Tuesday, May 01, 2012

*all* goat babies have arrived

That last wee post was from one of the girls :-)  Everything went great.  We had a bit of a surprise thrown into the mix.  We knew that two of our goats were expecting.  One of our (my sister's really) goats, Pipi, was not supposed to be pregnant.  A goat can be bred when they are at least 8 or 9months old and weigh at least 80 pounds.  Well, when it came time for breeding we felt that Pipi was just not big enough.  She was still on the small side, so we thought she should have another year to grow.  We recently found out that she is a genetic dwarf, so she is full size for her, just not to the usual standard for her breed.  That was good to know.  So fast forward to the other day.  We all went out to watch Honey give birth.  We were told by our vet that she was pregnant with one really large baby.  Hmmm, I was doubting that as she was only 3.5 months along (out of 5 months) and if the baby was already big she was going to be in trouble come labor day.  I was thinking she had multiples, but only time was going to tell.  I was in the process of putting a little birth kit together when the girls had come to the window to tell us she was in labor.  The kit included some dixie cups, iodine, dental floss, scissors, and dewormer.  As I was walking over to the barn the girls were shouting with joy...darn, I missed it!  No worries, I was there to see the *second* one being born :-)  Isabella thought a third one was on the way as there was another bulging.  So we waited...and waited...and waited.  Hmmm.  The afterbirth was not coming out (it was partially out), which wasn't a concern as it can take some time for it to do so.  But if there was another baby in there it shouldn't take too long before it follows it's siblings.  And it is possible that a kid can be retained, which means death to the kid, and possibly the mother.  We could have gone "in", but that would have required giving the mama an antibiotic, which I really wanted to avoid.  So I did the next best thing, got a homeopathic remedy that is supposed to help with a stalled labor.  If nothing else it should help with the retained afterbirth.  I gave her the remedy and about 1 or 2 minutes later she had a very noticeable contraction, which expelled the placenta.  Coincidence?  Could be.  We waited some more with nothing happening, so I gave her another dose, and again a very noticeable contraction and only a small bit  more afterbirth to come.  By this point I was pretty sure she was done.  After a while I went inside to get some things done, you know like start making dinner :-)  Important stuff.  Jeremiah needed to run some errands and decided to take all the kids with him.  I had not slept well the night before and was falling on my face!  He thought I could use a little quiet :-)  As he was leaving he suggested that I check in on Honey, just to be sure she was really done.  Off they went.

I wish I had energy as I would have been able to get a lot done, with all the kids out of the house, but sadly I was trying my best just to stay awake.  So I puttered with a few things.  I remembered that I was supposed to check on Honey.  Oy.  The barn seemed soooo far away (it's not at all in reality).  But I got myself a hat and went out the door.  All the animals were calling to me and acting like they hadn't been fed....like ever.  Ha, anyone with goats and chickens knows what I am talking about.  However, with all the excitement of the new babies I thought it was possible that they were not fed.  I decided that I would give them a wee bit of food, at least to tide them over should they have not been fed.  If you don't have goats then it may be hard to imagine the chaos in which it is to feed a mass of completely starved animals (I think in the goat world the definition of "starving" is to not have had food in the past 30 seconds or so).  I had to fend off one of the dwarf who jumped the fence that is around the storage door.  I finally poured the food into the containers.  I went back in to get some chicken feed.  As I was sprinkling that on the ground for the chickens I noticed that Pipi was not present.  That would be a BIG RED FLAG!  Goats will do anything to get food, and for one of them to not be there sent my alarm bells running.  I was looking around to see if she had escaped, or was hurt, or....just then I heard this "maaaaaa" that had a definite grunting to it at the end...you know like as if that goat was pushing out a baby!!!  The sound was coming from the other side of the barn.  I made my way there as quick as I could to see wee Pipi with a bulging sack/head sticking out of...well you know where.  Yikes!!!!  The girls kept thinking she was pregnant, these past two weeks, but I wasn't buying it.  I ran to the chicken barn to grab an arm load of fresh straw.  I threw it down behind Pipi as the ground below her was just dirt.  It was apparent that she was going to need a little help getting the baby out.  So I gently helped her and in another two contractions she had herself a cute baby boy!  We had to help him nurse as she was a bit freaked out over him trying to suckle.  But she is doing fine now.

The following day Jeremiah took a few of the kids on another errand.  Flannery and Saoirse stayed home with me.  I had more energy and planned on getting some things done.  The girls wanted to go outside, which is where they will spend most of their time in the next few weeks, to play with the baby goats.  As Flannery was heading over there she yelled out...."Lily had her baby!!!".  Once again we missed it.  She always gives birth when we are not looking :-)  She had a baby girl.  Phew, three mamas, 4 babies, all within 24 hours.  Hey, at least it's all over in one day!  Lily had her baby out in the yard, where it is just dirt, so we had to wash the cord as it had gotten dirty.  Other than that all went well.  Some of the mamas are being nasty to the other goat babies, but I am sure it will all calm down in a few days. 

And this means that in another three weeks or so....MILK!!!  Wooo Hooo!!!  Bring on the cheese, the yogurt and kefir!  YUM!!


Sarah said...

Wow - congratulations on your new goats.. hooray for multiplying resources! Happy for you about the dairy products too.. we have kefir in the fridge and a borrowed yogurt-maker running on the counter right now... bet your cheese will be amazing!

Bethany in mid-MO said...

How exciting!

I can't wait to get goats... some day.


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