Thursday, February 3, 2011

2011 Winter Weather at Horseshoe Canyon Meat Goats...

Remember last years kidding season for HCR Meat Goats?  You might not but we do!  We had purchased quite a few does that were due to kid in Jan. and Feb.  It was one of the coldest most miserable Jan and Feb I can remember - at least it was during the times the does started to kid.  We had goats living in our garage to keep babies from being born and almost instantly freezing to death.  What a mess!  

This year we purchase a few goats that were bred to start kidding the end of January and that they did.  This year the difference was they picked a week that brought 60 and 70 degree weather.  The last doe to kid decided to do so the day before the "big storm" was to hit.  We were able to gather her up and put her and her twin bucklings in the end stall of our barn where we set up a heat lamp and had lots of straw for the kids to keep warm in.  Kikos are tough and so are their kids but letting less than day old kids stay out in freezing rain would have been pushing the limits, no matter what breed. 

All that is left for our winter kidding season are 3 purebred Spanish, 1 Willingham Spanish and one Purebred Kiko doe all bred to the purebred spanish buck (due to start kidding mid-Feb.) The date is approaching fast.  Hopefully this arctic weather will have moved on and we can have some days above freezing.  Time will only tell what mother nature will bring.  

A few days before the big freeze hit Arkansas.

Marlin our English Bulldog/Blue Heeler 

One of the early expecting Spanish does.

A 7/8 Kiko dam and her 2010 PB doe kid.

1/2 Kiko doe 

Joe and Mischief coming to say hello. 

Older NZ doe

The day after the storm arrived. 

Despite the cold the new kids that were born during the warmer weather seem to be handling it well.  We have found if a kid can have several days to nurse he/she can handle pretty cold weather.  They are more capable of finding shelter and following their mother around for some warm milk. 

New PB doeling

The majority of the herd waiting for the hay to be rolled out.  Forage is not an option when there is iced grass covered with snow. 

Cold but beautiful.  

NZ Kiko Buck DAR Kareem-O-Wheat