We are still waiting for our last two does to kid (Dorcas and Edna). They both look more than ready, but nothing appears to be happening. I feel like time is running backwards, somehow.
But on the brighter side, our little Peanut is doing very well. She has gained some weight (a little over a pound), and she is very active, tappy-tapping around the house (and ticking off the chihuahua into the bargain). She got up on the bottom stair yesterday, but luckily she did not get any farther. She follows us around like a puppy, and I find myself doing the ‘puppy shuffle’ so I don’t step on her! She is also taking more milk at each feeding, which is a good thing.
We have had to close Fergus the sweet buck off from the girls until his neutering. He is going this Friday. I know that he will still be fertile for awhile after the surgery, but it’s just a matter of time now. Hopefully his physical recuperation will go smoothly, and as the weather gets nicer, he will eventually be able to rejoin the girls.
And so it goes. It is a dreary week, and everything we want to do outside feels like a bigger job than it really is. And today is bone-chillingly damp. Oh well, it is Maine in the springtime! But the moms and babies have had their paddock opened up to the middle section now, and the babies have the big rock to play on. It didn’t take long for them to start taking advantage of it!
Today we reached two milestones. The first was that we finally have found a home for Betsy’s bottle babies. It was a bittersweet goodbye, but we know they are going to a good home with people who love their goaties, and we also know that it is the best thing for their mother, Betsy. They were on the bottle 3 times a day, but they also never gave her a moment’s peace and were on her udder constantly. I just don’t think I can get her back into any kind of good condition while those growing babies take just about everything she has to give. And so it is a good ending for this part of the spring story.
The second milestone has to do with our little 2+ pound Peanut girl. Yesterday as she was tap-tap-tapping her way around the living room, she began to nose up to things and try sucking. So we tried, and tried to get her on the bottle (to put an end to the tube feeding party that we have been having). She was sucking our fingers like crazy, but would not, under any circumstances, get on the bottle. We tried all our little tricks, but it was a no go. So by 11 PM, I was ready to scream, and my husband said he would help me. (He had also been sitting with the little one and trying to get her to take the bottle, he sometimes does better than I do with getting them started on the teat, usually). He put his hand gently over her eyes and held her head straight, gently, and she went right onto the nipple and has not really looked back. Phew! I couldn’t believe it! She had had a brief moment in the early afternoon when I got the bottle in there and she had sucked up about an ounce, but after that it seemed to be a no-go until this.
Anyway, we got up this morning and I tucked that little one into the chair beside me, got her little mouth open, and off she went, having herself a nice little meal. I am still feeding her goat’s milk with colostrum powder, as I know she didn’t get much from her mother, if anything, but I will taper the colostrum powder off in the next few days.
Big sigh of relief! We had to go to our annual pigeon club meeting today, and since she has figured out how to get out of her rubbermaid tote, we had to put her into our jacuzzi tub with lots of towels, and her tote, while we were gone (although Sam had her out of there most of the day, and she even spent some time napping with him!).
All in all, a good day. And the weather cooperated and almost felt like spring, as well!
Firstly, Pippi has never had a single, never ever. Always pretty good sized twins, usually a buck and a doe (I wish I had a photo of her, pre-baby delivery. She always looks like she has a suitcase on either side, and we uncharitably call her Wide Load. Then she has her babies, and all is normal again). Secondly, she always has had her babies during daylight, or at the very latest, early evening, right around dinner time.
Not this year! Now we were pretty sure that Pippi was going to be popping her progeny yesterday, all the signs were good and she usually pops them out on her due date or one day later. As the day wore on, however, I just figured that it might go another day. But that’s not the kind of thing you don’t watch, so every few hours one of us went up and checked in on her. I was exhausted, and after we tube-fed little Peanut a little before 10, we went out for another check. Pippi was obviously in labor, talking to her butt, but the longer we stuck around, the less Pippi looked like she was going to cooperate (she is a very private doe and will cross her legs and wait until the humans are elsewhere). By 10:10, we went in and I threw myself on the sofa. Sam couldn’t wake me up at 11, which we had decided to target as the next check, but his text did, and it said Baby.
