Here we go again! The roller-coaster that is Kidding Season is off and running. The kidding pads are washed and stacked, the Blue Brew (actually YMCP for Goats) is at the ready, the lambar has been cleaned and descaled, and the Pasteurizer awaits. We have dug out the kid basket and replaced the old shabby kidding towels with newer fluffier ones. The OB Lube is in the pocket of my chore coat as is the bottle of Oxytocin and a syringe to administer it if needed. The does are starting to come in for grain once a day and they are clipped around the tail and back legs and udder and vaccinated with CD&T, Lysign, and given B0De, and Vitamin A&D about 3 weeks before they are due. OH... and the Barn cam Monitor is placed so I can see it from my nice warm bed. :-D
We are as ready as we can get. It is with an undimmed enthusiasm that I look forward to new babies and new milkers but it is tempered a bit by the sure knowledge that something can easily go wrong as we freshen 17 does this season. We hope that you will come along on the ride and enjoy the highs and push through the lows with us. If you have questions or comments please feel free to e-mail us at Sandy@reueldg.com We will make every effort to respond to your e-mail in a timely manner.
At this time we are not taking any more reservations for our 2021 kids. If any kids become available they will be listed on our For Sale page. We really appreciate your interest. Thank you.
Zahvia came in to have her feet trimmed on January 27. She stood nicely and I commented to Darrel that she didn't look like she would be delivering until the end of February. Her udder was just barely showing any new tissue and she was trim looking. She was vaccinated and trimmed up with the rest of the February due does but I didn't start graining her yet. Saturday afternoon Darrel came in to bring us the mail and pointed to the monitor and said "look at that! You have a baby out there!"
Indeed we did - a strapping and very vocal buckling. Momma had had him in the loafing pen and had cleaned him up perfectly. We hustled out to the barn and I got the hair dryer plugged in and a towel while Darrel got the baby and brought him in...He was perfectly clean and totally slime free so all I had to do was blow him dry and tuck him into the basket to warm up a bit while I milked Zahvia for the very first time ever.... I expected a fair amount of stepping around and kicking at my hands but she was an absolute sweetheart. She stepped once and then stood like a trooper while I milked about 10 oz out of a tiny but beautifully attached udder.
She got an extra pat and an extra cookie as she left the milkroom and went back to the loafing pen to finish cleaning and get some rest. He boy latched onto the nipple and sucked down 8+ ounces of colostrum without pause. He was quickly tucked into the kid TiPi with a 60 watt light bulb keeping him toasty warm for the night. The strapping young man tipped the scales at 7.4 pounds. Zahviah must have been bred the day we put her in with the buck. It was a beautiful kidding and I am hoping for 16 more just like it!
Today dawned chilly (22 degrees) and bright. Imagine my surprise when I turned on the water and it slowly ran out....Certainly shouldn't be a frozen pipe because it wasn't that cold. We spent the best part of the day trying to get the water system up and running and getting water to all the animals. Finally had to call the pump guy that installed the system and make an appointment for him to come and repair the problem tomorrow... Zara spent last night in the kidding stall because her udder was very full as were her teats. She was restless and spent all night standing, nibbling on her hay and sipping at her water. After graining her and checking her over I put her back in the kidding stall after morning chores. She spent all day standing around and basically looking miserable. At evening chores she was showing small strings of pre birthing goo. It was very nice and clear.
While Zara is distrustful of any changes in her routine, she seemed quite content in the kidding stall and I told her that I would be watching her on camera and that she should do this kidding thing soon so I could get some sleep. Apparently it worked because she stood around until 9 PM ...finally laid down and started pushing like mad. She pushed out a 6.5 pound buckling before I could get my coat on... a quick check found kid #2 in good position and ready for delivery.
I quickly moved the baby boy to a clean kidding pad and slicked his face clear and covered him. Meanwhile Zara was busy pushing baby # 2 out in a hurry and in moments we had a very spotted 6.7 pound baby girl. A few moments and she was tucked under a warm towel with her brother and snorting slime from her nose.
