Betina D'Gatto kidded with two does and one buck sired by Dionysus on October 23rd. The buck is sold. I'm in the process of going through reservations, and offering to those clients first. If I have any animals left they will go to the Email List and then to the Sales Page. Two does have been retained to the herd, one from Precious and one from Betina. Stay tuned!
or should I say...the frustration of thinking they are coming and THEY ARE NOT!
I've gotten fairly proficient at predicting the day of a kidding. I look for the tell tale signs....loose ligament...tight udder...the doe acting differently. MOST of the time I can tell when they are ready. And then there are those does who defy explanation. The ones that lose their ligaments, udder up, become vocal and even have some nice contractions....and still we wait. Their ligs might come back and they completely go back to normal...chewing their cud and laying in the sun.
I had the pleasure of sleeping on the concrete barn floor last night. Not because I didn't feel right leaving my doe, but because she completely FREAKED OUT when I left and I didn't want to stress the rest of the herd!
Betina lost her ligaments yesterday. Her udder is TIGHT TIGHT. She walks around with her tail up and she knows that something is amiss. And yet she holds off.
When I locked her down in her kidding stall last evening, she was calm for awhile, ate and took a nap. Until I left. And then she went absolutely crazy. Kicking her hay crate all over the stall. Stepping in her water. Staring at the barn door crying for me to come back. When I came back after changing my clothes, she was alot calmer but still very irritated and vocal. I slept next to her all night as she had the occasional mild contraction. All signs pointed to her kidding by morning. But she didn't. In fact, around 4am she just stopped everything and went to bed. She never progressed. She never discharged. She never got serious.
When daylight came, she was calm and I saw a couple of contractions but nothing regular. That is when I gave up...went to work and scheduled her checks every two hours.
Some does, especially first timers who are drama queens, just can't decide when to let it happen. As a good friend once told me when I asked how I know my doe is ready to kid? "When you see hooves." Ain't that the truth!
It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Gypsy Moon CM Airess E'lan. Airess died this morning of complications from heavy barberpole (HC) bloom that ravaged her body shortly after she kidded two weeks ago. She leaves behind her new twins, Cyanide and Clementine, and her doeling from last spring, Bel Aire. Airess was special. She was the youngest ever to win a championship for us, and she did so at a mere seven weeks of age.
RIP Airess. I'm so sorry I couldn't save you. Till we meet again. =(
UPDATE-10/20 Airess' little doeling, Clementine, succumbed to malnutrition today. Despite our best efforts, her little body could not gain weight as it should have. RIP Clementine.
We just completed our first round of lactations for DHIR and we are proud to announce that six does have been officially awarded their milk stars!
Gypsy Moon Kat von D *M (butterfat)
Gypsy Moon SB Muse *M (butterfat and protein)
Jasper Pine SHH Trixie *M (butterfat and protein)
Twin Willows TIO Ambrosia Ann 2*M (butterfat)
Twin Willows TIO Apple Blossom 2*M (butterfat)
Twin Willows SB American Honey *M (butterfat and protein)
I will update the DHIR Production page with official totals. So proud! Especially proud of our homegrown first fresheners!!
Last night, Jasper Pines Precious delivered three beautiful does sire by Helmstead Minis FF Scorch. Names and availability will be announced soon!
Gypsy Moon CM Airess E'lan delivered buck/doe twins early Monday morning, unassisted. They are sired by Helmstead Minis FF Scorch. Names and availability will be announced soon. Mom and babies are happy and healthy.
Next to kid...Jasper Pine Precious. Her kids are sired by Helmstead Minis FF Scorch. Anytime now. =)
I have added some spring pairings to the kidding schedule. Spring kids will start arriving at the end of January. Reservations are OPEN on these breedings. More will be added soon as they are bred.
PS- Someday soon...I will get caught up with pictures and pedigree pages.
USDA Results were posted in ADGA this morning, and Twin Willows TIO Ambrosia Ann has hit 21 lbs of butterfat at 159 days fresh as a first freshener. Her littermate sister Twin Willows TIO Apple Blossom is a mere ONE pound away from starring. We will keep her milking until her next test to make sure she stars this lactation.
We are tired, and we need a short break. We are in the process of drying off all of our does. This season we will have starred 6 out of 8 does. I would say that's a pretty good year. We expect to start turning in dry doe sheets starting next week and we will get official notification of stars earned.
We are also working on Spring breedings, and figuring out who gets bred to whom this year. We have a couple of does due yet this year, and we expect to start kidding for Spring around the last of January, first of February. Life is never dull on Twin Willows Farm!
Workshop: Exploring Goat Husbandry
Friday August 22nd
Upgrades Training Center
109 S 5th Street
Logansport, Indiana 46947
Instructor: Erica Hopkins, Twin Willows Farm
$25 per family
Reserve your spot in the workshop at www.upgradestrainingcenter.com/sign-up.html
Yesterday, Brandon and I made a trip down to see our good friend, Jill Maple-Thomas, of Sinai Thunder Farm in central Kentucky. We spent several hours with Jill catching up and having a great time, and we brought home our new little boy, Joshua. We are SOO blessed to be able to add this boy to our herdsires. Joshua is the progeny of Olson Acres RC Augustine *B (AGS Lost Valley KW Raising Cain X GCH Olson Acres Monica 1*M) and Kaapio Acres HH Redemption 1*M/AR 1*B/AR (CH/MCHKaapio Acres Hot Habanero X Rosasharn GX Cinnamon D). To say that this little guy has milk behind him, is a vast understatement. His sire comes from a long line of milk, and his dam has consistently been in the Top Ten list since her first freshening.
Here is a list of his dam's current accomplishments:
2013 AGS National Top 10 305 Day Test (in ALL 3 categories)
2013 AGS Top 10 1 Day Test (in ALL 4 categories)
6# High (2x) on Test Day (Score: 85.30)
As a First Freshener:
**** 2012 AGS National Top Ten 1 Day Milk Test: #1 in Overall Score ****
2012 AGS National Top Ten 1 Day Milk Test: #3 in Milk Production
2012 AGS National Top Ten 1 Day Milk Test: #7 in Butterfat
ANDDA 2012 Sue Rucker Bronze JuJu Award for Butterfat (42#)
Joshua is GORGEOUS with blue eyes to boot! Thank you so much to Jill Maple-Thomas for allowing us to add this incredible boy to our herd!! I cannot thank you enough!! I will get posed pics soon!