwood *S: Due April 3, 2023
Cottonwood's dam, Cassiopea, has large orifices, huge teats and high milk production. She was still producing a 1/2 gallon each milking in January when I was milking every other day. She earned her milk star as a first freshener. I hope to add her loose orifices and high milk production to Windy's soft udder, excellent teat placement and amazing personality. Harpy (stats above) is on both sides of this breeding, so I'm hoping for high milk production. Windy's dam, Klondy, also makes over a gallon a day (see Meet Our Mini-Alpines for more on Klondy). These babies should be sweet and milky F3 Mini Alpines!
Packa Sweets Cassiopea's Icie x Anatevka Farms TW Heath: Due May 31, 2023 (75/25 kids)
Heath, pictured first, is a Nigerian Dwarf from Anatevka Farms whose dam made 9% butterfat. See his dam's milk stats here. I like that she has a soft udder and easy to milk teats. Icie comes from Cassiopea who produces over a gallon a day and has large teats and large orifices. We should get all blue eyes and I'm hoping for a high butterfat doeling to add sweetness to our milk and to use for morning coffees. These kids will be 75% ND and 25% Mini-Alpine.
Drying Off & Pregnant Goat Care
My goats are due in early April. I want to give them the last 3 months of pregnancy off of milking. If I was doing a 305 day milk test I would just give them 2 months off, but I'm not doing that this year. I don't want a doe on grain if her weight is appropriate because I don't want babies to grow too big. So they will just be on hay and water, with Replamin once a month. I will start up grain again 4 weeks before kidding to get them ready for grain during milking (slowly working up to 1-2 cups of grain twice a day). This will get them used to the milking stand again too.
One month out from kidding I'll give selenium, and then two weeks out from kidding I'll give Replamin again. Bo-Se is also great to give 30 days out and then right after kidding. My vet said it's really not necessary, but it certainly won't hurt them! The vet can prescribe Bo-Se if you ask for it. I used Bo-Se with Klondy's first set of 5, and only 1 baby needed a bit of selenium on her tongue at birth. For her second set of 5 I used the selenium at 30 days and Replamin at two weeks and again all 5 babies were fine with a little selenium on the tongue.
The end of December is the time for me to dry off my does in milk. I use a mix of methods. For my one-year old, Windy, I milked out about half or less than half every day and then started milking every other day, and then just a few squirts to relieve pressure every other day. She was done being dried off in two weeks. She still has some milk in there but her udder is very loose and small and her body will absorb the rest. Other methods include every other day and then every two days (cutting off grain as well).
With two-year-old Cassiopea, I am milking every other day and milking all the way out without massaging the udder. I'll do this for two weeks. Then I'll milk out about half for a week every other day. I'm taking longer with her because she's still producing a 1/2 gallon each milking and she has a tight udder. This drying off also slowly gets them off of grain.
Short Birthing Checklist
Lots of towels
Hair dryer and a way to plug it in
Iodine for dipping cord
Scissors for cutting cord shorter if need be
Medical gloves (many pairs)
Bottle and nipples (Pritchard work well)
Selenium for weak kids
Cayenne pepper for weak kids
My phone (doubles as a flashlight)
Birthing Kit Checklist from Wasilla Lights Farm
~Old bath towels - to dry off baby. Let mom help if you are dam raising so she
licks and bonds with baby.
~Phone numbers to experience goat birther and vet.
~Empty feed bags - to put down to deliver kids on.
~Baby Wipes - to wipe kid butts if mama doesn't do a good job. Keep it clean!
You don't want the poop stopped up.
~Medical gloves - I also have some gloves that go to the elbows, but I haven't
used them much.
~Puppy Training Wee Wee pads - to put wet goat babies on. (clean straw/hay is fine too)
~Garbage bag - you'll need it for placenta.
~Flashlight - use it to look at the bubble and see if kids is positioned correctly.
~Scissors - to cut umbilical cord shorter. Some use it to pop bubble, but I
usually use a piece of straw. I wouldn't want to cut the kid!
~Surgical Scrub/Wash - in case you have to "go in."
~Warm water and soap - so you can wash up.
~OB Lube - Squirt a bit of Betadine on it to add antiseptic qualities in case you
have to "go in." You'll need LOTS if you have to "go in" and assist kids. Have at least two bottles on hand.
