The rain has finally stopped but my adrenaline is still rushing. Sleep was a stranger to me through the night. My thoughts were constantly being directed out to the pen.
At the 2am hour I had decided to get the coffee started before taking any action. While the pot was brewing I began organizing my moves.
I prepared a syringe of milk replacer, I warmed up the pump of Lamb and Kid Kare, folded up a towel and prepared the oil lamp to walk out to the pen. Not knowing what I would find. I threw on the jeans from yesterday, blood and iodine stained. All was planned and ready. I’m going to sit a minute and have my coffee.
Ok! I think I’m ready. Everything is at the back door and I put on my boots and rain parka. Filling my pockets with all the essentials. The rain is really coming down hard. Lamp is lit and held out front to scarcely see my way to the goat pen. Unlocking the gate and walking into the shelter I see that mommy and kid are doing just fine.
The above photo was taken shortly after the birth yesterday at 1:30 pm. As of this morning they were still doing great. Resting comfortably and staying dry.
The part of this miracle that is funny is the fact that I didn’t know Flake was pregnant. That was at least until a couple weeks ago. All this time I had been watching my other doe, thinking she would be the first to deliver. Even when I was halter training Flake about 3 weeks ago, I didn’t even suspect that she was pregnant.
I had been reading as to what to watch for since this is our first time kidding. First time for Jaime and I, and a first for both the does. With all the preparations I’ve been making to make sure everyone has a place and is comfortable, I finally had to tell myself – “it will be what it will be”. You can acquire all the information but nothing comes close to actually experiencing it first hand.
Yes, it is true, that the udder will fill 1 to 2 weeks before delivery. Yes, it is true that they will generally deliver at the warmest time of day so that the newborn kid will thrive. I am so grateful for that information. Since I’ve been caring for my goats for only two years, I am by no means an expert. I do know I love my goats dearly because they drive me crazy. All my love for them and caring of them pay off when Jaime and I were able to witness the birth of this precious newborn kid.
Flake (our Alpine doe) experienced a successful uncomplicated birth. Jaime and I, we were like 2 fish out of water, flopping around not knowing what to do.
Earlier in the day, Jaime and I had gone out to construct a chicken coop. To prepare for the purchase of a few hens and rooster. I hadn’t let the goats out as they are always curious as to what I’m doing.
I was finishing the frame construction when Jaime asked me what was wrong with Flake? My thought were-“Oh boy! What’s wrong now?”. Dropping the hammer and stable gun, I went to see Flake. She was down in the dirt and I could see her trying to push the kid out. I went in to lead her into the shelter and there we witnessed the birth of this beautiful Alpine doe.
In the preparing for the does to kid I had purchased a baby kit from Hoegger Goat Supply. They carry both, a birthing kit and a baby kit. I opted for the baby kit and I also went to Rite-Aid to pick up some disposable gloves, iodine, disinfectant wipes, and bulb syringe. The birthing kit from Hoegger Goat Supply verses buying from the pharmacy costs the same, so if you can purchase the birthing kit that would be a good choice as the kit does have the umbilical clamps (we had to substitute). In using the baby kit, so far, what I have found very beneficial is the Lamb and Kid Kare. If you should purchase the baby kit with the goat serum, please be sure to also purchase the epinephrine. As the kit does not include it and if this is your first time also, you will not be aware of your newborn having an allergic reaction to the serum (which is an indicated note on the serum bottle). Get the items before hand so that when the time comes you won’t have to think about what to do in an emergency.
After the birth we gave the newborn 2 pumps of Lamb and Kid Kare to help give it a boost. We had also given Flake a dose of maple syrup to give her a boost of energy. Flake was also eating fresh hay and grain shortly after the birth.
I wasn’t sure how soon the afterbirth would be expelled. I did read information as to what would happen if it weren’t. So this brought an area of concern. Luckily my neighbor came by who has had goat experience, she indicated to me that it would be in an hour or two after birth. Sure enough, I gently massaged Flake’s belly and she had expelled the afterbirth two hours later.
All I can say…………this is the life for me. (I’m too tired to say anything else). Please feel free to come on board and we can talk talk talk some more, lovin the life.
- How Goats (and Their Poo) Made Argan Oil Big (bellasugar.com)
- Poseur Goats Faking Accents To Impress New Pals (theawl.com)
- The Roar of Awakening: Are You Clear About Who You Are? (soulballast.wordpress.com)