Monday, February 1, 2010

Our Goats...and a birth story...

Ok, first, if you like beautiful goats, you can visit First Light Nubians.  Nathan has bred out some very nice looking goats. 

Here on our homestead we have our star, Bonnie Blue Farm Malachi, a gorgeous buck who truly thinks he is special.  He is the most well-mannered goat, doe or buck, I've ever seen.  He has gorgeous coloring and spotting.  He's just a sweetheart. 

We also have  First Light Rachel here, we believe is bred for mid to late February:

And Leah, the taller one in Nathan's photo here, also planned for a mid to late February kidding:

When we bought Leah back in the spring, we also bought Happy New Year, a beautiful black spotted doe with a great personality and an absolute milk machine!  She has lost her papers, but we weren't really concerned with registered vs not.  We can build back up to registered with her I'm sure.  I'm still learning all those 'registered' pros and cons.

We also have MillCreek Farm Kendra, a wonderful 5 year doe bought from Nathan at First Light.  We also have Abigail, one of her last kiddings here.  We bred Kendra, but not Abigail (the youngest doe) this year.

Isn't she pretty?  Early this morning, she began sharing her babies with us.  Her first, a doe, came easily enough and was already on the path to be dried and standing when we arrived in the barn.  We waited for quite a while as she passed another empty sack of just watery goo.  We went inside (it was a bit chilly to be under-dressed...) and returned half-hour later.  
This time, we found her lying in the corner of the pen, definitely going through some deep contractions.  After another good half-hour or so, she was finally passing another bag, this time there was a hoof present and a head just behind.  We watched for a while not wanting to interfere unless necessary, and she decided she was going to simply lie down and contract there.  She made little progress after several very deep contractions again, so we decided she might need a bit of encouragement from us.  During her next contractions, we gently pulled on the hoof and head with her pushes. We got nowhere.  Maybe I wasn't doing it right.  Obviously I don't know the first thing about doe-midwifery aside from some very heavy reading via my Blackberry in the barn at 3 am (thank you Lord for smartphones and service at my barn!).  
Her next few contractions she finally stood back up and Dewey came out to the barn, bum shoulder and all.  He pulled the showing leg during the next couple of contractions while I guided that showing head and all of a sudden we noticed a problem.  He had the fore-leg of one baby and I had the head of another.  I hadn't read anything about piggy-back twins, and she was making hard progress with the 2 now thanks to our 'help' here, so we simply allowed it to continue with the more dominant baby making its way ahead.
Personally, I cannot imagine passing 2 babies at the same time, and I'm sure Kendra would have preferred an easier route as well, but it was happening that way so we did the best we could.  Kendra laid down after that and started cleaning babies.  One was being left aside, so we cleaned and suctioned it ourselves and placed it closer to her.  She did good, but refused to get up, so we were concerned we had caused some damage in our ignorance.

This morning, all 3 kidds are standing and moving around and nursing.  She blessed us with 2 does and 1 buckling, all of beautiful coloring like their Daddy. I'll get some photo's up later today.  I've never had to deliver babies here before.  We did assist with some gentle pulling on our Nubian back north when she simply tired after a very long, drawn out labor, but this with Kendra was very different.  I have since found some good reads online discussing difficult births...wish I had found them last night, but they are printed off and in our goat book now for the future possibilities.  

This one on Pre and Post Kidding issues, written to aid 4H breeders...
this one on Goat Obstetrics is really good, yet not so technical I was scratching my head...
and this one on general goat health is good information...
and my absolute first go-to for goat questions, Fias Co Farm, what I consider to be the goat information bible.

We also have 2 Nubian-Boer does here, Katie-Bug Goat and Abbey-Goat...named by the youngers.  We brought Katie-bug home about 3 years ago when she was offered to us with a serious case of pink-eye that had been left untreated.  They were simply allowing her to be starved, as her dam had rejected her :o(  We didn't breed her -- sort of felt sorry for her being put in with the buck, being blind and not having a clue, kwim?  Might have been the best momma here, who knows?  We bought another Nubian-Boer for her as a sort of 'seeing eye' companion.  LOL...attitude-full that one is!  She's got a mind of her own and is a handful to be kind.  She kidded early Saturday morning, giving us 2 bucklings matching her white coat, with a bit of our Nubian buck's black on her head.

For names, we are still pondering.  I don't even have my registration with ADGA with a herd name or anything.  I have the papers from buying the registered goats here still and have not sent them in to transfer them over :o(  Guess I do that this week so we can get the babies in line as well.
I'm thinking Gideon for Kendra's young buck, and maybe Zebulon and Zechariah for the "seeing-eye" goat twins (Zeb and Zack).

Goodness we have alot to get set up for here...disbudding, tattooing, turning little Zeb and Zack into wethers...and I probably should get those registration papers set up, heh?  And of course, there's waiting on the next round of babies here :o)


mrshester said...

Your goats are beautiful! I would love to have a goat or two, but for the time being I have to be content with my little chickens :) Trying to talk hubby into a small menagerie is quite a task, lol. It's like Ellie May Clampett married to Bill Gates :)

graceflyer said...

Hi, found your blog surfing for Weston Price fans. You have a nice blog!
My daughter and her husband are looking for a house with land to do exactly what you are doing. They have 7 children and are musical. God Bless!


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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