~7% Iodine - to sterilize knife or scissors as necessary and to dip the umbilical
cord. Put some in a small container for dipping cord into.
~Dental floss - I've always tied off the umbilical cord and then cut it smaller so
mama goat doesn't mess with it.
~Bottle and nipples - in case you need to bottle feed. You can use human
bottles. Cut the opening bigger with an X in it with scissors. Or Prichard
nipples which fit on plastic soda bottles. I cut an X in the Prichard nipples
also. Prichard nipples found here:
~Weak Kid Syringe - To feed kid if to weak to nurse on his own. Not needed to
often. Weak Kid Syringe found here:
~Hair Dryer - to help get kid really dry.
~Goat baby sweater - If it's chilly outside. Kids can't maintain their own temperature for a few days.
~Goat baby hut - I put 1/2 of a dog kennel in barn for them to crawl under. They like cozy places.
~Warm mollases water - for mama after kidding. Also give her some grain.
Or offer Oat Water to mamma post kidding or even prior to or during kidding:
1/2 gallon water, 1 cup oats, 1/3 cup molasses or real maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt.
Bring water to boil. Add oats, salt ,and molasses. Let cool.
Strain off oats if you want. I usually don't strain.
~Cayenne Tincture - to support weak kids or cold kids, preferably apple cider vinegar based.
~Raw Honey - to support weak kids
~Coffee - Very strong for a very weak kid - 3 to 6 cc. I may use this in the absence of cayenne tincture.
~Colostrum - saved and frozen from a previous CAE-free doe who kidded, just in case.
~Selenium paste - give to weak kids, just a tad. Found here:
~Remember to deworm mamma post kidding.
~Give Mama fortified vitamin b with thiamin for a couple days. Make sure it fortified with
thiamin!! Found here: https://www.jefferspet.com/products/vitamin-b-complex-gel-30gm
Fortified b paste usually works but sometimes you need the injectable Fortified b: Found here:
~Collect and freeze some of doe's colostrum to be used in emergencies in future.
~Enjoy those kids!
Kidding - More to come!
Getting them to nurse, disbudding, weaning, & banding coming soon!
Interesting website that has nutritional grain mixes to maximize production: https://extension.psu.edu/dairy-goat-production
Milk Stand Plans:
Udder Wash Recipe: 1 1/2 quarts warm water, small squirt of natural dishwashing liquid or some suds from a natural soap bar, and 6 drops each of lavender, rosemary, and tea tree essential oils. This can also be used for the teat dip if you lack something else.
Udder Salve Recipe:
1 Tablespoon powdered Comfrey
1 Tablespoon powdered Lobelia
1 Tablespoon powdered Pokeweed (If you have it.)
3 Tablespoons powdered Mullein
2 Tablespoons powdered Marshmallow root.
1/4 Tablespoon powdered Cayenne Pepper (40,000 Hu)
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Mix all herbs with the EVOO. Let infuse for 12 hours to 2 weeks in a jar. Shake jar daily to stir. Strain out herb. Take a bit of oil and add 3 Tablespoons Beeswax granules, melt, add the rest of the oil into the beeswax. Add a few drops of wintergreen essential oil. (Don't add wintergreen if kids are nursing.) Pour into a container for use.
Teat Dip Recipe: (From Land of Havilah Farm)
16 oz Cayenne/Comfrey Infusion (See recipe below).
16 oz Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar (raw/unfiltered)
5 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
20 drops Lavender Essential Oil
20 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Cayenne/Comfrey Infusion, mix: (Use in Teat Dip Recipe above.)
1 T Cayenne powder (40,000 heat units)
1 T Comfrey Root Powder
1 Quart HOT water (just off boil)
Put herbs in jar, pour hot water over and put on lid. Let steep for 30 minutes. Let cool and strain.
Breeders in Alaska
Carl and Lillian Strubhar
They own Cottonwood, Cassiopea's buck
Jennifer breeds Mini Saanens, Mini Alpines and Nigerian Dwarfs
Jessica breeds Nigerian Dwarf and mini Alpine
Alyssa and Jacob Inch
Forget Me Not Fields Farm
Kurtis and Brittany Hoffpauir
Jim and Amanda Godin
Pippin Lake Farm
Kenny Lake, Alaska
Aspen Hills Farm
Angelica raises horned mini Alpines.
Prince of Wales Island, Alaska
(Experienced goat shipper)