We are back in harness after a delightful break in Atlanta and Statesboro, Georgia. We attended a conference held each year for missionaries around the world. It was a special time to catch up with old friends and make new connections. The groups that have come to us, over the last few years, ALWAYS want updates on the goat program. Many of them have met Tanya Weaver and her family, so the connections have become deep and impactful.
While we were away we were sad to hear that one of our young does aborted halfway through her pregnancy. It was her first pregnancy, and this is one of the reasons we like to keep our first time mamas until they have had their first babies, before we send them to beneficiaries. We have had a few first time mamas head for the hills directly after they have delivered! Fortunately though they have returned very quickly to become good mothers! The good news, though while we were away, was that Trio, one of our original herd, had a beautiful doeling that weighed in at just under 9lbs! We thought she was having twins and were surprised when only one baby arrived. After weighing the babe we understood why Trio looked so large! Her name is Biscuits.
Biscuits is the first born this year and a few days ago we welcomed Aggie into the herd - another little girl who arrived two weeks before her due date. She was born with very weak hind-quarters and not a lot of sucking power. We spent time ensuring she was getting enough food and helping her to steady herself on her back legs. Only 4 days after her birth she was as strong as any newborn. She is springing onto rocks, knows exactly where to find mum and demands her nourishment with fervour. The move is on and more births are imminent before the onset of winter.
This year looks like it is turning into a very bad drought year again. The community wells are almost dry and we are at the end of our rainy season. Almost all the crops in the area have failed and it looks like a hungry year ahead. We are encouraging all the goat owners to start collecting and drying food for their goats.
Onto more encouraging news though! One of our first beneficiaries who we have shared with you about, Gladys, is ready to return 3 of her young girls as her herd is growing so fast! She is nervous she will not be able to build onto her shelter before the hard winter arrives and her does produce more babies. Plus she is worried that a buck will impregnate her young doelings before they are of breeding age. Her returning the doelings will mean that she is released from her contract, more than a year ahead of the required three years! She feels that out of the 11 goats she has, only 2 of them are males so giving back 3 of her does will still leave her with 6 breeding females.
Fred, the Saanen buck, who also joined us in March, is settling well. Saanen’s are milk goats, so we are planning on using Fred to produce a herd that will provide more milk, which will be a real asset within the community. He has intimidating horns, but we don’t think he has any intention of hurting anyone! He came from a home where he was loved and pampered, so has had to get used to being one of a big herd! He has also had to get used to rocks! His previous home was fairly flat and our rocks here were a bit daunting for him when he first arrived until he found his footing! He stuck to the smaller rocks where he was confident! He and Bruce have been introduced to each other, but we will not risk any battles developing over the ladies, so are keeping them well apart. He has already covered a few of the does, so we look forward to seeing his babies in the next few months.
We delivered 3 pregnant does last week to Victor, all of whom are due to deliver within the next 6 weeks. Victor’s nephew lives with him and they will work the goats together. We are also preparing to deliver to new three new beneficiaries in the next week.