Posts Tagged "Christmas"

Oiva Joulupukki

Posted by on Dec 24, 2009 in Goat Kid, Winter | 1 comment

One side of my family hails from Finland, and it is fun to note that Scandinavian Christmas traditions still carry a Yule Buck from ages past.  The Yule Buck (or Joulupukki in Finnish) is one of the oldest symbols of the Winter season, in part because Capricorn is the first moon of the new year. The Yule Buck is represented in modern times as bundles of straw braided and tied together to make ornaments.  Some stories of Santa Claus reflect him riding a billy goat, or driving a sleigh pulled by goats instead of reindeer.  In Finland, Santa is actually known as Joulupukki by name. I’m delighted with the little bucklings out of Moon, Heidi and Leah.  Most of them will be for sale this Spring, but I think that we might hang on to Moon’s little buckling for a while.  He is built so nicely and is already looking to be a solid little fellow; I am thinking ahead to crossing him with Heidi next year to produce more Snubian kids!  He has such a long wintry coat and I was tickled that he somewhat looks the part of a little Yule Buck so I looked for a good Finnish name.  In remembrance of one of my great-uncles, I looked up the meaning of the name Oiva and found it to be “splendid.”  As he romps and plays with Heidi’s kid, little Oiva is a Splendid Christmas Buck indeed. Hauskaa Joulua – Wishing you a Merry Christmas! Christmas Card by Jenny Nyström Christmas Card by Jenny Nyström Christmas Card by Jenny Nyström Christmas Card by Jenny...

Read More

Heidi’s Buckling ~ 2009

Posted by on Dec 13, 2009 in Dairy Goat, Goat Kid, Winter | 4 comments

As the sun started to go down on a warm winter’s day, Heidi became restless and did not go inside with the other goats.  Moon had delivered her kid earlier in the day, and she and Heidi shared the same due date.  It looked as though Heidi would be only a few hours behind. Heidi wandered a bit aimlessly around the pen, calling out from time to time – sometimes calling to Annie and sometimes calling softly to her kid.  Goats will oftentimes talk to their kids in a quiet voice during the last hours before they are born.  Annie answered dutifully from inside the barn, but was apparently not going to come outside to sit in the evening air.  No matter, that’s what Granny Goat is for. As darkness set in, the wind began to lay and a heavy fog settled over the hills.  With a new moon only three days away, the night was very close around us.  Heidi walked a bit here and there, and returned to me as her contractions came stronger and closer together; she definitely did not want to be by herself.  When she finally lay down to push, I noticed how she positioned herself with her hindquarters on a downward slope.  A short while later when the feet and head were out, she stood up and actually stepped up onto a mesquite log to elevate her front end as she pushed her enormous kid out with the help of gravity.  Clever girl! Heidi set to work busily cleaning the  new arrival, although I did interrupt her briefly to get the pair settled inside as the fog was starting to turn to drizzle.  I had a light in my pocket, but did not want to break the quiet peace of the night with a glaring brightness.  I would have to wait until morning to find out if we had a boy or a girl, and what in the world it would look like. Peeking into the stall as the sun rose, I saw that Heidi had her prize tucked in closely behind her in the hay.  She was still talking quite a lot, and would turn and give a good nudge if she got no answer.  Soon enough those long legs unfolded, and a big handsome buckling stood to have his breakfast.  Heidi was a very big girl when she was born, but this little fellow stands almost fifteen inches from the start!  He looks to be marked like Jack, with spots and a bay roan coat.  Three spots in a line on one side make him look like he is wearing the stars in the sky of Orion’s...

Read More

Moon’s Buckling ~ 2009

Posted by on Dec 13, 2009 in Dairy Goat, Goat Kid, Winter | 3 comments

Don’t you just love a girl who’s right on time? Sunday morning broke with the same grey chilly weather that we have been having so far in December. It was not long though, before the sun began to shine and it turned into a beautiful warm day. What luck!  This is the day that the calendar says is the due date for Moon and Heidi to have their kids. The typical gestation for a goat is 150 to 155 days. As mid-day rolled around, our beautiful (and VERY full!) Moon was pacing around the dairy goat pen and talking to herself considerably. She moved from corner to corner never finding a comfortable spot, and seemingly could not decide whether to stand or to lie down. Without a doubt, she was starting to go into labor.  Silly Annie seemed to provide some moral support as she followed Moon closely, rubbing her head against her whenever she stopped walking. As Moon’s contractions came closer together, she came into the barn with me and did not want to leave my side.  Annie followed yet again, and lay down to wait patiently by the door to the barn, chewing her cud. Moon circled and muttered quite a bit more, and came to lean against me when her muscles tightened. At one point she was nearly in my lap!  After what must have seemed like ages to her, Moon finally delivered her first kid.  A darling little buckling who was standing and ready to eat in just eight minutes! With Moon as his Saanen mother, and Jack as his Nubian sire, this little fellow is what is known as a Snubian or a Saanubian.  Many Snubians are a variation of a cream color like Heidi (who is also a Snubian); that is more-or-less what I was expecting to see.  I never would have guessed that he would come out with a coat pattern that almost looks like an Alpine dairy goat!  He is a soft silvery buckskin color with dark points on his head and legs.  He also has a dark dorsal stripe and a sort of shaded blanket on his rump.  It certainly will be interesting to see how his coat develops as he gets a bit older.  We did have one buckskin colored buckling out of one of the Spanish nannies, so maybe Jack is throwing this interesting color. Saanen goats, on the other hand, have not always been the pure white goats that they typically are today.  Many generations ago, the Saanens came in a variety of colors and it was selective breeding that resulted in the current breed standard.  The Sable Dairy Goat is recognized as a separate breed, but most of the registered stock is traced back through Saanen lines.  So, could it be the lovely Moon who carries this splash of color somewhere deep inside? Goat color is a difficult thing to predict, and is identified more by coat pattern than by the color itself.  Thankfully, there is a fellow who has spent considerable time in researching the patterns and genetics of color patterns.  Dr. Philip Sponenberg of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine has written many articles that can be viewed at the Colored Angora Goat Breeder’s Association. Goat Color Genetics Explained, Dr. Phil Sponenberg Genetics of Goat Color, Dr. Phil...

