Kidding Season – The good, the bad and the ugly

Kidding season is the most exciting time of the year at our farm, but also the most terrifying. I try not to think about it – in fact other goat friends don’t even want to talk about kidding season until it is imminent. But I can’t stop thinking about it and preparing for it. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly of dairy goat farming.

Starting with the bad, we have to house and love these stinky face peeing bucks year-round. Someone once told me they have a “pencil penis” which allows them to reach and urinate on their faces to attract does. (Insert puke emoji) I hate to say it but I’ve seen this so many times I don’t even notice anymore. But without bucks we wouldn’t have pregnant does and kids.

The bad list also includes cleanup, and lots of it. We regularly muck stalls, but do a deep clean and sanitizing before kids arrive. All buckets, troughs, bottles and stalls are stripped and sanitized.

Lastly on the bad list, we have the end of pregnancy. A goat’s gestation period is approximately 5 months. Surprisingly I find, unlike some humans, the goats handle it quite well.  I mean they can urinate whenever they need to, and food and water is always fresh and plentiful. If they are lucky enough, fans are around and they never have to walk far for a snack!

Let’s move on to the ugly. As a mother, I can’t ever call birth ugly. It’s truly a miracle. But I know to some this messy part is ugly. The actual delivery is the most stressful part for us. Will it be difficult? Will a kid get stuck? Is a kid too big? Will we have to help or call the vet? Will the kids all be healthy and normal? Will the Mom be ok? Will we be home for the labor?

We are constantly worried. We stay awake all hours of the night when a doe is in labor. We are there for her through all of it if she allows. Over the years, our children have seen many deliveries. Our eldest is now able to assist when needed. She might be the only kid in her elementary school with goat doula skills, but I hope she wears that badge proudly. By the time each doe has delivered their kids we are exhausted, but then the real fun begins!

Finally, the GOOD! Many ask why we breed goats… well, here is the short of it. We sell raw goat milk and in order to have milk you must breed your does once a year. We also show our goats where they must be in milk. Once the does deliver it’s game on. We are milking and feeding and milking and feeding. The barn is our home! We wouldn’t trade all those hard times for anything!

Kidding season begins here in about 30 days! Stay tuned!

Farm Crew, goats, Uncategorized

Feels like Spring

The first sign of Spring at the Tucker Farm is KIDS!

We kicked off the season with a bang today when two of our ladies gave birth just minutes apart. Barbie had three kids and Norma, one. Kidding season is amazing as well as an exhausting time for us. While we love this time of the year, we can’t wait for our first batch of goat cheese! We’re also excited to make goat milk soap for the first time.



In addition to delicious goat cheese, baby goat cuteness, and soap… goats provide many benefits on the farm. They are excellent weed-whackers – they particularly love poison ivy! We raise Nigerian Dwarfs, which are the smallest dairy breed, often kept on hobby farms like ours. The kids move to new farms each Spring and this year some of our baby goats are going to work at an outdoor yoga studio! Until then, our little farm girls love taking care of their kids.


If you had your money on Ruth going into labor before me, you are a winner! Ruth gave birth to twins on Saturday, June 13th, a doeling & buckling.

DSC_8795This was our first kidding at The Tucker Farm! I have been reading about goat labor non-stop and getting advice from fellow goat owners for weeks now, trying to prep myself for any possible issues that could arise. I’m lucky enough to have a lot of experienced friends close by that were on call to be goat doulas. I had been watching Ruth for the typical signs of impending labor, such as, her udder getting really full and her ligaments disappearing. But these things were never obvious to me, even on the day of labor.

On Saturday morning I let all the animals out into the pasture as usual. Ruth came out of her stall but didn’t follow us up to the pasture. Since it’s been 90 degrees here and she waddled as much as I do, I was not going to force her out. So I led her back to her stall and gave her fresh water and made sure she had plenty of hay for the day. My husband, toddler and I then went off to run errands.

We returned around lunchtime and I wandered down to the barn to check on things. Much to my surprise, I found this!

Unfortunately, I missed her actual labor. The kids were very wet when I found them and Ruth had just started passing the afterbirth, so it must have been quick. Mama Ruth is an experienced Mama and an excellent one at that. I’m thankful that in our journey to be more sustainable she made things a bit easier.

What’s amazing about kids to me is that they are already “kidding” around at only 24 hours old! Quite different from puppies & kittens. Nothing is better than watching kids play!

We look forward to watching Mama Ruth raise her kids and can’t wait to finally have our own goat milk! Believe it or not, we didn’t just get goats to be pets and weed whackers, but we got them for milk! Both my daughter and I are unable to drink cow milk, so we’ve been buying goat milk from a local dairy for a few years. Of course in order to have milk, you must also have kids.  We have another doe, Pepper, due in August . . . so more kids to come!