Finally! The longed special time has arrived. Our first sets of baby goats hit the ground this week! They are all doing great despite the terrible freezing weather we have experienced in MI so far with the Polar Vortex and the Blue Norther weather phenomenons.
Luna becomes a mother for the first time
Our beloved Luna, the super sweet and friendly goat that became the Tusculum College TN mascot this past summer is officially a mom! She delivered a set of twins this past Sunday.
To tell you the truth, I had been checking to all signs of warning to know which doe was going to kid first. In my calculations we should had been expecting the first ones to arrive by tomorrow March 6th, however Sunday morning as we were getting on the car to go to church, I could tell Luna was separating herself from the heard and laying down in an unusual spot, the temperature outside was 27°F definitely not bad for a winter day, so I sight and drove away.
During service, I honestly couldn't focus on the sermon, my mind was clouded with thoughts like.." I still need to get some emergency supplies from the Livestock store just in case they have complications at delivery"and it went on and on to the point that as soon as we got back to the car I just had Mayah drive us straight to Tractor supply to get those extras I didn't have like: OB gloves and lube in case I needed to get a baby in the correct position.
The drive felt like an eternity even though was only t 30 minutes but I was in agony quietly hoping that the feeling about Luna delivering that day was wrong.
As we arrived she was no where to be seen, so I hurried up inside to grab a jacket, muck boots and ran to find her. And there she was! Inside one of the shelter huts with two beautiful bucklings all cleaned up!
Mayah came along and we were able to lure her inside the barn as we carried her babies.
I had left the stalls clean the night before ready with new shavings, almost as if I knew what was coming... I cannot tell you how happy we are! Check these babies out!!
Monday came with awful 6°F temps and 10mph windchill. Yes! it was freezing, I hassled all morning with the babies and taking care of mama Luna. All other does where in the field grazing so I went inside to work on the computer. I have a perfect view to the feeder from my office area, when I looked out the window and I couldn't see Ginger, so I called Jim at work to tell him that I suspected she could be in labor as well. I grabbed a coat, hat, mittens and went out to find her. Just as I am opening the gate, Dixie the oldest starts delivering her babies!!! right there, I couldn't see Ginger at a quick sight so I waited for Dixie to clean the baby's face to ensure he was breeding and I picked him gently and moved him to one of the huts, she followed in.
Then, I started to look for Ginger and she was at another hut pushing and trying to deliver, so I run back to Dixie and there she was cleaning the second twin. Gosh! so much excitement all at once!!
I got to record Ginger delivering her twins.
I put myself together and brought warm water and a mix of pellet alfalfa and sweet feed to these new mamas, they were happy to eat and drink, that simple gesture helped them focus on finishing with the babies clean up.
Then I promptly called Jim to ask him to support on my afternoon madness since Mayah usually has commitments after school, I texted Mayah and asked her to ride the bus home with couple of sneak pictures of the babies. They both arrived to the house around the same time and we managed to move the goats into the barn stalls and all the other animals as well since it was so cold, the wind was blowing so hard at that point I couldn't feel my hands or toes.
Jim took Mayah to her activities and came back to help me weigh the babies and sanitize their umbilical cords.
Tuesday another big day, we were tired. Waking up and getting going in the morning was a drag, the weather forecast was advising another brutally cold day. I prayed that our last pregnant doe would not deliver babies in that weather and went to the barn to turn out the heard, I mean all others without babies, the buck, the wether and the other 3 does.
I honestly don't like to bring them all in my barn is a mini space 900sq feet and even though I had managed to improvise extra pens for all animals is kind of a dangerous set up to have so many animals inside. Kiko goats are very docile but I had use heat lights on the stalls with new born babies and ultra secured those lamps but since most barn fires are reported to been caused by heat lamps I was terrified all night. I set up a baby monitor and checked multiple times during the night that everyone would be calm and resting.
I went on and even turned out my last pregnant doe, she was fine. I watched them get in the field to their daily routine and Tanner was chilling around with all the other does... I went back inside the house to work again and checked out the window many times, still no signs of babies.
1pm came along and since I had to pick up Mayah and take her to her equine job, I decided to do a last run to the field to ensure everything was under control, anticipating things could turn at any minute I prepared a little basket for Jim to handle things later in the afternoon if he was to come home to the last delivery. I texted Mayah and asked her again to ride the bus to buy me some extra time and proceed to the field.
Well, my prayer wasn't answered the way I wanted. You know, when is not in God's time you cannot force it and when it's in God's time you cannot stop it; I certainly couldn't stop Tanner from dropping those babies. Yes! that is what happened, again I opened the gate and heard the tiny voices of new born babies, I searched for Tanner and she was done cleaning her TRIPLETS!
She was "incredible" she was calmed and pushing those babies to nurse right away, one of them was very fragile so I run back to the house and got a warm towel to wrap him up and support mama, Mayah came home from school and once again we grabbed the babies and lured Tanner inside the barn and set her up in her own stall with babies. I have read a lot about how to help the babies when weak and unstable, thankfully there is people posting their feedback because I was able to give that baby a boost of energy and have him nursing within an hour.
It has been a crazy busy week and I have learned many lessons of what I can do to improve the kidding process next year, for now we are just extremely happy to share everyone is doing well, staying warm and healthy.
I couldn't be more proud of these Kiko dams, they are tough, smart and such a great mothers! Just feel so blessed to see nature's process, it is magnificent! I had prepared mentally over and over to the many crazy scenarios people post out there but sincerely, leaving nature do their thing and just being available for a gentile help considering the bad weather was the only thing I could do.