Read More

The Christmas Sweater

Posted by on Dec 23, 2008 in Dairy Goat, Goat Kid, Goatherd | Milkmaid, Visions of Sugarplums, Winter | Comments Off on The Christmas Sweater

Well, a bit of bad news about the new twins, as I lost the little boy at barely three days old. He was weak at birth, and could not stand right away, although he certainly could call out and was at least able to scramble and scoot around. I helped several times during the first day to hold him and help him to nurse. I think his downfall was catching a chill that night, as we were still very cold and actually ended up with a heavy fog. He improved quite a bit on that second day when I brought him inside to warm him by the heater. We even had a little practice standing up that evening. He was pretty sure he could just walk right out the door! I was heartbroken on Thursday morning though, to find I had lost him in the night. Leah is doing an excellent job as a mama, very attentive and understandably protective. She did figure out quickly how to stand still while the little ones ate! She is nursing the baby girl, who is already growing by leaps and bounds. She really is a stinker, and too cute for words. We are calling her Star of Bethlehem, (aka Rooter Tooter Motor Scooter…) And, since we have had another shot of freezing temperatures, her good ol’ Granny Goat (yes, that would be me…) has fashioned a little sweater for her from a woolen stocking cap. What prancing girl wouldn’t be as proud as Star is of her new red Christmas sweater? Certainly not to be outdone, Annie is in high style as she is borrowing JW’s Carhartt vest to ward off the shivers. And, as I am sure that you all are amused, and some may even be in doubt as to my talents as a Milk Maid… A couple of pictures of Granny Goat in action, with little Star ever-present to advise and assist. Half a quart morning and evening! Not too shabby, considering I only milk out one side of her udder. The other side is all for the little shining...

Read More

Christmas Kids

Posted by on Dec 16, 2008 in Dairy Goat, Goat Kid, Visions of Sugarplums, Winter | 4 comments

My goodness! We had a bit of a surprise this morning… Well, TWO surprises, actually. The cold front that blew in yesterday brought us some harsh wind and sub-freezing temperatures last night. When we turned in, the temperature was 29 degrees, with a wind chill in the low twenties. Yikes! Not exactly what are used to in our neck of the woods. Would you believe it was 80 a couple of days ago? I had shorts on; washing the dogs on Sunday afternoon! Winter is the season for livestock to be born, and a strong front will often trigger labor and birth. As I write this, I realize that I am very much amiss in not having introduced beautiful Leah to you before now! In October, we had an opportunity to purchase a lovely Nubian dairy goat with excellent bloodlines. She has quite a personality, is a bit on the wild side when compared to the spoiled girls already here, and has a voice that carries over an impressive distance. She is affectionately known as the Blue Goose, as well as Babe the Big Blue Ox. The latter, in regard to her great size of about 150 pounds. Leah came to us with the hope that she was already bred, but we did not know what to expect for a due date. So, she became a part of our Sugarplum herd, and we looked forward hopefully to youngsters in January or February. Now, the tricky thing about some goats is that you can’t always tell when they are pregnant, and you sometimes don’t know until the last day or so when they are ready for labor. So, without a whole lot of warning, I went out to feed this morning and was pretty shocked to see that Leah’s udder was QUITE FULL. (I should mention here that “quite full” in this case is pretty impressive, since those bloodlines I mentioned had Leah’s mother producing a gallon of milk a day.) Oh my gosh! Run and grab fresh hay and fill the shed! Oh my gosh again! She’s in labor RIGHT now! Run and grab some towels! Where the heck is the camera? Why does it have to be so stinking cold today? Oh my gosh! Is that a foot? She did a marvelous job, talking to me as she circled and pushed. And before I knew it, there was a brand new delivery of mostly legs and ears. Leah set to work cleaning and talking, and talking and cleaning. Just about the time she had Package Number One well on her way to being dry, more circling and talking brought Package Number Two, a tiny twin boy. As beautifully as Leah does in talking and cleaning and humming and nuzzling, she will need a bit of encouragement in the department of feeding. At the moment, she is not so very inclined to stand still while the little ones eat. So, she needs to be held and convinced that it really is a good thing. I’m sure she will catch on, and I will certainly do my best in this regard as I am eagerly awaiting MY share of that goodness in a couple of weeks or...

Read More