The babies started arriving Easter weekend. Sissy goat’s daughter from last year started things off by having the anticipated twins. No problems at all–I had noticed she was off by herself and put her in the barn, a couple hours later, poof, like magic, babies!! Two boys, Pinky (for his pink nose and ears), and Cinnamon (for the faint sprinkle of brown thru his coat.)
The next one to pop was Momma goats daughter from last year. She had the single kid I thought she would. Another male and again no problems. He was named Spot, for obvious reasons.
Then it Was Momma goats turn. I was so sure she wouldn’t pop until the middle of May. She just wasn’t quite big enough to be so early, and I was sure the buck had bred her the day before I returned him, which would make 5 months the middle of May. I noticed the one morning she had gone to the barn alone, but I really didn’t think much of it as there was hay left in there from the previous birth. But when I went to do chores later that afternoon, I found that she had had her babies. One quite alive, dried off and sleeping off to the side, two half dead ones laid flat out still covered in goo, and one really dead baby half buried in bedding. I got a towel from the grainery and dried off the babies. One was slightly larger and more robust, he came back to life quite quickly. I got him to have a slurp of milk, then turned to work on the other one. This poor little guy was very weak and mostly dead. But I wrapped him in the towel and took him into the house to warm up. It wasn’t really cold out but when you are only a few pounds and covered in goo, you cool off pretty quick. I went back out and milked some colostrum from Momma and bottle fed the little guy for the next two days. He did recover but he is so small. Momma goat was quite frenzied that first night; she had pawed up most of the bedding in the barn, and was pawing too vigorously at the babies to leave her with them loose. I put a lamb panel in, with heat lamps and tied her in a corner. I had to go out every few hours to let the babies suck, then put them back into the safety of the lambing pen. She calmed down after 24 hours and I was able to let the babies stay with her. But she has such a massive udder, the babies are not really able to find the working end so I have to guide them onto the right spot. But once there, they sure know what to do. The first baby was a girl, Screaming Mimi. The second strong one was a boy, Donkey. And Starving Marvin is the little guy.
And finally, yesterday, Sissy Goat popped. She was SO HUGE!!! She was starting to prolapse a bit so I put her in the barn to restrict her diet. The more she ate, the less room there was for babies, and things were starting to unravel a bit. But she just would not have those darn babies. Finally I asked Aidan to talk to the vet and get something to induce labour. This drug is supposed to be very effective and mild for goats, resulting in labour 24-30 hours after administration. Sure enough, 24 hours later, Sissy had triplets. We went out to check frequently and on one check she had had a rather large baby. She had it dried and fed and I thought, Really!! All that for just one baby!! We stayed and watched but nothing more seemed to come. I went in to make supper and shortly after, Aidan went out to have a look and found that Sissy had had two more–the second one even bigger than the first, and the runt at the end. But the runt was not really small, just smaller than his brothers. It was certainly the year of the boy, all babies were boys except for Mimi. So now we have Thor, Loki, and Snowball.
So, now it’s over and I can breath again. It was very stressful–I can’t believe I used to do this for 35 ewes. In winter!! But for now everyone is healthy. Starving Marvin is outside now, safely in the lamb pen but feeding off Momma goat, (with help of course). Momma Goat just hates him, and has to be watched carefully or she would grind him into a grease spot. Some of the babies have crooked legs, from being packed in like sardines, but the splints have come off Mimi and Donkey. Snowball was walking on her knuckles too and has been splinted and Marvin has splay legs–he’s splinted too. But these little guys are so malleable, it doesn’t take long to straighten them out. I wish I could post videos here, the babies don’t seem to mind the splints and they jump and cavort regardless. What a cutie pie!! Nothing is as cute as a baby goat!!