Friday, December 5, 2008

Peanuts for Moondust

Well, Moondust ended up delivering her very first litter. I was proud of her because she had them in the box and pulled a lot of wool to try to keep them warm. Unfortunately they were both peanuts, tort in color. I'll be rebreeding her again soon.

I try not to worry too much about the first litter for a doe surviving. I try not to get my hopes up, as many times they will have them on the wire, not pull wool to keep them warm, or the babies will end up being stillborn. If a first timer's litter survives and she does well I figure it's icing on the cake. After 2-3 litters a doe should be on track to having babies regularly in the box without issues (if she is conceiving that is). If she is cannibalising them or keeps having them on the wire I have to start thinking about whether this is possibly a genetic trait to have in the herd or not.

I do have a couple does that took a very long time to actually conceive. One of my favorite does actually had her first litter the day she turned 2 years old! She is special to me, so would always be here no matter what. I always wanted a litter out of her, so when I did breeding rounds I would always breed her just incase of a miracle. What a joy to see her belly grow in size and have babies to deliver! I always bring her inside when she is due to kindle, as she has not had much success having them in the box. I put her inside of a cavy cage with a solid bottom. That way I can check on them immediately once she has them and help her rearrange them. I have to wonder if it's because she took so long to take, so she doesn't have the younger maternal instincts a 6-8 month old doe would have when delivering?

A very important doe is due on Sunday.. Lil'Bit Farms Harmony. This is my doe that won BOSV Solid at Convention this year. She is nesting as of this morning. I am VERY excited for any babies out of this litter, and very hopeful. Many don't know, but Harmony has already been a mother. I made sure to get a litter out of her when she was around 7 months old. I wanted her to be a great show doe, but also a great mother. I didn't want to have one of those powerhouse show winning does that never ends up having a litter because the breeder waited too long, you know? Who says you can't show a doe after she has a litter? This doe has had a litter already, got her into condition, and then went on to have a huge win at Convention and has multiple Honorable Mentions in show.

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