In a short time, Zara was pushing again but I only had one front leg in the birth canal...a little exploring found baby #3 had his left front leg up and his right front leg and head turned down to the left of the doe. It was a pretty easy process to get his head up and his nose next to that leg. A little tug and the third made his arrival. He tipped the scales at 5.9 pounds. Momma was much relieved and after she had a chance to check the kids we lugged the basket full to the milk-room where they were dried, examined and tucked into the basket while we thawed heat treated colostrum for the girl and milked Zara to feed the boys.
All of the kids had about 7-8 oz of warm colostrum and they were tucked into the kid TiPi to sleep it off. Mom returned to the kidding stall to rest and clean and to drink her bucket or warm blue brew. It was a really nice kidding and Zara evicted her hostages in a total of about 25 minutes... I stumbled into the house at about 10:30 and really wished that the water was working because a shower would have been so nice...
Very Dorky baby pictures below. Congratulations Hannah your little girl is going to be stunning.
I carefully checked Jole over when she came in on Wednesday morning and found that her udder was considerably larger, her teats had colostrum in them and her tail head ligaments were gone. I had Darrel return her to the kidding stall and guessed that she would deliver at about 3:00 in the afternoon. I watched her carefully all day as 3:00 came and went. Jole was up and down all day and at about 3:30 she started sniffing the straw behind her and eating some of it. They generally do that when they have been discharging some pre birthing fluids... She was pretty relaxed and content despite being alone in the kidding pen. We ate supper at 5:00 PM and sat down to watch the news. I was expecting to see Jole in hard labor but she kept doing her thing and a full tummy and a warm fire and too little sleep caught up with me.
I dozed a bit waking up at 7:00 when it was time to do chores. Glancing up at the monitor I saw Jole licking of a nice big kid! I got my cold weather gear on and headed out to get the little Popsicle dried off and warmed up. Just as I slicked the slime off and got the boy onto the clean landing pad Jole pushed out her second nice sized and active kid...A doe!... She is in a plain brown wrapper but is beautifully long with a nice wide rump. Your second kid has arrived, Hannah!
We carefully dried and fluffed the two kids weighed them and checked for any possible defects. I milked Jole, her udder was softly full and as soft as a well worn glove. We tucked the kids into the basket and covered them with a warm towel while I milked the other 3 does and while the frozen, heat treated, colostrum thawed for the doe and the boy's supper was milked, bottled and set in the bucket of warm water to stay warm. Darrel fed the three that were born last week and I cleaned up the milk room. Very quickly the newborns were introduced to their bottles. They both drank like they were starving and soon were quite full and sleepy. The baby girl got her collar and both were tucked into the warm TiPi to sleep off their milk comas.
This morning they were up on their feet and ready for a good breakfast. Nice strong, hungry and active kids. Jole returned to the herd and gave us 3 pints of extra colostrum for the freezer. The strapping first born, weighed in at 8 pounds and his very strong and hungry sister weighed in at 7.4 pounds. It was a textbook delivery and we are very thankful. Now we get a bit of a break until the first week in March.
Joanie has been hanging out in the kidding pen all day and by evening chores she really looked like she might just deliver those kids immediately. We milked and cleaned up and checked Joanie and headed into relax for the evening. I really thought that Joanie was going to get me up at some unholy hour to deliver her kids. I spent the night watching the monitor waiting for her to get busy. She was up and down quite a bit but at 6:30am she was resting comfortably. I dozed off and awoke to LeRoy's call for me to get his meds and our coffee as we do every morning. I groggily opened and focused my eyes to see Joanie pushing very hard and doing quite a bit of thrashing around. I quickly got into my chore clothes and headed out to give her a hand. Joanie had a baby's head out and a quick check found a second kid on top with nose in position and her feet down on either side of the kid whose head was out. I called Darrell as I worked to see what I could do the get the log jam fixed up... Darrel arrived and steadied Joanie while I moved the first kid's head aside a little and found one front foot.
I got a dry cloth and a firm grip on the foot with one hand and worked my fingers around the back of the head with the other, then as Joanie gave a mighty heave I pulled hard and we managed to get the big girl out. She was immediately followed by a smaller doe who just squirted out and landed face first in a deep pool of slime. The first doe was dead and the second doe was in danger of drowning. I worked hard to clear her face and rubbed her chest and body hard as she tried to suck in air.... It was touch and go for awhile and her tongue and gums were very dark....finally she started gaining ground and getting some air and started pinking up.
