New babies of any kind have got to be one of everyone’s favorite times on a farm. There is just something so refreshing and exciting about new life. Whether we title it ‘Cute!’ or ‘Adorable!’ or ‘So Sweet!’, even the toughest of the tough can’t help getting soft when a tiny little bundle arrives.
We have approximate due dates for all our goats this year, but like any pregnant female, a due date is not an exact method. It’s just a big red circle that says “Sometime around here!”
We knew we where getting close to kidding time, so we were keeping an extra close watch on all the girls.
Yesterday started off like any other. Feeding everyone, including people, milking the cows and goats, and cleaning the barn and house. I noticed that Satera’s, (one of our Alpine does) ligaments, (where the spine and the tail head connect), were starting to get very loose. I still haven’t mastered the technique of checking to see if the ligaments are gone, but I could definitely feel a difference this time, more than any other, so, I new that I needed to keep a close eye on this girl. When the ligaments are gone, the doe usually kids within 12 hours.
Everything else looked normal, though. Everyone dug into their food, like always, and went off to graze in the front pasture.
Since everything looked good, Preston and I, the kiddos, and two sweet high school interns got to work. We are so close to finishing the barn, I wanted to try and finish it all up. We worked hard and got a lot done by lunch time. Just as we were calling a food break and the intern girls were going home, I noticed that Satera was off by herself in the woods.
Hmmm…this is NOT normal goat behavior. Goats are extremely social. In fact, they hate to be alone or separated from their herd. So, my red flags started going off. I called satera up, who slowly and reluctantly came to the barn. I put her in the kidding pen. She was pawing at the ground, trying to make a nest, but other than that she still seemed normal. I couldn’t see any contractions and she was still nibbling at hay.
I took my crew in the house and we ate lunch. Then we went out to check on things and get some more work done. My little shadow looked up at me on the way out to the barn and said “I really don’t want to work anymore, I really want to see baby goats come out!” So, on the walk up to the barn, I explain how we can’t just tell the goat to have her babies, but that it has to be in her time, when she and the babies are ready.
It was one of those humbling, ‘you really don’t know everything’ moments.
I know you’ve had them, too.
So, the big event began!
This was Satera’s first kidding, and I, admittedly, was nervous. I have raised this girl since she was 3 days old, and couldn’t help being afraid of complications.
We settled in for what I thought was going to be a long haul.
Satera obviously thought differently, because within 15 minutes of heavy contractions, she began to push.
Why couldn’t it have been that easy for me?
And she pushed.
And then, quickly following, was the second.
It’s a boy!
Satera did perfectly! Both the kids were good and strong, up and nursing in 10 minutes. Satera is a trooper of a Mommy, too. She cleaned the up, got the nursing and hasn’t stopped showing them off since.
I wish I’d gotten a picture of the cows lined up on the other side of the barn, gossiping about the newest birth on the farm and looking tenderly at the new kids.
I know you think I’m crazy, but I swear they did! You could just read their minds and the looks that passed between the cows said it all!
All in all it was just a great day!
Now we just have 4 more does to kid in the next 4 weeks. It should be a busy month here on the farm!