Ziva was due on March 12, and kidded on March 14. Her single buckling is appropriately named Pi. (Did you know that 3/14 is "pi day"? π has the mathematical value of 3.14.) Last year Ziva, who was then 5 years old, also had a single buckling. Both were sired by my buck Phantom, and both were brown roan with frosted ears. Last year's kid had a white splash on one side; Pi doesn't. At two days old, Pi weighed almost ten pounds.
Last year: I didn't have a kidding history with Ziva last year, and I didn't know what day she'd been bred. I knew the date I bought her and brought her home, so I had a "no earlier than" date, but nothing more definite than that. I have no idea if she kidded on, before, or after her due date last year. All I know is that she surprised me when she finally kidded; there really weren't many signs that kidding was imminent.
This year Ziva kidded two days after her due date (day 152), and her udder was full that morning. It wasn't tight, but it was noticeably fuller than it had been.
Firefly was due on March 19 and kidded three days early on March 16 (day 147). Last year: Even as a first freshener, Firefly's udder was formed at least four weeks before she finally kidded and her tailhead was loose for most of that time.
This year, her kids dropped in position almost two weeks before her due date, and from the rear she really didn't even look pregnant anymore. On Monday the 16th her udder filled even fuller and her tail ligaments disappeared - I'd thought they were mushy before but the difference when she finally gave birth was astounding. I think this was the fastest and easiest birth I've ever witnessed. She had a set of buck/doe twins in less than ten minutes.
The buck is chocolate brown with a white belt, frosted ears, and white spots on his legs and tail; he's quite striking. The doe is a bit lighter brown, with self-colored ears. I love self-colored ears.
But... I'll show you the girl next time, along with Phoenix's twin girls...
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a
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