Love is in the air here folks! The hormones are flying and we have a packed breeding plan to keep us in babies from February until July. Big Marie has been artificially inseminated and is confirmed pregnant, while Audrey and Alison have had their date with their suitors. Time will tell if they are in fact pregnant, and Ruby is my final girl to be bred. My calendar is chocked full of heat dates, bred dates, and potential due dates. So who was bred when and when can we we anticipate bouncing babies? Read on!
A pig's gestation cycle is 3 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days, or 114 days. Big Marie was bred via artificial insemination on October 11th and 12th, which puts her farrowing date at February 2nd. She will be our first girl to give birth in the spring (well technically winter) and our first experience with pigs farrowing altogether which should make for some fun times when it's freezing in February.
Although the beginning of February may seem like a bad time to have a litter of piglets born, it's the perfect time for spring piglets. They're a hot commodity and everyone starts looking come beginning of April. So, with piglets born beginning of February, they will be weaned and ready to go to their future homes in the beginning of April.
A goat's gestation period ranges from 145-155 days. While the general rule of thumb is that miniature breeds such as Nigerian dwarfs tend to give birth on the earlier side of the range, anything is possible. Audrey was bred on two different dates in November with Pendalton, which means her babies can be on the way anywhere from the 30th of March until the second week of April if she took. Audrey is a third freshener, meaning this will be her third year being bred. So, she has some experience under her belt which will be refreshing considering Alison and Ruby are first time moms and milkers. Audrey is without question one of my favorite girls. She has the ideal temperament and is even keeled, affectionate, fantastic on the milk stand, and have you seen how gorgeous she is? I am excited to be bringing more Audrey babies into the world for others to enjoy.
Alison is Audrey's two year old daughter (father is Pendalton) and this year she will be a first freshener. Meaning she will be a first time mom! Alison has her mothers even temperment and is just a gentle girl. While she isn't overly affectionate like her mom, she doesn't necessarily run from love either. I especially enjoy when she's in heat because she's extremely affectionate :) She was bred with Jehosophat mere days after Audrey's first bred date so we can expect babies from her beginning of April if she took.
I am really excited to see what color kids Alison and Jehosophat throw, but I am most excited to see what kind of a milker she is. Audrey may not win any milk test contests for volume, but she is my ole' reliable and consistently produced a quart of milk a day throughout the spring/summer. So while some goats hit a peak in production and drop, Audrey always remained consistent. So while she never hit a high, she also never hit an extreme low. Alison's father Pendalton also has great dairy lineage, so I am anxious to see how she performs as a FF being the offspring of Audrey and Pendalton!
Ruby is my only Nubian, and my only girl that remains to be bred! I haven't been able to catch her in heat yet, so now I am in full stalker mode. Ruby will be bred to my friend's Nubian, King Wallace when the time comes. Ruby will also be a first freshener this year and just like Alison, I am excited to see how she performs. Her mother Gemmy is a heavy milker and in her peak produces about a gallon and a half a day. I am quite anxious to see how much Ruby produces considering her mom's performance and yes, I'm trying to figure out what I will do with all of that milk if is like her mom!
Since we are already at the tail end of November and Ruby hasn't been bred, I won't be looking at any babies from her until the beginning of May at the earliest. I was hoping to group the kiddings closer together, but it may not necessarily be a bad thing to have some space in between to get my bearings when I have babies coming out of my ears on top of all of our other projects.
Stay tuned for updates as I test Audrey and Alison with my pregtone to confirm pregnancy and more about my winter farrowing plans for Big Marie and kidding plans for the girls. One things for sure, this spring is going to be our busiest one yet!
Most Recently on Youtube:
Follow me on Instagram!