Welcome to Painted Hand Farm

Painted Hand Farm is a 20 acre Civil War era farm located in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. We raise meat goats, veal calves, turkeys and organic vegetables using humane and sustainable agricultural practices.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Paying for a Big Mistake

As I've posted earlier, there wasn't supposed to be any kids born between Christmas and mid-February. But it turns out that Rip was a busy buck while he was loose with the open does last summer. To get to the doe herd, he had to squeeze through THREE sections of six-wire high-tensile electric fence. Hormones are a powerful thing.

So now I'm paying for this mistake in a couple of ways. Yesterday, out of seven kids born only four survived. Cocoa, one of our solid red senior does who has been an excellent producer had triplets, but one was stillborn. It could have been for a number of reasons, but I'd bet that it was nutritional. I like to increase feeding the last six weeks of gestation since fat does have a harder time kidding and run the risk of pregnancy toxemia. However, the first of the year is when I started ramping up their feed in preparation for the February/March kidding. Because of this I also missed the boat on their pre-kidding vaccinations/selenium, worming and foot-trimming which would have been done this week.
Cocoa with her buck and doe kids. Lots of solid dark does being born this year.
Secondly, right now the temperatures are in the twenties during the day and the teens at night with howling winds taking the chill down into single digits. Pumpkin Pie is a lousy mother to begin with so when she kidded during the night, despite the deep bedding and shelter, she walked away from her twins and by the time we found them in the morning, they were frozen solid to the ground...not pretty.
Marilyn's twins--a buck and a doe.
The third, but probably the least disappointing of this whole mess is that the does were bred to Red Hot N Ripped instead of the tall, long, black-headed buck bred by BIJO Boer Goats. Don't get me wrong, I love Rip, but I've got some older does who are slowing down and I really wanted to breed them to a longer, taller buck since I've already got lots of offspring from them out of the stockier MAX genetics.

Fortunately, the BIJO buck is owned by my neighbor and chances are good I can get him back for another 'visit'.


  1. I guess we forget that some other animals besides humans can turn out bad mothers. Those poor frozen kids! I remember how hard kidding was for you last year, does this mean it will be easier come mid-Feb, or harder because you'll already be exhausted?!

  2. That is so hard...having babies in this miserable weather. I can remember bringing kids into the house and stashing them under the wood stove, back in our goat days. Your new ones are beautiful babies anyhow...

    I just wanted to drop by and comment from Linda's blog, because I so admire how you handled the situation with the Amish hunter. They recently moved into our area and the exact same scenario is taking place here.