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Thursday, December 30, 2010

To a wee mousie

Four does in heat, and two to be bred.  Isn't that what I planned?  Ah, well.  In the words of the poet, 
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley
And so it is.
Sanuba has silent heats.  I have absolutely no clue if she's been bred.  Emily is a little tank, and the Saanen buck I had for three weeks is a youngling, half the size of my yearling does.
Enter one cute little curly top Toggenburg buck.  Emily came back into heat three weeks later,  and Reverend Lee accommodated her.  He's a small buck, but this is his second breeding season, so presumably he knows the score.

Now it's a new cycle. Is Sanuba in heat?  Who knows!  (except the buck, of course) I decided, therefore, to breed Leah, rather than wait until next year.  Trouble is, the Saanen buck is her half-brother, so that won't work, and I can't find another available Saanen buck in the area. So Reverend Lee has taken up temporary residence at the farm.  If Emily shows further signs of heat, she can keep him company, too, but for the moment it's just Sanuba and Leah.  Beatrice is strictly off limits, as I want to give her a breeding break.
Beatrice, by the way, is already increasing her milk.  She had fallen from 1-1/2 gallons (about 12 lbs) per day at peak, to a little under 5 lbs per day in early December  Now, though, she's up to 6-1/2 lbs a day.  This doe is wonderful!  I'm seriously thinking about having her put on DHIR (milk test), and Leah as well, since she shares similar bloodlines.