I turned back to Joanie who was quietly pushing I found another kid, much smaller, ready to be born. It was a buck who apparently died a couple days earlier. He was perfectly formed but apparently separated from the placenta before birth. The first doe died during the delivery process. She was just stuck too long and her umbilical cord was compressed. While I an really sorry to lose such a beautiful kid I am delighted that her sister is thriving.
She was having a very hard time breathing so I gave her 1/4cc of Dexamethesone and brought her in the house to see if we could save her. I managed to get a little colostrum into her and had her in a basket by my chair. Suddenly she gave a loud cry and I reached down and picked her up. I was afraid that that cry was a death cry. She promptly filled my hand with about a 1/2 cup of tiny black baby berries... The little poop!
The Dex got her lungs dried out and she quickly revived and sucked down a big meal of colostrum before curling up and going fast asleep. She hasn't looked back since and is very good on the lambar. Joanie got up and very, very stiffly shuffled around after her delivery and I was very worried that she had torn something during the process. I milked her in the kidding stall and had Darryl move her to the spare kidding stall so we could move Zaynah in and watch her on camera. By evening chores, Joanie was moving much better and she jumped up on her stand for evening milking, cleaned and returned to the doe pen. The doeling will be retained and I need to find just the right name for her.
The weights on Joanie's triplets were 7.1, 6.6 and 3.9 pounds.
Update on Joanie - March 8, 2021: Joanie is doing very well. She is moving into the barn and out to pasture with the herd as normal. She isn't swollen but she is obviously a little sore. I gave her Banamine 2 times a day after she cleaned and for one more day. She is milking nicely from a beautifully soft udder.
I watched Zaynah all day long while she slowly progressed. I was very sore from the ordeal that we had delivering Joanie's triplets. I sure don't bounce back like I used to. Getting old isn't for the faint of heart!
At 4:00 I started getting things sorted out for supper and decided we would have left overspare ribs and leftover Bulgar along with fresh asparagus. A very easy meal after a tough day...I was rattling around in the kitchen when LeRoy called, "She's pushing!" Yep, sure enough, Zaynah was pushing. I left dinner prep and headed out to catch babies....
Well, hummmmm, this is a bit strange.... I found legs but no head after searching for the head I realized that I had back legs and the kid was lying on her back...There was absolutely no room to roll the kid over so while Darrel held Zaynah I pulled with each contraction...we were making good progress until the kid's shoulders locked and I couldn't move her.. I finally pulled her UP against the pelvis and back and she came free. It took a lot of cleaning to get her face clear and soon she was breathing well. Because the kid was on her back I couldn't pull her down and back in the normal direction that follows the birth canal. If I had pulled her that way it probably would have meant a broken back.
A quick check found a big second kid with front feet out and head turned back. The kid was so long bodied and necked that I couldn't grasp his head to bring it up into position...Every time I pushed the legs back so I could bring the head up, the head was out of reach. I finally decided that this kid would have to be pulled with his head back...I certainly do NOT recommend this procedure but in the past 45+ years I have pulled 4-5 kids with a head back...All the kids and the does survived so it can be done. Well, I got the kid's legs and had Darrel pull. I helped him get the right angle and worked the tissues over the kid and he arrived in short order.
Yep, another buck kid, this one in perfect position, slid out to join his siblings on the kidding pad. I went in to check Zaynah to see if I could feel any uterine tears and to check for any more kids...I was surprised to find yet another kid deep in the uterus. I quickly pulled him and found that he had died a day or so earlier. He was smaller and less well developed than he would have been at full term and his right rear leg was missing below the hock. There are pictures of him in the "Birth Defects" section under the "Goat Info tab" of the website.
We hauled all the kids off to the milk room to be processed and fluffed dry and tucked them into the basket while we milked the girls and prepared the bottles of colostrum for the newborns. Joanie came in with Zaynah and they both hopped up on their stands for milking. Zaynah returned to the kidding stall to clean. We trudged into the house and found that LeRoy and LaNette had waited for me for supper so we sat down to a nice hot meal. We dined fashionably late at 8:30PM.
Zaynah's quads tipped the scale at 8.3, 5.7, 8.0 and 8.1 pounds. Pretty healthy sizes for quads!
