Monday, May 31, 2010

Birthday gifts

May 29th, 2010. Inspirations Zipporah presented me with three fine new kids~

The first one is a sweet doeling who looks just like Mama~
The second is the white buckling, and the third is a tiny black doeling with a white angel on her brow~

This is their story~

This weekend I spend some quality time in the barn. On Saturday morning, I noticed my doe Zipporah was more talkative than usual and seemed to want to follow me around. I knew she was getting close to kidding, so I decided I had better keep a close eye on her. I passed the morning cleaning up her stall, so that we would have a clean, comfy place to have her babies. It was a big job, but I had plenty of clean fresh straw to lay down when it was finally clean. The sun was bright and warm, and I checked on her every half hour during the day, while I weeded and puttered in the garden.
The trick to watching a doe who is getting ready to kid, is to be able to check on her without her realizing it. It isn't too hard to fool a goat, you just have to pretend you are doing something else. The reason for this insincere behavior is simple: some does can and WILL postpone their delivery until you are not watching. Since Zip's first kidding resulted in a dead kid, I needed to be on hand this time in case she had trouble. (I am still relatively new to this business of raising dairy goats. I don't like to leave too much to chance.)
By 9 pm, I was certain Zip was going to deliver during the night ahead, so I began to assemble my goat labor supplies. I put on my warmest grubs, got my flashlight, put my hair up, put my book in one pocket, a bottle of water in another, got my goat delivery bucket and headed to the barn. With our nice clean straw and the other does locked away, we settled down to wait. It was just me, waiting for a treasured animal to give birth. I was willing to do anything to help her, and she trusted me.
She started to push. She got up and down countless times and paced back and forth. At about 10:30, something shifted and we got down to business! When the first kid started coming, Zip began to scream! THAT was a little unnerving. The kid was very large and the right leg was folded back, making the shoulders awkward to pass through the birth canal. The left leg and head were coming through, so I had something to grasp. With a little pulling from me, the big kid was finally delivered, and Zip's screams turned to little bleats of delight. Goats love their kids, too. Talk, talk, lick, lick, lick, she cleaned and encouraged that baby. The kid seemed healthy and vigorous, and looked just like Zip. I grabbed the first towel and began wiping her down. After about a minute, Zip said "unh" and another kid popped right out! Zip didn't seem to notice and kept cleaning her first kid, so I grabbed towel number two and started cleaning up the second kid. BOY! I was going to name him "Slimy." I noticed right away that he was a buckling, and he looked just like his daddy. Mostly white with black accents, he was about half the size of kid one. I hadn't had time to look at the sex of the first kid, so just as I was turning it over to peek, "Splat!" out popped kid three! WOW! Now I was hopping! I put the buckling under Zip's nose, so she could finish cleaning him. I had to sure kid three was breathing. It was a perfect tiny doeling, coal black with marshmallow swirls. She was very small and weak, so I had to really work with her to make sure she was OK. Kid two seemed to be fine, although he too, was much smaller than kid one. I looked over and kid one was already standing up looking for her first meal!
I took the tiny doeling into the house to blow her dry and warm her up. I warmed some colostrum from the freezer, put it in a tiny baby bottle, and fed her a few teaspoons of the warm liquid. Then I took her back to bond with her mother. She seemed to be perking up and getting stronger, so I knew I could head in and get some sleep. It was 2 am. and I was thrilled--Jenna would have been proud!
My herd is growing:)


  1. They are SO cute! Thank you to Zip for sharing with us for a little while. She is a good mommy. :)

  2. What a beautiful (and beautifully written) story! Well done, Wendy!

  3. What an experience and a wonderfully written story!