While at work today, I walked out of a conference room following an hour and a half of meetings and picked up my cell phone. A quick glance at the screen made my heart rate skyrocket. I had 4 missed calls from Anna and the kids and more than 10 text messages. There was no voicemail notice, so it was bad enough they didn’t have time to leave a voicemail. I knew Anna wasn’t home at the time and reading the first text message confirmed my immediate suspicion: one of the goats was kidding.
Alex had gone out to do his assigned cleaning of a goat shelter and discovered an extra goat kid in the pen being cleaned off Longvu Log Tabula Rasa. Alex went inside and notified Quinn who immediately took charge of the situation and moved Tabula and her 8.8lb doe kid into the kidding stall; the 9.7lb buck kid was born a short time later. Quinn and Amanda made sure both kids got toweled dry and by the time I was bringing my heart rate back under control, everything was pretty much over. Quinn and Amanda monitored Tabula until she passed the placentas, then helped the kids nurse to ensure they got some colostrum. Alex actually left to go for a 6 mile trail run since the other had it under control.
On Sunday, Dauntless Obsidian gave us 2 doe kids that weighed in at 7.8lbs and 7.4lbs. The birth for Obsidian was pretty rough and we weren’t sure she was going to survive. Her twin does were pulled and taken into the house. Obsidian is making a recovery, but her kids will be raised as bottle babies. This means we have 2 goat kids living in a tote in the living room for now. They get will get bottles about 4 times a day plus play time with the kids (human type).
Days like today make me very proud of the kids and their level of responsibility. This brings our new total to 5 buck kids and 4 doe kids. Our last doe will kid in mid-May.
Last night, I had an unexplained allergic reaction that resulted in a short trip to the ER. As a result of being up until 2am and the meds making me so drowsy, I went to work for only a few minutes and then to see the Dr’s. I got some more meds and came home for rest. Around noon, Anna woke me and informed me West View Swan’s Saffron was kidding. I joined Anna and Vicki for the event in the kidding stall.
Saffron is a 4th freshener 5 year old who gave 11-12 lbs of milk a day last year.
This is an udder that has “popped” meaning looks like 14 hours since it has been milked and is stretched tight. Don’t milk her, just get your kidding supplies by the back door, because it means you won’t be waiting long. For Saffron, imminent signs of kidding included lots of pawing, grunting, visible contractions for about 40 min, and then baby goats.
We are raising all the kids as bottle babies this year. Since Anna doesn’t want to trek back and forth to the barn all day and night, they are in the office in a dog crate starting out.
Saffron gave us 2 doe kids: the dark one is Sawyer Farm’s Milky Way and the light one is Sawyer Farm’s Caramel. It appears this year’s name theme will be candy.
Here is Vicki holding Milky Way. She is very excited to have babies to bottle feed again.
Today was the first Saturday in a while that didn’t have kid swimming lessons at 8:30. Since Anna and I were up late (again) talking about the decision of which house to buy, we decided to sleep in. So, when Alex and Vicki showed up in the bedroom at 6:45, we sent them to play and rolled over in bed. By the time we got up and ready for chores, the kids were driving me nuts. I sent them outside to check on Mary and Betty, 2 of the Oberhaslis due to kid today. Since I checked them at 11:30 last night, I didn’t expect any surprises.
I was caught off guard when Alex came running in yelling “Mary has a baby sticking out her butt!” We grabbed our jackets and ran out the door. Anna moved Mary into the kidding stall. She was obviously in distress and the kid’s face and feet were starting to dry off. Anna quickly pulled the buckling and we started to work on getting Mary and the baby help. Mary wasn’t doing well so we got the emergency frozen colostrum warmed for the buckling. After about an hour, both seemed to be stable, so we continued with chores.
As I went to feed the bucks and does in a different pen, I discovered Frosty had 2 kids nursing! I called Anna and I quickly commandeered a horse stall and shuffled Frosty with her doeling and buckling to the horse barn. Frosty was specifically surprising because, after we bred her, the bucks kept showing interest and rebreeding her every 3 weeks. If she was pregnant, we didn’t expect kids until June. However, last night, I told Anna “Frosty is starting to build and udder. I guess she is pregnant.”
Then, I got a phone call and had to head in to work to deal with a problem. I left Anna to deal with the 3 new goat kids and chores for the day.
When I called her later in the day to say I was on my way home, she informed me Betty was now in labor. By the time I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a babysitter, it had been almost an hour. I walked in the horse barn to the second commandeered horse stall to find Anna yelling at me “I need help, the kids are stuck!” I took off my jacket, rolled up my sleeves, and headed in.
30 minutes later, another buckling and doeling were on the ground. Betty got some meds and we made sure all the kids were nursing on their mommas. A quick milking of the other does and round chores for us inside and out of the cold. We both ran through the shower and headed out the door to the Dolphin Scholarship Auction. Now, I am sitting here on my iPhone writing this during the auction. We will head home in a while and check on all the kids. Then to bed.
Hopefully tomorrow will have fewer surprises. The next goat isn’t due until April. We think.
Here are some pictures of Frosty’s kids.
Vicki has named the doeling Black Sapphire and Alex named the buckling Bedrock.
Maggie (one of our Oberhasli mix doe) was due to kid last Monday. After the bad experience with Farrah (who has recovered fine) we were anxiously awaiting her kidding. Each day her udder grew, but no babies arrived.
This morning, I fed Maggie and thought she looked close. I locked her in the kidding stall and proceeded about the day, checking occasionally. When nothing had happened by lunch, I let her out with herd, planning to put her in for the night.
As I came out to give the goats fresh water, I noticed Maggie was missing. I was pleasantly surprised to find her in the shelter with 2 minutes old babies!
I shuffled them inside with the heat lamp. While they would probably be fine outside, why chance it.
We have an 8.3lb buckling and a 7.3lb doeling. By comparison, the buckling of Farrah’s that was breech and didn’t survive was 10.9lb!
Both kids and momma seem to be doing fine. They are happily nursing and momma is talking to them and continuing the cleanup job.
Here are some pics from under a heat lamp. More when they go out I a couple of days.
Goats normally kid at 150 days +/- 5. On Wednesday, Farrah was at day 153. Anna came into the house about 7 and announced that Farrah was in the kidding stall and had some mucas discharge. Some friends who live a couple of miles down the road were interested in seeing what signs of kidding are, so they came over. About 8, we went to check on Farrah and she was in early labor. Vicki and our friend’s daughter got to hang out in the shed watch for a while. Things didn’t really progress, so the girls went to bed around 9. As the evening continued, Farrah’s labor didn’t improve.
By 10:30, it was time to intervene. I gloved up and reached in and found back legs. The kid was in breach position and I was not at all able to rotate the baby. We had no choice but to pull him out back leg first. Once the kid was out, he was not breathing. Despite our best efforts to clear lungs and do goat CPR, the kid never revived. He was a 10.9lb buckling. There were no other kids. Farrah will get some antibiotics to help prevent infection and we have already begun milking her. We will dump the antibiotic laced milk and then start harvesting for the family.
A disappointing start to kidding season. Hopefully Maggie will do better. She is due in 4 days.