Zakia has been discharging for about a week now. Nice clear goo stringing in a small string. I checked her ligaments last week and found that they were gone completely so I put her in the kidding stall where she was certainly not very happy. She spent two nights and one day hanging out in there and being unhappy. When I checked her ligaments again on the morning of the second day I found them very strong and firm so back in with the herd she went.
On Monday evening I put her back in the kidding pen as the ligaments were gone and she was still stringing. She continued to eat and sip her water so I waited until Tuesday morning to do a vaginal check. I found a kid with one foot and a nose at the cervix and the cervix was very soft and opening nicely. Since Zakia was in no distress and was eating and drinking, I left her in the kidding stall to work on kidding for the rest of the day. Her pelvis was still quite tight and the kid's foot felt pretty large so I figured she needed time to get the job done.
At about 3:30 Zakia started to do some good pushing so I put supper on hold and headed out to see what was happening. Darrel arrived soon after I called him and held Zakia so that I could do a good check...I found that her cervix was open and that there was a big head and foot lined up and ready for delivery... I got a hold of the foot and pulled the leg out straight and let Zakia push hard while I assisted the delivery. It took a little doing but we got the nice little 6 pound doe into the world. I then reached back in and found only afterbirth and decided she was finished. Hard to believe that she had just one and it was only 6 pounds, but Zakia is now a very mature long yearling and she didn't appear to be all that big so we took the baby off to the milkroom and we were thankful that it was a girl. Zakia took several sips of her warm Blue Brew and wandered around her pen a bit. Meanwhile, I dried and fluffed the baby and fed her a good meal of colostrum. We headed in to get dinner and relax before 7:00 PM chores.
I relaxed watching the news after supper and kept an eye on the monitor. Suddenly I looked very closely and saw what looked like a kid's head out...it was 6:15 by this time and I headed out to find that indeed there was a head and nothing else, hanging out. Darrel appeared and held Zakia again while I tried to slide my hand in beside the kid's head and find a leg..I finally found a knee and managed to trace down to the foot. Now the problem was that I couldn't push that head back in side in order to gain room to bring the foot up into position. Fortunately it was a very long kid and I was able to push the kid back about an inch and finally got the foot up and out. Several good pushes from Zakia and a strong steady pull on the leg and head and we had a stout 8.9 pound buckling on the pad. It took a little doing but we managed to get his face clear so he could breathe.
A quick check found yet another kid in position and a few good solid pushes and another pretty doeling arrived, weighing in at 7.1 pounds! Three very nice kids and one tired momma. We got the kids dried off and put the girls' colostrum in warm water to thaw. By now it was milking time so I milked everyone bringing Zakia in last to be hand milked She managed a nice pint of extra rich colostrum and returned to the kidding stall where she rested and worked on cleaning. The kids all ate vigorously and were tucked into the newborn TiPi for the night.
I have never had a doe hide her kids so well. I really couldn't feel anything but afterbirth when I checked after the first kid was born. I was quite concerned about having a dry birth because she had leaked fluid for so long. The first born and the buckling were pretty dry and had she not delivered them when she did they could have been very dry. We are very happy to add one of these girls to our keeper pen and to send the other off to Hannah. After first thinking Zakia was a bit of a slacker only having a single 6 pound baby, we agreed that she was in fact an over achiever carrying 22 pounds of kids plus fluids and afterbirth.
There ya go more adventures from the kidding pen. Never a dull moment and always something new!
Jesse has been coming in for her grain regularly and her udder has remained soft and she basically looked like she was not in any hurry to kid. Friday she seemed a bit more stand-offish with the rest of the herd and not as eager to eat hay. She came in for her breakfast grain and ate it well and then was put into the kidding stall where she was quite content. Her udder and teats were filling nicely and
her udder was still very soft but her teats were full of colostrum.
She was quiet and relaxed all day and that evening she seemed to have lost her ligaments. She went back into the kidding stall for the night
and I resigned myself to no sleep and late night barn cam watching.
Morning dawned chilly and I headed up to fix the morning coffee and checked Jesse who was lying in the middle of the pen looking quite relaxed. As I got LeRoy's coffee to him and started to sit on my bed with mine, I looked at the screen again and there was Jesse tending to a very still black kid....I thought the kid was dead because he didn't move but she was licking him clean. I hustled into my barn cloths over my PJs and called for Darrel to come help me.
