Now, any goat owner will tell you it’s easy to tell a doe kid from a buck kid. There are several very obvious differences.
Buck kids have scrotums. They are smooth under the tail. They urinate from the middle of their bellies with their legs planted out in a rectangle.
Doe kids have a tiny vulva under their tails. They squat to urinate. They tend to have smaller, more streamlined heads than buck kids.
These two Nubian kids are so alike in size. I assumed both were bucks. Wrong. The black one is a buck. The gray one is a doe.
Telling a doe kid from a buck kid is much easier than figuring out whether or not a kid is polled. For that the hair is swirled over the horn buds and smooth over polled. Hair can stick up or otherwise distort this look.
Three does had kids. Agate was first in the morning. Violet was acting like kids all day but had them in the morning. Lydia had hers that evening.
There was enough time to leisurely take care of each kid set. I took a cursory check and decided Agate had two little bucks. She moved into the large pen with Matilda and Rose.
This little kid is definitely a buck. I double checked. High Reaches Agate isn’t concerned about it. She loves her kids.
That was a mistake. Matilda started chasing Agate. Hay was a temporary distraction. The chase resumed.
Matilda and her week old buck moved into the barn. Peace reigned in the kidding pen. The kids piled up in their cubby hole and slept.
The problem with an Houdini buck is keeping him away from yearlings. So High Reaches Agate had twins at just over a year old. She had little trouble kidding, but didn’t know what had happened. She stood looking at the kids, then at me, then at the kids. She sniffed them, but didn’t talk to them. Finally one of the kids started talking. Agate is now a devoted mother goat.
Kids have trouble staying warm for the first few days. They can be stepped on. I build cubby holes for them.
A kid cubby hole is a line of bales against an outside wall. Two bales are put in front spaced apart half the length of a bale.
Two bales are piled on top of the wall line behind the space. A bale is placed over the space leaving a cubby hole.
Kids move into the hole. The hay provides insulation. The small space stays warmer than the outer temperature and keeps drafts out. Does can sniff their kids but can’t step on them.
This year I’m short on hay. Two straw bales backed by thick flakes of straw with a two inch thick board over the top did the job.
How could I ever think this lovely kid was a buckling? All I can think is that I was very careless. This is definitely a doeling belonging to High Reaches Agate.
Kids grow fast. They want to jump on things and run. Even a big kid pen is too small in a few days.
I moved the kids out into the barn while the rest of the herd was out to pasture. My barn is set up with kid cubby holes.
A sunny day invited pictures of these last six kids. I moved Agate and her kids out. That’s when I noticed. Agate doesn’t have two buck kids. She has one buck kid and one doe kid. Oops.
This is a buck year for me. There are six buck kids. With the addition of Agate’s doe kid, there are three doe kids.
And I’m reminding myself to be more careful in the future.
Goat kid antics play a part in the madcap adventures in Capri Capers. Check out the sample pages.