So he got her and the baby into the jug, got her settled, and we took care of getting the weight (9.25 lbs. Giant baby), giving the Bo-Se shot, dipping the navel, and helping to dry him off as he is one big piece of real estate. Beautiful boy. But her vaginal situation did not say to me, placenta, it said, there is more baby to come, and we waited to see if there would be another water bag. Then I realized that she wouldn’t do anything while we were there, so back we went to the house after getting her a little molasses water, about midnight.
I guess I must have dozed off again, because about 1 we went out and realized that she had passed the placenta, hence no more babies! I don’t blame her, she certainly has a beautiful and very large baby, but it was a little bit of a surprise from a champion twinner!
At less than 24 hours old, he looks like he could just go and join the other babies and fit right in. He is quite tall, and has a beautiful long body. I must say that I am surprised the Lamancha genetics trumped the Guernsey genetics where the ears are concerned!
Anyhow, mother and baby are well, although Pippi gets incredibly pissed every time one of the other mothers looks into the pen. But this is life, and when you are the Queen, I guess it is part of the job!
We are still trying to get Peanut on the bottle. She had one shining moment today and got sucking her tongue, so I shoved the bottle in and she drank an ounce all on her own. She looked very surprised, and then went to sleep. One day at a time. She has already become my little cuddle buddy.
Was quite the day. We have been doing round-the-clock checks on a few of our does, and no one appeared to be doing anything yesterday or last night. Getting bigger, but nothing else going on.
Last night we thought Beezus might be in the beginning stages of labor, so we were checking her every few hours. Nothing. But this morning when I went out there, I found a wee little babe covered in the straw near where Beezus sleeps. There was no wet spot, no placenta, no nothing. Just a little baby, apparently dead, lying in the straw bedding. I grabbed her up, and even though I presumed she was dead, I wrapped her in my jacket and grabbed a towel, and ran her down to the house. Beezus was just sitting there cudding. Oy!
Anyhow, she mewled once, and as I was rubbing her belly, I felt her breathing. And so it began. After I took her temperature and it didn’t even register on the electronic thermometer, I knew we were in trouble. And so I had to go to the trusty internet to read the instructions for giving an intra-peritoneal glucose and water shot. I have never done this before, but luckily I had the glucose, and I did it, following the instructions from one of the big universities. It was clearly A Miracle. I watched her come to life in the minutes after that shot, and I still can hardly believe it. When we got her temp up to 91.4, we celebrated, although when I spoke to the vet, she didn’t sound very optimistic about that milestone. But we are keeping on, and hopefully it will be a positive outcome. (Lots of hot water bottles, a heating pad, and body heat to help her get to a temp of 101+. We did it around midday!).
Little Peanut Butter should not be alive, but as of tonight, she still is. We worked long and hard this morning getting her warmed up, so that we could begin to give her some colostrum and milk. I don’t have a lot of frozen colostrum, and her mama wasn’t making any. She was dry as a bone. So I defrosted some from another doe, and broke out my powdered colostrum. I am milking one of my does, so I can mix that with the powdered stuff.
I don’t know where this will go, or whether or not this little one will survive. She is truly a Peanut. About as big as our chihuahua, who is 3 lbs soaking wet. I want her to thrive, but the odds are against her. We shall see. We are having to tube feed her, even though since midday she has been able to hold her head up and get up on her feet and lurch around. She is not interested in the bottle yet, but I am hoping against hope that we can coax her to it. (I really hate tube feeding).
And so it goes. Dorcas and Pippi are still ‘wide loads coming through,’ and very pregnant. Don’t have a date on Dorcas, but Pippi’s due date is today, which means that tomorrow is a good bet for her. She will be watched closely. I can only hope that she decides to go during the day. Beezus has actually been our only doe to do something at night so far.
Adventures in farming. Always something new. All positive thoughts are welcome!
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!