You are not supposed to have any trouble with goats at all. They just pop out babies and caper merrily in the fields. I read it in a book. Why do we think everything is easy? Is it because people don’t admit to having trouble? Or am I doing something wrong? My statistics are way off.
According the my goat bible;
- 50% of kids should be does
- 95% of births do not need any assistance
- first fresheners rarely have triplets.
My personal portion of that sampling is as follows:
- 30% of kids are doelings;
- 75%of births need assistance;
- 66% of first fresheners have triplets
Sophie finally went into labor on Wednesday after noon. She didn’t fuss very much. When she got around to pushing, she would give these little diva pushes and look back to see if anything was there yet. It was a little amusing, until we got to the intense pushing and nothing was happening. There seemed no possible way that a five-pound baby was going to come out of a one-inch opening.
I read real goat people as much as possible. Firstly, because the whole thing fascinates me; secondly, because James Herriot doesn’t exactly live next door. There are vets, but that doesn’t mean they want to come out on a Saturday to do something you should be able to do yourself, or that they’ll be able to get to your place in under half a day. Learning to do these things without some one to walk you through them is tricky. Books and You Tube videos only take you so far.
The real goat people advise checking presentation. Having gotten myself used to the idea that my hand was going to have to fit in there, and see what was going on, I did so, without a lot of hoopla, but with gloves. O most defiantly with gloves! Getting in there is only half the battle. The message sent from my hand to my inexperienced brain was that there was a triangle roast bone there. What part of baby goat anatomy feels like a roast bone I didn’t know. What I did know was that it was not a head and a hoof. The roast bone in there felt huge, as big as Sophie, and it seemed to be aiming towards her pin bones just a little too high and was hitting everything wide side first. I brought it around and she was able to get it out. The whole thing seemed intensely painful for the poor goat. I was crying, Abbie was crying, we were pretty sure that we were going to have to find a vet to hack the huge baby into pieces to get it out of poor little Sophie.
The triangle bone thing was a baby goat butt, aka, breech position. This isn’t really a huge deal as long as it’s a straight breech. Sophie is just a little small, and that baby was truly huge. Before we could even wipe the slime of that baby and do a quick gender check, another baby came sliding out. I’m not sure Sophie even pushed it. A little doeling was just waiting for that big brother of hers to quit blocking the door so she could escape. We just got those two dried off, when Sophie started pushing again and out came another little buckling-butt first. After her difficult labor, a handful of raisins seemed an inadequate compensation, and I made the mistake of letting them briefly bond. This led to at least 3 days of little Sophie turning into a little horse.
Her babies are gorgeous. Othello, Cassio, and Desmonda. Not that my kids are reading Shakespeare straight by any stretch, but they do enjoy Lambs Tales of Shakespeare. Othello– Exactly the type of story suitable for a children’s book. Cheerful wholesome stuff, that is… At least it isn’t twaddle.
Sophie is behaving passably on the stand, once we get her up there. She is milking super well. One week into it and she’s already hit a gallon! Her little tiny cat teats don’t exactly make milking a pleasure, but that will probably change over time. There could be something to say for dam-raising on first fresheners.
Sophie’s delivery made Libby’s difficult delivery look like a cakewalk, but unbeknownst to me, more experience was yet to come.