She and Cocoa were both field bred early in the fall, so I didn't know exactly when they were due to kid. I could tell just by looking that Sweetie was further along than Cocoa, so I had been watching her closely for the last few weeks. Her udder was filling for about a month, but her tail ligaments had just "gone away" in the last two days and her sides sunk in on Tuesday, so I knew it would be soon. On Wednesday afternoon I went out to check on her and discovered that she had gone back into the pen by herself. This was not normal, usually she is wandering the property with her buddy. I went in and she started licking my hand and arm. I was pretty sure she was in very early labor although I didn't see her having any contractions
I wanted to stay with her, but Gabe's bus was due any minute and I had to go out front and wait for it. Plus, I thought I had plenty of time before things really got going. I got Gabe off of his bus, grabbed my phone, book, camera, and a drink and headed back out to the pen. As I got close I heard a teeny-tiny little "Maaahhh" and saw a slimy little bundle lying on the floor of the goat shed.
I was shocked! Sweetie hadn't made a sound! I got into the pen, crab walked into the shed (it's only 4 feet tall) and checked on the baby. It was breathing and healthy looking and Mama was cleaning it off just like she was supposed to.
|What a good mama!|
I praised her and waited for the twin that I was sure was coming. As I was waiting the twins (the human ones) got home from school and they and Lily came out and joined me. Aislyn was kind of grossed out by the "bubble" that was coming out of Sweetie, but she changed her tune once we were able to see the hooves and nose of the next baby.
Sweetie gave one big grunt and the baby started to slither out. Since she was standing I reached out, caught it, and laid it on the ground near Sweetie's head. It was entirely enclosed in the sac still, so I ripped it open and started cleaning off the baby's nose and mouth.
While I was doing that Sweetie gave another grunt and I looked up to see a THIRD baby being born! I reached out and caught it just before it hit the ground. It couldn't have taken her more than 3 minutes to get the second and third babies out.
Once everyone was cleaned off I made sure that each of them nursed, so that they got the colostrum that would keep them healthy in the coming weeks. Then it occurred to me to check and see what sexes they were. Three girls! That means we get to keep them all and breed them in a year or so. I am imagining huge quantities of milk for cheese making and, possibly, soap making in the future.
We named them Rose, Petunia, and Daisy. Everyone is doing well. Mama is nursing all three, without any need for me to bottle feed any of them. They spent a good part of this afternoon out in the, yard romping and playing with Boris, who's pretty sure that the babies are his and growls at any other animal that comes near them (except Mama, of course.)
The human kids are absolutely in love with them and I have to tell them constantly not to pick them up. Luckily, I don't have to follow the same rule, and pick them up at every opportunity. I tell myself that I'm just making sure they'll be friendly when they get bigger, but I really just want to give them cuddles.
Here are some more pictures of the new additions...
|Petunia is the smallest and most cuddly|
|Daisy is the biggest and most independent|
|Rose is the most curious|
|Notice Boris in the background, keeping an eye on "his" babies|
Other than spending a huge chunk of my day watching cute baby goats romp around, I am getting the garden ready. I just got the broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower in the ground today, which is a little late, but I hope we'll still get a decent harvest. Peas and lettuce will get planted this weekend, and I hope to get the tomato and pepper seeds started indoors too.
Sunday we will be going to pick up a feeder piglet to raise for the freezer. I've decided to name it Bacon as a reminder not to get too attached. Expect to see a post about little Bacon later this week.
Well, that's it for tonight. I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!