For those of you who keep goats,
you may or may not find calculating the date for when a specific doe is due to kid, something of a challenge. Leafing through diary pages spanning two years (autumn of one year to spring of the next, typically)can be a bit hit-&-miss; & it seems that so many of the available gestation calculators are geared up for the ovine species, not our lovely caprine ladies.
However last year I found one on the Internet, that I was particularly keen to try; & our ‘test case’ clock started ticking, from the day our new young Stud Male (the handsome little Monach Carneigie) was introduced to his harem for the first time.
As up until then he’d only – ahem – ‘practised’ on his male chums (common caprine activity from around a day or so old, I hasten to add!) we weren’t quite sure how soon he’d get into his stride; so consulting a gestation calculator certainly seemed like a good idea. So it was that I calculated that the earliest any kids could be born to the first-time Mums with whom Carneigie (or Niggles, as we call him) coupled, was 27th February – today, to be precise.
And sure enough, early this morning (5am, eurgh) Aerona had a boy, who really is the funniest little thing to look at – with his floppy, puppy-dog ears; & Aderyn (she who flew into a hayrack as a kid during one mad playtime; broke her leg; & lived with us in the house, hobbling around literally milking the sympathy, for six weeks) gave birth to a lovely little dark chocolate girl – Ceridwen – about an hour later. Both mums needed a little more assistance getting the hang of what to do with their bleating new babies than usual, as this was their first time kidding; however they were soon managing, admirably.
So the Goat Gestation calculator has been added to the links under ‘Livestock’, on the RHS of the page – I do hope any other budding caprine midwives out there find it similarly useful!