Thursday, March 24, 2011

New babies! It really is spring.

Yesterday we were lucky and did not get the snow as other areas in N. Mi.  It went South of us. Today we woke to clear skies and lots of sun.  That was a good thing because while doing chores this morning, I noticed that one of our dairy goats, Eva was off to herself, and quietly making some naying sounds. Not her usual self, which she is usually gorging herself on the morning breakfast of grain. I figured she must be in labor.  So we did some shifting of the goats so we could put her in a pen by herself.  This is the first time that we will have any "kids" born on the ranch. Dairy goats are a new addition this year to the ranch. So even though we have expereince with the births of crias (baby alpacas), we have none with goats.  Alpacas almost always have single births.  It is very rare that they have twins. From the knowledge of other goat keepers that I know, reading books and research on the internet, this is not the same for goats. They usually have 2 to 3 and sometimes more. So this was going to be exciting.  I gathered my Alpaca first aid kit and the birthing kit which can also be used for the goats.  I had my digital camera, clean rags, towels, blankets and a bucket for warm water if needed. My latex gloves, the iodine dip for the umbilical cord and of course my cell phone for any emergency calls if needed to the vet.  Well then it became the hurry up and wait game.
So I decided to come into the house as I could watch her from the deck and a window in the house. To burn off my nervous energy, I vacumned the house, stopping every few minutes and looking out the window to check on Eva.  She was pacing, but no "bubble" yet to be seen.  I finally finished the vacuming and sat down to read more of my goat books about kidding. I got up a few minutes later looked out the window and sure enough I seen the "bubble". It was almost time. I quickly put my winter coat on and winter boots. I ran out the door and checked on her. She was doing fine, but the bubble was gone???  The bubble is the sac containing the kid, with the nose and two feet usually to be seen. But it was not there. Hmmm, does she have a problem? While observing her, I realized even though the sun is out, we had a north wind and it was very cold on my legs as I just had my jeans on. So I decided to run back in the house, put my long underwear and my chore jeans on that are flannel lined. Now I would be nice and toasty while outside. When I went back outside I could hear Eva just a blaying. Oh no, is she having problems? When I ran over to the pen she was in the box that the goats use for shelter from the weather.When I looked at her, I could tell she was pushing, but I couldn't see her "bottom" as she was laying in the box with it facing the furthest corner from me. Now how was I suppose to tell if the kid was postioned right?  She finally quit pushing and with me coaxing her and pulling on her collar, I was able to get her to come out of the box.  Sure enough there was a nose and two feet!  Everything was looking good, so I just stepped back and let mother nature take her course.   A few minutes later, here was kid number 1
Eva drying off Kid 1
Eva and I worked on getting her little one dried off.  Then all of a sudden Eva let out a cry and there was another bubble. Wow! yes another nose and two feet. Again I just let mother nature take her course while keeping Kid 1 wrapped in a blanket and rubbing it.  Now there was ..
2 Kids
Eva and I again worked on drying off kid number 2.  I'm not sure how long of a time it was, but I figured Eva was done. We had both of the kids pretty well dried and they were already trying to stand and suckle, when all of a sudden Eva layed down and pushed.

And then there were 3
What a surprise, no little bubble just the whole kid popped out that quick! She now had 3 kids. Was there going to be more??? In the meantime my husband had hurried home as I had text messaged him that it was time for the babies. I had him come in and hold the kids so I could dip the umbilical cords and check to see what sex they were. Well Eva is the proud mommy of 2 doelings and 1 buck. All three kids are doing great and so is mom.  It is supposed to be very cold tonight (down to 0) so we have moved Eva and the kids to a pen in our walk in basement for the night. We don't have a barn for them yet. (That is a later spring project).  So the basement is our temporary barn. We have had chicks, puppies, and now goats in the basement. The other wonderful thing was that Chloe, the new rescue dog was laying outside of the pen and was able to observe everything.  She was very calm throughout the births and I think that was good for her to expereince for the bonding. We are hoping to have her be our goat guard dog.
I'll be taking more pics of the kids and will keep you updated on them. Our other goat is not due until May.


  1. Congratulations on your new kids!!! Were you expecting your herd multiply so quickly?

  2. No actually it was a surprise. I am use to having one cria born at a time. We have controlled "growth" with the Alpacas. If we want only 2 crias born this year, then we only breed for two. With the goats, you have to think in multibles. We only have two bred goats, so if the other doe has 2 or 3 kids, we will have gone from 5 goats to 10 or 11. That is managable for us.

  3. What a great blog and love all of your animal stories! Congratulations on your new "kids"!


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