This year is the second freshening (kidding) for our three original Nigerian Dwarf does (Tinker Bell, Bit ‘O’ Honey, and Jewel Box), and they’re really starting to look good and produce milk well. Tinker’s udder looked nice and she produced well as a first freshener; but Jewel and Honey didn’t produce impressive quantities of milk as first fresheners. However, as second fresheners, their udders are starting to look impressive and milk production for Jewel and Honey went up significantly.
Jewel made the biggest jump in milk production, she’s now consistently producing over 2 ½ lbs. (5 cups) each milking (last year she [...]
Continue reading Nigerian Dwarf Does Maturing Beautifully
Many goat-herd owners choose not to keep bucks because they’re only needed to breed the does once a year, it takes time and money to feed and maintain them year round, and they can have a strong odor - particularly during mating season. In the past, we chose not to keep bucks for those reasons, and used bucks owned by our friends at Wild Wind Farm instead. But, after a lot of thought, I finally decided to get a buck.
I’m interested in breeding polled (naturally hornless) goats; but because of an article written in 1944 that linked polled goats to increased rates [...]
Continue reading Bramblestone Farm’s First Herdsire
We’ve been getting lots of questions about and requests for pictures of the new goat kids, so here they are from oldest to youngest (they are also posted on the 2013 kid page at Bramblestone Farm here). Chai Tea and Tigers Eye are sold and Pearl Tea and Silvermist are retained, but otherwise, they are for sale. The first three are bucklings that have Jewel Box as their dam and Old Mountain Farm Palindrome as their sire. They are Moonstone, Obsidian, and Tiger’s Eye, and any of these three would make very nice herdsires:
The next three have Hot Tea as their dam and Palindrome as their [...]
Continue reading The New Goat Kids
The four Bramblestone Farm Nigerian Dwarf does (Hot Tea, Tinker Bell, Bit ‘O’ Honey, and Jewel Box) all kidded over the past week, and everyone is doing well. Our sister (Julie) is a highly skilled veterinary technician who stayed with us and helped during kidding – we learned a lot from her and the process was easier for the does because Julie proactively helped each (as necessary). I think a couple of the does would have been quite exhausted (if not worse), and a couple of the kids may not have made it without her assistance. I’ll be posting pictures and sale information for each [...]
Continue reading 2013 Kidding Success – A Baker’s Dozen!
All of the does were bred at the beginning of November, and after six weeks seem to have settled – so I think the Bramblestone Farm kidding schedule is finalized for 2013 (see below or click here to go to the website). We’re expecting kids between March 25th and 28th, and are now taking reservations. It doesn’t cost anything to get on the reservation list, and these animals all have very impressive genetics behind them. Lots of Sugar Creek, Rosasharn, Old Mountain Farm, NC PromisedLand, and Buttin’ Heads with many championship titles and top ten milkers behind them. Note, the bucks we used are owned [...]
Continue reading Bramblestone Farm Nigerian Dwarf Kidding Schedule
Well, the original “dates” that our Nigerian Dwarf does Hot Tea and Jewel Box went on didn’t work, so we took all four of the girls on new dates on either November 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Based on past experience, my best guess is that Hot Tea will freshen at 145 days, Jewel Box at 146, Tinker Bell at 146, and Honey at 147; so we should be seeing kids on March 25, 27, and 28. If they’re pregnant this time, we’re going to be very busy that week welcoming kids.
We utilized the services of bucks from Wild Wind Farm again; specifically Hot Tea, [...]
Continue reading Nigerian Dwarf Kid News – Again
Two of our Nigerian Dwarf goats, Jewel Box & Hot Tea, went on dates this weekend; so more kids should be arriving in spring. Jewel Box (click here for her pedigree), went on Friday, and we’re expecting that she’ll deliver kids on February 28th – 146 days after her “date”.
Hot Tea (click here for her pedigree), went on Saturday, and we’re expecting that she’ll also deliver kids on February 28th – 145 days after her “date”. Nigerian Dwarf does tend to take the same amount of time each year to freshen, and for Jewel Box that’s 146 days while for Hot Tea it’s 145 days.
Their dates were both with Old Mountain Farm [...]
