Despite the obvious reasons to be anxious for spring, temperatures in the teens, it occurs to me today that the 2010 kid crop is only 63 days away. I'm not kidding.
Every new year requires planning. Where will births take place? Where will mommas and babies be housed? Where will we milk? What will we do with the milk? What will the adjustment in feed costs be? Failure to plan means trouble.
So I have set my course and applied a counter at the top of the blog. You guys can join with me in the anticipation. Taffeta Stumphollow (Guernsey doe) is due first on March 15th. She will be followed in rapid succession by the other 6, possibly 7. We aren't altogether sure. Gabardine was exposed to a Guernsey buck who was quite novice at his craft. He was discrete, so much so as to possibly not have completed the task.
To speak goat is to possess an entirely new and wonderful vocabulary. Like the word "exposed" that I used in the previous paragraph. We don't say of humans that they have been "exposed" and are now expecting a baby. Perhaps we should. When a goat becomes pregnant she is said to have settled. I think that is a gentle and lovely way to say it. When a goat's udder fills and begins to make milk she is reported to have freshened. With her first baby she is a first freshener; with her second baby she is a second freshener, and so forth. I remember when I began to make milk for my babies and I don't know that fresh was quite the right word. I would love to introduce the word freshened into my practice in human lactation. I would say, "Room 3104 is a third freshener" and the nurses would nod their heads knowingly. I think the term fresh would be very useful in my work. Kidding would also be a fun word to implement in labor and delivery. It is so much nicer than labor. That sounds so masculine and sweaty. "My wife is kidding today" would be nice. "My wife is calving" could get a man in trouble. It would be like calling your wife a heifer. It just doesn't work as well.
I will leave you with a kidding from 2008. This was the birth of Ruby and her sister Tuesday. Tuesday came into this world poorly. As a last resort I carried her to the volunteer fire department. They obliged me with the materials to give her oxygen by face mask. "Must be some goat," muttered the elderly South Jackson fireman. Nevertheless he accommodated me. Very shortly afterward Tuesday's nose and lips became pink. She spent the night in the living room fascinated with George's sandals. By morning she was with her mom. Her registered name is Tuesday's Victory. Ruby and Tuesday had their first babies last year. We are eager to see what they bring us this spring. 63 days and counting....