Wednesday night was a little rough as I was up and down checking on SnowPea, and the next morning she was her usual self, but eating like crazy and pushing everyone out of the way! Her udder was the same size as the evening before, and I presumed that she was going to wait another day to do something, tanking up for the job.
But long about 2 PM, I went out to see that her udder had ballooned to double its earlier size and she had a nice size water bag hanging there. I made sure our kit was ready with the Bo-Se (selenium and vitamin E shot for the newborns to protect against White Muscle Disease), iodine for navels, Nutridrench for helping along a befuddled baby needing energy, and a bag full of clean towels. Then we called some friends who have been dying to see a goat baby born, and the wait began.
Unlike with the sheep, I don’t usually see much of the kidding process, as our goats (knock on wood) rarely have issues, and pop them out when they are ready, so I may or may not see the beginning of labor. Conventional wisdom with small ruminants has it that if the water bag is out for more than an hour and there is no movement forward (like little hooves and a nose poking out), that the farmer should investigate and make sure there isn’t a problem. We hate to do this because it automatically means antibiotic intervention, and I don’t like setting it up for that scenario if I can help it.
So I was torn. SnowPea didn’t appear to be in active labor, no strong contractions, and she paced and then just sat down. So we all left (that’s probably what she was waiting for!) and I called my older son, thinking I would be pulling a goat baby shortly. He came over and when we went out, voila! – there was a whopping 8 pound doeling! All dry, fed, and getting around very nicely. It appeared as though SnowPea was finished (no more water bags, just the usual prep for getting out the placenta), and we did all we had to do with the baby, got mama comfy, and went in to dinner. When I went out to make sure things were still going well, about 2 hours later, it was obvious that I had just missed the second doeling being delivered. She was sputtering and lying there in her amniotic fluid, and SnowPea had just started licking her off. And this one is a 10 pounder!
And so we have two adorable doelings from Mama SnowPea, who always has 2 bucks. Every year. Pickles and Sassafras are a very welcome addition to our little farm!