Last year on March 24, it was a sunny and warm day. We were working on the fences in t-shirts and shorts and Bertie was in labor about to deliver her first set of kids. That labor was easy and smooth, and I am grateful that my first kidding experience was easy and uneventful. It prepared me for this March 24th, in which the kidding was not quite so easy....
I woke up yesterday to Cale at my bedside asking if a goat is standing with her head shoved against the wall means she's going to have the babies soon. I said yes and went to check. She was in labor. Early stages, but it was going to be that day. Cale and Cohen spent a lot of time watching that day. So did the chickens, who wanted to lay their eggs in her hay. It was not warm and sunny like last year, it was rainy and cold and windy. But we checked on her every hour or so until about 2:00 when she started to push and the amniotic sack was visible- though I will spare you the picture of that...
|Jack getting clean|
We thought it would be soon, but an hour passed, with the boys eagerly watching, and still not much of a change. The sack eventually burst and she laid down in the hay, pushed a couple times and then her contractions seemed to stop. I sent the boys inside, telling them I would call when I saw feet. Another hour passed. I was cold, sitting under the heat lamp googling stalled labor on my phone. Eventually I forced her to stand back up and a few minutes later her labor started up again and I could see the tips of the hooves. Cale, who had been the most excited to help with the labor, made it back into the barn.
Once she started to really push, I could see we were going to have a bit of a problem, I just wasn't sure what that problem was yet. What I could see was 2 hooves and a bit of the nose. But one was a front foot and one was a back foot. When she contracted I could see the tip of the second front foot. I tried to rearrange so the front foot came before the back, but honestly had no real clue how or what to do. I sent Cale in to have Paul do my googling for me and once again I forced her to get up in hopes that she could get the babies rearranged a bit better in that position. It worked and as the first kid came further out I realized that it wasn't his back foot, but the second kid's. They were both trying to come at once.
|Jill finally arrives!|
The first kid, Jack, was delivered. His face cleared and cleaned with the help of towels and Bertie's tongue. Cale held the heat lamp over him as he squirmed and tottered and tried to stand. It was cold, and we needed to get him dry fast. Bertie is a very good mother and is very thorough when it comes to cleaning her babies. I, on the other hand, was much more in a rush for her to get back to delivering her second baby, because it's back 2 feet up to the knees were hanging out of her.
|Cale kept Jack warm while Bertie delivered Jill|
Jack was up and had attempted to nurse when the contractions finally started up again. Breech babies aren't the optimal position for kidding, but it's not as big of a deal as it is for people. And Jill was delivered breech with out any issues. We got her cleaned up too and waited around until she was almost walking and had nursed as well.
By this time my brother and his wife, Lili, had made it home. Paul brought Annika out to meet the babies. The boys all made their appearances to see them. We set about making the shed as secure as possible. It's rather drafty, so we filled holes with towels, wood and hay. Secured the heat lamp. And hoped the temperatures would not dip too cold in the night.
This morning, everyone is doing fine. Despite the snow flakes blowing and cold wind. Bertie keeps the babies under the lamp and blocks the wind by sitting in front of them.
It's supposed to be cold for the next 3 days, but hopefully by the time June delivers it will be much more spring-like! And hopefully, her delivery will be much less eventful!
This post is linked to the HomeAcre Hop, Homestead Barn Hop,