Continue reading Goat “Dates” = Spring Kids!
I’ve been admiring the Nigerian Dwarf bucks and does from Old Mountain Farm for quite a while, and was plotting how I’d eventually add one to the herd when I learned that the doe OMF Hot Tea was available. So, I immediately indicated my interest; and when she tested negative for Brucellosis, CAE, CL, Johnes, and Tuberculosis – brought her home. I’m so excited to have her at Bramblestone Farm!
She’s a very mellow, friendly doe – just a joy to have around. And, although my clipping job is still pretty rough in the picture, she’s so long, level, and dairy – just beautiful. Along with [...]
Continue reading New Addition – 3*M Old Mountain Farm Hot Tea 3*D AR
“Sigh” – it seems that our first kidding season has already come and gone – the last of the bucklings left today. The three Nigerian Dwarf does (Tinker Bell, Bit ‘O’ Honey, and Jewel Box) produced eight kids (seven bucklings and one doeling) between them this spring, and we put all the bucklings up for sale. I was worried that it’d be difficult to sell that many bucklings, particularly since the does kidded late in the season and most human kids already had their goats for 4H projects. However, all the bucklings sold quickly and were picked up immediately after being weaned at eight weeks.
We retained the doeling [...]
Continue reading Kidding Season Success
Tinker Bell kidded at about 4:30 PM on Tuesday afternoon, and had two bucklings. She did great for her first freshening, didn’t need any help, and the whole thing went very quickly. Both bucklings are doing well so far, although the smaller brown one isn’t as bouncy as his brother yet. The white (with moonspots!) buckling is Bramblestone Storm, and the brown (with black and white markings) is Bramblestone Expresso. Tinker’s udder looks fantastic for a first freshening, I believe she’s going to be a terrific milker.
We were really hoping for a doeling from the Tinker Bell and Obama pairing (should be great at both milk and conformation) but these two little bucks look great [...]
Continue reading First Kids Are Here!
The Nigerian Dwarf goats (Tinker Bell, Bit ‘O’ Honey, and Jewel Box) are old enough to breed, so the first “Kidding Schedule” page is now up on the Bramblestone Farm website (click on Kidding Schedule). I’m very excited to be planning their first kids, particularly since we’ll be breeding them to bucks owned by our friends at Wild Wind Farm (where we originally bought the does). And, of course, this means we’ll have milk next year – the whole point of having dairy goats!
The girls will all be about a 1-1/2 years old, which some have said was longer than necessary to wait for breeding. However, if they’d [...]
Continue reading Kidding Schedule
As we’ve built things on the farm (house, barn, patio, etc.), we’ve collected lots of big rocks and we thought a couple would make good toys for the goats – they love to play; and it will help keep their hooves trimmed. So, the first job for the new John Deere tractor was to move a couple of boulders into the pasture as goat toys. Just getting the first boulder onto the tractor took three strong guys and pry bars (fortunately family was visiting and willing to help).
Once the boulders were loaded, the tractor made moving them a piece of cake - the front fork attachment worked [...]
Continue reading Goat Toys
We enjoyed having family visit for a long weekend, and one visitor (our five year old niece Audrey) was very excited to meet the goats (the goats were new for everyone visiting, but she was really looking forward to them). She told me Tinkerbell was beautiful, and both the goats were very good with her. Most people think Honey is cuter, but in her eyes – Tinkerbell was the best.
The weather was mostly beautiful, so we took the goats for a long (for them) walk on leashes. Of course, Audrey walked Tinkerbell (with a little help from her mom). I think Tinkerbell and Honey enjoyed Audrey and all the attention as much [...]
Continue reading Meeting the Goats
Tinkerbell and Bit-O-Honey have been here for just a month, and they already need trims.
I bought the “shear magic” hoof trimmer on-line from Jeffers, and used it to trim the girls’ hooves. Using past horse experience, I tried to pick up each hoof and trim it while the goat stood on the other three legs; however, Tink and Honey clearly explained that if I was going to trim their hooves, they were going to sit in my lap. I’m thinking this is going to be difficult if they get much bigger …….and I’ll arrange for someone else to take pictures to show the process next [...]
Continue reading Hoof & Hair Trims