Jesse's kid was indeed alive and clean I put the very black boy on a clean kidding pad and checked Jesse to find nose and toes that belonged to a somewhat smaller kid. She was quickly evicted from the hot tub and joined her brother under a warm towel. A quick check revealed yet another kid in perfect position. He was delivered in short order and we lugged the
happy trio off to be processed and fed before doing morning chores.
Jesse is an average size young doe. She truly looked as if she had one kid at most. There really is no way to accurately predict the number of kids from the outward appearance of the does. Her kids weighed in at a very healthy 7.0, 6.4, and 7.4 pounds. We are delighted to welcome Reuel Jeshaiah's FAL Easter Joy to our herd.
Jubilatte wandered around the milker's pen as normal but was tending to move away from the rest of the herd. I checked her ligaments at morning milking and found they were very soft and ready for delivery, Jubilatte's udder was filling as were her teats . Her udder was still very soft and she looked a lot like she might hold out on us for another day. She went back into the kidding stall for the night. She wandered around the stall, paused to paw at the bedding and sniff at her hay...This went on until 10:30 when she turned around to reveal a good string of birthing goo.
I headed out to the barn to get things ready for the new arrivals. Darrel arrived and a quick check revealed a log jam just on the other side of a very soft but only partially open cervix. A little stretching and soon the cervix was open. I discovered the problem and set to work sorting. Jubilatte had 2 kids stacked one on top of the other. I had one front foot and no idea where it belonged. I managed to locate another front leg, this one was bent at the knee and tucked up beside the head. A little exploring and I got one foot forward that was attached to the baby on top ... I pushed the lower baby's head back a bit as I tugged on the one front leg finally getting it fully extended. A good push from Latte and a firm tug on the kid's head and leg and we very quickly had a nice doe kid on the pad.
Another check revealed the second kid was trying to come with her legs bent at the knee and tucked up under her... I pushed her back a bit and snagged one front leg and extended it. Now that the head wasn't engaged (I pushed it back in order to get a leg extended) she decided to turn her head off to the side. I quickly turned it back into position. Placing my hand on top of the head and pulling it forward I managed to get it into the birth canal I quickly found and extended the leg and wiped slime from the kid's face even as Jubilatte pushed a very wildly spotted and splashed doe kid in to my hands.
Babies were hurried off to the milkroom where they were quickly dried off as their first bottle of colostrum thawed in the sink. Both doe kids were very active and starving and they quickly sucked down 6 oz of colostrum and managed to stand up. Jubilatte came in and was milked and returned to the kidding pen for the rest of the night. The two girls were put into their Tipi with Jeshaiah's trio and we headed in for the night. Both of the girls tipped the scale at 8 pounds each and in the morning they finished 17 oz of colostrum each and set off to explore their world.
Jubilatte and the babies are doing well and we are looking forward to seeing how they grow. Congratulations, Debra, on your doe Reuel Jubilatte's FAL Jaanae and Heather on your doe Reuel Jubilatte's FAL Jubilee.
Jig has been steadily progressing toward delivery and seemed to be ready so she went into the kidding stall where she quietly relaxed, ate and drank and rested, preparing herself for the labor to come. Mid afternoon she went into strong labor and I headed out to catch her kids as they were born.
Her first arrived quickly and was soon shaking slime from her ears and sucking in air. The second was presented back feet first and quickly joined her sister. A short pause and kid number three arrived also back feet first.
It took her a little extra effort to clear her airway but the trio were very quickly transported to the milkroom for processing. Jig presented us with a beautiful trio of uniform dark red does. The kids were super active and ate vigorously. Jig added colostrum to our stored and didn't miss a beat. She returned to the milker pen after evening milking and Jenga took over the kidding pen. Beautiful set of does weighing in at: 7.4, 6.3 and 7.3 pounds. Couldn't have asked for a better kidding!
Poor Jenga has been struggling for a week with a kid apparently pressing on her nerves to her back legs and with trying to get enough air when she would lie down. Because of this she stood up all night when in the kidding stall. She was just miserable and devised a way to get some rest by leaning against the wall with her butt in the corner and letting her head hang down. It was almost painful to watch her struggle so.
