In our young herd we have had our fair share of doe pregnancy issues, so this time of year comes with excited anticipation coupled with concern for my does. On one hand I am looking forward to potentially having three does in milk this year, not only will this increase the number of classes I am able to show them in, but it will also increase milk production and in turn allow me to experiment more with different cheeses and home made dairy products. On the other hand I am always thinking about the health and safety of my does, and coupled with any pregnancy, delivery and lactation there are significant stressors and risks that come along naturally. I am always worrying about the safety of my does during kidding and finding good homes for my kids when they are weaned.
I started thinking about all of this when I was mentally preparing for the 2020 PA farm show. I was running down the mental checklist in my brain of everything that I needed to accomplish and pack before we leave in early January, for my favorite winter time show. In my ruminations about this I realized that I needed to call the vet and schedule a health certificate check before we leave. With this being the holiday season I wanted to ensure that I called early and thankfully I did! The soonest they were able to get out to me was Dec 23rd!! During this visit I will have them draw blood to determine if my does are settled, and to say I am hopeful is an understatement. Zoey was bred on October 28th, Moots was bred on November 12th and I have not seen either of them come back into heat. I am almost 100% confident Zoey is bred, because I have seen her little belly growing rapidly! Ivy on the other hand is our problem child, I bred her on October 16th, November 1st and November 22nd. Each time she has come back into heat each time. After the November 22nd breeding we have not seen her come back into heat yet, but even if she does we will not be breeding her again. This would put her kidding too late in the year and interfere with our travel and show schedule.
I am looking forward to bouncing kids on the ground in late March and early April. I hope you all have settled does, content bucks and a safe bountiful kidding season!