I was so worried about Nettie not producing milk that I put an ad in the freebie paper a few days ago. If Nettie had more kids than I though she could provide milk for, I was going to give the male(s) away as bottle babies. I just couldn't justify bottle feeding any kids, especially since any males were going to end up in the freezer and having to buy milk replacer would be cost prohibitive.
I really figured that it would be a problem getting "rid" of a male bottle baby, but I got five calls the first day the ad was online. I took names down and explained to each of them that it wasn't necessarily a sure thing and that it would depend on how many kids she had and how much milk she had.
This is Nettie's udder about five hours before kidding:
It seems that Nettie is going to have more than enough milk for her kid.
Since Nettie was so full, I also did something that I should have been doing every year; I milked about a quart and a half of colostrum out of her. At first I felt badly for taking it away from the kid, but he seemed to be getting his fill and her udder still looked full.
It's a good idea to have some extra colostrum in the freezer in the event that a doe doesn't come into milk after a kidding (says I, the one who did NOT have any). Even if you don't have any fresh milk to give a bottle baby and have to purchase milk replacer, getting real colostrum with all those good antibodies into that kid as soon as possible after birth is the best thing you can do for it.
Of course, in the days leading up to Nettie's kidding, I was wishing that I had saved some last year. I did end up going to the feed store and buying a $12 bag of powdered colostrum just in case; wonder if I can return it? But now I'm going to try and remember to freeze some every year.
Since Nettie only had one kid, I had to call back the people who had inquired about the free bottle baby and tell them sorry. But there was one lady that was still interested in taking the kid after he was weaned - and actually paying for him!
So although I'm a little disappointed that kid won't be fattened up for a tasty dinner for us (yes, I'm horrible, mentioning eating the cute little bugger, but that's how it usually goes around here with the male kids), but I'm also happy that he will be going to a home where he will be a pet and not a roast (or burger, or rack of oh-so-tasty-ribs).
Oh, and a great big "Thank You" for all of your well wishing and happy thoughts the last few days! You guys are the greatest!