On Monday night she again spent the night in the kidding stall and I expected to be delivering her kids in the wee hours of the morning. At about 1:30AM she finally managed to lie down and seemed to be resting comfortably. At each check of the monitor she remained in that position until 6:30AM check when she was standing over a kid licking him clean.
Quickly jumping into my sweats over my jammies....(OK maybe not so quickly but it was as quickly as I could manage) I made my way through the cold morning air to help Jenga out. When I got to the barn the baby was up literally running around the pen and trying to get Jenga to let him nurse. He was slime free and starving. I tried to put him on the kidding pad and to cover him with a warm dry towel but he would have none of that so while Darrel held Jenga, I checked and found that kid #2 was ready to arrive and, while I tried to keep baby #1 from being showered in birth fluids, we quickly delivered a second somewhat smaller buckling. He was content to stay put on the pad and work on getting air in and out.
I checked again and found another slightly more refined kid ready to make her exit. She very soon found herself beside her brother on the pad. Darrel plopped the two kids on their pad into our basket and we gathered up kid #1 and headed to the milkroom. Everyone got dried collared, fed a first meal of colostrum and we tucked them into the newborn tipi to rest. I hiked back to the house for a nice cup of coffee and to change into my regular chore clothes without my jammies underneath.
The babies weighed in at: 8.8, 7.6, and 7.0 pounds. They ate a big meal of colostrum after we finished morning milking. Good Job Jenga. Meet Reuel Jenga's JET Jumble. She will be retained.
Glynis seemed ready to kid for several days but this morning she had colostrum in her teats so we were sure she would deliver before the day was over. It certainly was a perfect day to have kids, bright warm sunshine no wind and temps in the mid to upper 60's. I watched her all day long as she pawed the bedding, sniffed, and generally prepared for delivery...Mid afternoon is the favored time to give birth if not at chore time or just after....still no hard labor.
Milking and clean up were completed for the evening and since Glynis hadn't eaten or had a drink it was obviously time to check. I washed her off put lots of lube over my hand, wrist, and forearm...on both sides... and carefully inserted my gloved hand. She was very tight but her cervix was soft and easily opened. Her pelvis was tight. I could feel a kid right at the lip of the pelvis. He was curled up with his feet tucked under his chest and his head turned to the doe's left and tucked down behind his elbow. A lot of work and I finally got his head up but couldn't get it into the birth canal since as soon as I let go of the head he tucked it back down and back....
I tried plan B and unfolded his legs and brought the front feet out. Glynis' pelvis was still so tight that I barely had room to reach back and see if I could find that head again...After several attempts I realized that it just wasn't going to happen and there was no way to get the head up and through. By this time, the kid had stopped moving. I tried to move the kid several more times and finally determined that the only way the kid was coming out was by shooting the doe and surgically removing the kid or pulling the now dead kid with his head back. I decided that we would try to pull the kid and hope the doe survived. It took several sessions of pulling and copious amounts of lube until we finally had the kid's chest and front legs out....More very hard pulling while I stretched the tissues around the kid and the head and rib cage emerged. We quickly had the baby on the pad and I went back to check and see if there was another.
I didn't feel one but there was a lot of afterbirth so I gave Glynis a bear hug and still felt no kid. The kid weighed in at 8.9 pounds and he was beautiful. He was a light golden red with lots of chrome. He was long and flat ribbed with a strong head and beautiful ears. In short he looked like the Jr. Herd sire I was hoping for... :-(
We very quickly turned our attention to Glynis, getting her up and moving around a little and supplying her with a nice warm bucket of Blue Brew. She drank about a quart and immediately shuffled over and started licking off her baby and me. She was baby-talking to both of us and trying to be a good mom. Darrell took care of the kid while I milked Glynis in the pen and encouraged her to drink more Blue Brew.
Glynis was very swollen and had a very hard time controlling one back leg. I wasn't sure if she had torn . I gave her a shot of Oxytocin and we cleaned out her pen and re bedded with clean straw and gave her some fresh hay. Darrel headed out to his house and I gave Glynis a couple cookies and headed in for the night. At this point I was very afraid we were going to lose Glynis.
