Updated: Aug 13, 2022
February 28, 2022
It’s the start of kidding season at Lustleigh Farm. And no, it’s not an early April Fools and it’s not a stand-up comedy show. It’s the time of year that the goat kids are born, and the start of many photos being sent around on the family group chat. You won’t hear any of us complain about that though. 😀
(Keep reading and you can see some of the photos!)
It’s the culmination of a more than five-month long project. And simultaneously the start of a project that will last many months long more.
Whether you know it or not, we utilize many leadership skills in our everyday lives. We make decisions, plan for the future, manage time, develop relationships, and so on. And this most definitely extends to raising animals.
So, here are some leadership qualities it takes to raise goats:
Planning. Did you know a goat’s gestational period is five months? So, before you get to enjoy the little kids wobbling on newborn legs (pics still to come)—you’ve got to pick out a buck, approximate the time of year the kids should be born, and make a birthing plan. Here are some questions you’ll want to ask: For the buck, are you looking for any specific traits you want to introduce to herd (i.e., height, coloring, size, lineage, etc.)? We live in Minnesota, so we try to have to the start of kidding season at the end of February. Any earlier, and the temperature can add unnecessary challenges. When it’s about time for the kids to start being born, make sure your supplies are ready to go.
Attention to detail. Obviously, the goats can’t say to you when they’re ready to go into labor. But if you look for the signs, you can tell when they’re ready. Here’s what you might look for: an udder that filled out, a doe that’s scratching the ground, a lifted tail, or a doe that’s looking back at her sides (among other signs). After the kids (typically goats give birth to twins) are born, the most important thing you can do is make sure that they start eating from their mom. Mammals produce colostrum which is not only nutritious but contains a high level of antibodies that fight infections and bacteria. This helps the small kids get a strong start in the world.
Adapting in the moment. As with humans, any number of things can do wrong. Ultimately, I think this third point is a culmination of the previous two points. And adapting in the moment proves to be far more successful when the first two points are well-executed. A common problem during birth is that goat kids pass through the birth canal incorrectly. They should come with their nose resting on top of their front two feet. Yesterday, my mom had to pull two kids who were positioned incorrectly, and probably saved their lives by doing so. She’s learned a lot about this process over the years, but always has to be ready to make changes to her plans.
As I’m writing this, I just got off of Facetime with my mom after she helped pull those two kids and we just sat watching them get to their feet and take their first steps. And then their mother aggressively licked them off and tried to get them to eat. And then my mom’s phone died.
Like I said earlier, there are so many everyday places we can learn leadership skills. But really, this is just an excuse to show you some cute pictures of baby goats. 😄 Enjoy!
Tulip with her triplets (from left): Tallulah, Tiger, and Tigger.
Coffee with her twins Fern and Fiona.
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Isaiah Custer is Level Up Courses’ director of marketing. He helps companies tell stories through email, content, and social media marketing to increase awareness, engagement, brand loyalty, and sales. Isaiah has held many leadership roles throughout his career and personal life starting when he held officer roles in his local 4-H club. His seven plus years of experience in marketing has proven to him that great leaders cultivate relationships and enhance the customer experience. He currently lives in Seattle, WA and has a degree in Theatre / Arts Administration from Northwestern College.