Humble Garden

ReSkilling for future food independence

Birth, renewal, healing

Posted by Nika On March - 16 - 2009

From the last post you learned of our tragedy, losing one of our sweethearts, Wheatie.

Her emergency set the whole herd (8 other goats) on edge. We had just given away one of our two bucks (he was too aggressive and an aggressive horned goat is not a fun thing) so the herd dynamics were already in flux.

The does could tell something was up. One in particular, Millet, seem to miss her friend. She was wandering around and seemed to be looking for something.

Well, this wasn’t so much about missing Wheatie but about Millet being in labor. She was separating herself from the herd (labor sign), getting that 1,000 yard stare (labor sign), and looking restless (labor sign).

My oldest daughter came and got me, saying that Millet was showing the bubble (see this sit for details on goat labor) so I flew out to the goat shed to find Millet scratching at the hay, making a nest (labor sign) and a bubble showing (impending delivery sign).

So I ran around the enclosure to get through the two gates and arrived at the shed just in time to kneel by Millet, smear my hands and arms up to my elbows with betadine solution and get towels arranged as the first kid presented.

A little hoof began to show, then the face (with tiny little tongue sticking out) and then the second hoof – perfect presentation. I tugged on the little hooves as Millet contracted and very soon, the first baby was born. I took the baby into my arms and cleared it’s little tiny mouth (with tiny little teeth!) and tapped it’s sides to help clear the lungs.

I scrubbed the baby to dry and then lay her down next to Millet so that Millet could clean her newborn. Soon, I was doing the same for the second one. It took quite a long time for the placentas to pass but they did with little fanfare on Millet’s part.

Millet Babies - day 2

My oldest daughter named these newborns Calliope and Felicity.

We had another goat who was showing signs but we were not certain. Her name is Amaranth and she is our smallest goat. We figured she only had one baby on board.

After the Wheatie experience, the exhausting experience of wrestling our buck as the vet castrated him and then the kneeling for Millet, my left leg was is paroxysms of pain and cramps for days.

Needless to say, Amaranth was my next challenge. Because of the pain, we moved Amaranth to the basement so that I could tend her in warmth, instead of the mid teens F outside.

We had Ama in the basement with another doe – Rye – to watch them both. Rye was so bothered by Ama that we took Ama back out to the cold shed and I just KNEW that meant she was going to go soon (I think they HATE the basement).

Sure enough in an hour or so, we heard this REALLY loud blood curdling scream that I am sure must have freaked out the neighbors. I run out without a coat to find Ama with a baby already partly out – one leg and a face (and tiny tongue!). The baby was not coming out easily – Ama is such a petite goat.

With her next contraction, I was able to pull the baby into this world. Wow, what a healthy baby! I repeated the post-delivery process and the rest was uneventful.

Amaranth's kid - Luna

This baby was named Luna. She is bigger than Millet’s babies because she was a singleton and wow she is furry.

Obviously, the photo gallery you see at the top of this post shows these three goat babies!

There will be more, no doubt, stay tuned!

6 Responses to “Birth, renewal, healing”

  1. Erika says:

    How wonderful! Those kids are so adorable, and it looks like the human kids are smitten with them as well. 😉 What an eventful couple of days!

  2. Connie S says:

    I’m not used to seeing LaManchas so I’m loving the cuteness factor of their faces! We’re now a couple of weeks away from a batch of three miniature dairy does who were bred to the same buck. Thankfully those birthings seem to go easier but they quite often have triplets or more. Glad you’ve got some positive experience behind you for the upcoming deliveries. Enjoy the milk!

  3. Pam says:

    Congratulations! They are so cute! It’s good to see something so positive after everything else!

  4. Nika says:

    E: indeed – I have some new babies, will blog about those in a few mins

  5. Nika says:

    C: They are super cute! Make sure to let me know when you have shots of your babies – minis have got to be the cutest (Sprocket on YouTube is amazing)

  6. Nika says:

    P: thnx! indeed, baby goats are definitely diverting :-)

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About Me

We are a family of 5, including Nika, Ed, Q (14), KD (7), and Baby Oh (4). We garden 1024 square feet of raised beds plus assorted permacultural plantings. We also have 13 LaMancha dairy goats, 40 chickens, and one guard llama.



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