A Pregnant Pause
So last time I posted we'd just had our first Fronrhydd kids courtesy of Gemini. Well....we, or rather should I say the ladies, have been busy since then! The current kid count stands at 11 and we have four more mums to go. We are still working with finger in the air due dates for two of the girls but think we don't have another due until next week (what's the betting one of them has gone into labour whilst I'm typing this).
Good time to take advantage of the gap in the schedule and give you an update!
Our other first timer JuJu was next to deliver - a boy called Lucky. Being a single, Lucky has been guzzling lots of milk and as a result is a big chunky boy. He is also very naughty (regularly escapes into the pre-natal side of the barn), pays no attention to his mother and will couch on your lap at every opportunity.
Next up was Nesta and we made a start on our Harry Potter themed names. We really didn't intend to name the boys but when you get a boy and a girl it's hard not to - I'm sure we'll get over this difficulty as we get larger and on a more commercial footing. Welcome Harry and Hermione! Harry is absolutely gorgeous and is taking couching lessons from his mate Lucky, Hermione loves to bounce. Nesta has always been a bit stand offish so it was no surprise that she was quite a snippy mum - she's calmed down a bit now that she is back in with the rest of the herd.
Two days later and Caramel took us by surprise. I woke around 7 to a bellow from the barn which didn't sound like the usual "I haven't been fed for days, I've nearly died of starvation three times this week already" complaint. A quick check of the web cam revealed something moving about in the straw - yep, Caramel had already given birth to one and promptly got on with another two... right in the middle of the barn - much to Lucky's interest. Unlike the rest of our herd, Caramel and her sister Toffee are Anglo Nubian x Boers - Anglo Nubian's are a dairy breed and quite a bit larger than the stockier Boer. As a result, although only having two milk pipes, they have plenty of the white stuff and have no problem feeding three. Albus has the traditional Boer colour whilst Ginny and Ron are a light ginger like their mum. Caramel's kindly nature has not changed, she is a fantastically calm mother - apart from when Lucky sticks his nose in her pen.
Four days later Caramel's sister Toffee (who we'd had the foresight to pen) delivered her set of triplets - again - one traditional Boer colour (Arthur) and two fawny/gingers - Molly and Charlie. Charlie caused me some concern as he initially seemed keen to meet the world by sticking a front hoof out, and then stopped. I paced, fretted, pleaded with Toffee to have another contraction and generally ignored Dave's instructions to stand back. Dave was entirely right - Toffee is not a first time mum and she was just taking a pause. Sure enough, 5 minutes later (felt like years until we checked back on the web cam) out popped Charlie.
So - the maternity unit is full of bouncing kids, all cute as buttons and a fabulous excuse to waste time. We've been busy with post natal care - banding for the boys, ear tagging (I'm such a wuss - shook like a leaf for the first three!) and vaccinations.
Our remaining Mums-to-be are Jade, Jemima, Gloria and Tiggy. AKA the Cowgirls, Jade and Jemima are our only two who don't have horns, they are big stocky ladies and do have a touch of the bovine about them. Despite their not so lovable looks they are very sweet and, particularly Jemima, rather shy. Gloria and Tiggy were served by our own buck Emperor so we're excited to see the kids. I'm also pretty nervous - Tiggy is expecting three and Gloria four! They are Boers not crosses so if all survive we will probably have to top the kids up with a bottle. Gloria is so huge now that she can't get comfortable and sits on her bottom like a dog. Tiggy pulls my heart strings - she loves to go cheek to cheek, gently rubs your face and makes adorable little snuffly grunts in your ear - Dave may need to physically restrain me when it's Tiggy's turn.
So - you'd be mistaken for thinking that things have quietened down a touch. Wrong!
Dave has just arrived back from a trip up North - say "'Eh up" to the Lancashire Lasses...all 16 of them.. we appear to have just doubled our herd.