Thursday, July 5, 2012

Surprise Surprise!

What a WONDERFUL surprise it is too!
Sugar Baby IS pg and IS going to kid! Sugar is a "red" LaMancha doe and a FF (first freshener). She's BEAUTIFUL, SWEET, a JUMPER :( , and exceptionally well-bred.

(Sorry if I've used this pic before. It was taken Aug 2011. Guess I better take some new ones!)
I was sure looking forward to her Mini Mancha kidlets and sooooo hoping for doelings! I expected her to kid back in April and then May and then gave up. She had a precocious udder and at first I expected she was bagging up. I was having trouble with her gate jumping and needed a good buddy for June Bug. June Bug has kidded with triplets and her first live birth. She was losing her kids in the pen with her twin and there was too much commotion there. So to keep June with her kids to get them all bonded and a functioning doe with her own kids to tend, she went to the horse trailer for peace and quiet. It is also small enough for the kids to not be lost. Dinky was only a pound when born and June was confused and stressed with 3. So this worked so I could work with her and make sure the kids were tended. But she wasn't contending well with her twin no longer velcroed to her from nose to the tip of her tail. So I gave her the 2 FF does (Sugar & Jewels) as she ranked higher than them in the herd and they weren't annoyed with the triplets. All was calm and cozy.

Then Jewels kidded and boy was that a shock. I hadn't expected her to kid that soon. She had to be moved back to the barn. Back to Sugar!

So that left Sugar with JuneBug and her triplets. They quickly settled down and life was calm. Sugar started to bag up (I thought!) Then she let "Dinky" nurse her a bit so she ended up very lopsided. :(

Then no progress. Then I "gave up" on her kidding this year! Yet wondered what the problem was, and kept wondering about her. I asked her and she didn't tell me anything other than she was ready to eat and she LOVES grain. So I kept thinking and staring at her. I knew she was running from the buck with her rear tucked and jumping gates, fence, etc to escape his attention. I kept track of her heat cycles and then when she wasn't coming in I started counting! I guess I missed a heat cycle and the buck didn't! I also moved her to the non milker pen of does and told her she was officially dieting as she was getting to be quite a piggy little chunk. (My fault and she IS pudgy. I have NO room to talk so 'nuff said.)

During all this pondering about the Sugar status, I had the thoughts of free-martin, hermaprodite, etc. kicking around in my brain. I also have spent considerable time researching the free-martin and hermies.

Free martins occur when and female and male offspring (cows and goats, I'm not sure if other species have them and which if they do. From my researching and info from very knowledgeable individuals and articles, the testostorone is too high for the female to correctly develop their female anatomy. They also don't grow the external look of the vulva and tip after birth. They stay smaller. They do have heat cycles but the anatomy isn't fully attached correctly in the various parts. The hermies can be checked internally for a small penis inside the vulva. But the hormones allow some growth of the vulvar area. Neither of these "fit" Sugar's status. She showed heat related and breeding related progress.

So I wondered if she just wasn't old enough and then the season was over. I've been disappointed. I even got to the point that I debated the cost of keeping her if she didn't settle and kid. I decided she'd get this Fall's chance and if she didn't kid next Spring I'd just have to decide then what I want to do. And I decided IF IF IF a perfect home opportunity occurred I could then place her. BUT, I LOVE this doe! She's just a SWEET HEART and so loveable. She's a huggy goat too. I can love on her all I want and she keeps saying she LIKES it and DESERVES it. She does think she's pretty darn special and I tell her she is. It would be hard to part with her. BUT, they need to be paying their way in some manner to be here. We can't afford expensive pets and I just can't do a full-time, forever house goat. The ND's and kids do fine and their time is limited and they are confined to the play yard/play pen. NOT enough room for a goat and I'm NOT doing hay in the house, not to mention the rate of a standard sized doe peeing! So I have pondered on....

But, now Sugar's truly bagging up nicely, but still somewhat lopsided. :( Now I guess I can get excited again other than I hope we get a break from the heat when she decides to come due. The heat would be just horrid for a laboring doe, and especially a chunky one. I do have ice packs in the freezer.... we do have super cold well water.... so we can work with it but it's still rough on an animal to labor and birth in the hottest summer weather.

But, I'm going to have Sugar-sweet kids! I sure hope she's going to give me twin doelings! I mean after all the mental "stress" of her breeding - now period.... I really am "owed" healthy, successfully kidded doelings! I had tooooo many bucklings again this year!

It's amazing how a mere goat can take one thru such "emotional" ups and downs! So, I've had to make a fast transition from up to down and giving up to back up!

My fingers are crossed! I'm envying Sugar's udder attachment - just beautitul so far. I'm wondering if I'll get my asked for and hoped for doelings, and of course I've now started trying to convince her that's what I'm owed. I'm concerned about her hefty stature and the heat..... Come on, Sugar Baby! Bless me with doelings and 2 or more!!!!
Cross your fingers with me for a successful kidding and twin/trip DOELINGS!  Gosh I'm excited and even more from all the thinking here to post some good news!

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