Morning found her standing in her pen "talking" quietly and she came in for milking and with some help got up on her stand. She had very little milk but seemed to be very comfortable with her routine. We put her on out with the herd and hoped for the best. Glynis was very, very swollen but an application of Preparation H to the swollen tissues made an immediate difference and made her much more comfortable. She still has a little trouble with her back leg but it is very much better. She is eating and grazing with the herd and eating quite a bit of her grain. As of today (4/19) she is continuing to improve and seems to be doing great. We didn't see her clean so we know that she is still at risk of a uterine infection. We are cautiously optimistic.
Saturday morning was a beautiful spring day, warm and bright and a perfect day to have a baby or two. No Fool came in for her morning grain. She hopped right up on the stand and devoured her grain ration like she was starving. Her tail head was raised and her ligaments were gone and her udder was softly full. It was pretty clear that this was going to be delivering day. I returned No Fool to her pen with the other 3 pregnant yearlings. I usually keep the yearlings in with their regular buddies even when they are kidding. They are calmer and more relaxed than when they are separated in the kidding pen. She spent her morning wandering around and eating and enjoying the sunshine.
A little after one in the afternoon I could see that she was lying just at the edge of the camera frame. I could just see her tail and vulva area. It was evident that she was having contractions but was very calm and relaxed. About 15-20 minutes later she had a very active kid on the ground and momma was busy cleaning her off. I gathered up the little spotted doeling and took her in to be dried with the hair dryer and examined.
I got a bottle of heat treated colostrum and put it in the bucket of the hot water. Momma came in and hopped up on her stand and danced a little until she figured out what was happening. Baby weighed in at a respectable 5.9 pounds. Momma cleaned quickly and has joined the milking string. A perfect delivery on a beautifully warm afternoon. Baby drank a healthy first meal of 6 ounces and was tucked into the newborn tipi for a nice warm nap.
Jodi is an old pro at this kidding thing and a steady milker with a great work ethic. She carries her kids well and delivers on or very close to her due date. This year was no exception. Jodi went into the kidding pen on Tuesday morning and settled right down. Early in the afternoon she went into labor delivering twin bucklings with no fuss or bother. Her boys weighed in at 8.4 and 6.6 pounds. They appeared sturdy and robust.
The first born sucked down his first meal of colostrum like a pro but the second born didn't want to suck. We managed to get about a ounce down him and we tucked them into their warm tipi to rest. Their next meal again the first born buckling ate normally and both kids were up and active but the smaller kid still wouldn't suck. Again we got a couple ounces into him and put them both into their warm house. We fed the boys as usual with the smaller kid never really sucking. He seemed to be normal in every way but after 3 days he died. I expect that he had some internal problems that caused his problems. His brother is thriving and growing like a weed.
Zonda had been slowly growing a substantial udder for a first freshening yearling. She is well grown and was as wide as the "out door" from the Milkroom. We expected that she might have triplets but often outward appearances are deceiving. We watched her closely as she progressed toward her delivery. She went into labor and progressed smoothly and delivered her twins without assistance. She was a bit confused as to what to do with them but she kept doing what she is supposed to be doing. She did a great job for a first timer.
Zonda has been milking very nicely and is gradually increasing her production. She will make a wonderful family milker. Her twin bucks weighed in at 7.5 and 7.3 pounds and were born starving!
Justified is a promising youngster who has been maturing slowly into a nice yearling. She is slowly increasing her production and quickly learning the routine as a milker. She and Jax moved in with the milking herd with no fuss or bother. Justy, managed her kidding perfectly and her two doelings are thriving. She did a fine job on the delivery but wasn't quite sure of what to do with the little ones once they arrived. She was quite alarmed with the kids crying, yet didn't want much to do with them. They weighed in at a respectable 6.2 and 6.3 pounds.
Poor Jana had been struggling for the past 2 weeks. Sleeping was next to impossible and even breathing was a challenge. She spent her days standing for the most part and her nights up on her knees or sitting like a huge dog, struggling to breathe. All through her pregnancy she continued to eat and walk in and out to pasture with the rest of the herd. Starting June 2nd or so we put her in the kidding stall at night so I could keep a close eye on her. Every morning she was eager to return to the herd until Sunday.
Sunday, she didn't want to come out of the kidding stall in the morning even for her grain. We took her grain to her and she ate it and spent the rest of the day getting up and down and trying to rest. She was very restless. Darrel checked on her in the late afternoon and came in saying that she had a foot out...I couldn't see any sign of a foot or any part of a kid in process of being born on the monitor but it was time to check and see how things were progressing.
We washed her vulva and surrounding area put on clean gloves and lots of lube. Jana cooperated very well and stood as I carefully slid my hand in to check the position of the kids and I found that Jana was completely dilated. A little deeper exploration found a kid wadded up in a ball. The kid felt very strange: the leg bones were really small and the head seemed abnormal.
A little manipulation and soon I had the kid out and on the kidding pad. It was a buck with a badly deformed head. His picture is on the "Birth Defects" section of this website. He was born alive but lived only about 10 minutes.
Further exploration found the next kid ready to be delivered and a couple good pushes later we had a big, silver with black spotted buckling sputtering on the pad. Checking again I found a third beautiful buckling. This one was black with white spots.
Sadly, no does from Jana for us this year. The boys are thriving and Jana quickly cleaned and returned to the doe pen.
Jana was just huge before she kidded and she looked like she would have 4 or more kids instead she delivered a 4.2 pound deformed kid, a 9 pound silver and black boy and a 7.3 pound black and white boy. Just another example showing that appearances are deceiving. We are very thankful that her delivery went smoothly and that she and her boys are doing very well.
Wednesday morning dawned HOT and still and the day progressed to record setting temperatures. The afternoon temps reached a record setting 114 degrees. The goats were handling the heat better than expected and the whole herd retired to the shade behind the barn and dug down to take advantage of cooler dirt. The back where they like to lie had been well soaked with water the night before so they had some damp cool dirt under them. Only one doe stayed in the barn. We had opted not to pen Jax in the kidding stall since it was so hot.
As the afternoon continued to heat up Jax went into hard labor. Darrel and I went out to help. Jax had her first kid in good position and all we did was put her on a pad. The barn was unbelievably hot and Jax was panting. I decided to check on the position of the second kid and pulled him very quickly to try and spare Jax any more exertion in the heat. When I reached my gloved hand in to check the kid it was unbelievably HOT...Jax's internal temperature was unbelievable. Both of the babies were also very hot. We rushed them into the milkroom and turned the air conditioner on to try to cool them down.
Jax got a cool bucket of YMCP for goats and we poured a bucket of cool water on her back. Jax's kids slowly cooled down a bit and got all the welcoming stuff done. Jax came in for milking and got up on the stand. She stood nicely for milking and ate her grain ration. She was considerably cooler and acted just fine. She was sent out the milk room exit and rejoined the herd.
The kids both ate very well and were tucked into their Tipi for a well earned nap. The fancy little doeling weighed in at a healthy 7 pounds and her brother was 6.6 pounds. The doeling is very "moldy" and while at first glance she appeared to be black, after she dried the many spots and splashes of dark silvery gray appeared. When she is a bit older and clipped she will have lots of silver spots to go along with her white splashes. She has quite the personality and is quite the little explorer.
We had 2 kids born with visible birth defects. This is the first year that I have had 2 birth defects and have generally had a very few over the years. Thankfully we did not loose any does nor did we need to have any c-sections. Very few of the kids were malpositioned and with the exception of Glynis' buckling they were all easy fixes.
We had 40 kids born with 18 does and 22 bucks. There were 3 singles born, 6 sets of twins, 7 sets of triplets and one set of quads.
As we have wrapped up this kidding season I would like to thank all of you who have added a Reuel doe or buck to your herd. We wish you all the best with your kids and hope that you will let us know how they are doing.
We purchased a nice young buck from K-N-H Ranch and are looking forward to seeing how he works in our herd. I plan on having him breed some nice does this fall. Thank you Heather for entrusting him to us.
I will be working on our planned breedings list for next spring over the next few weeks. We will post it here when we have figured out what we want to do. We already have a number of reservations for next year's kid crop so I suggest you reserve your kids early of you are planning to add to your herd.
Good luck in your goat adventures and enjoy the ride :-)