Phew! Betsy and two live babies have joined us back on the farm. The vet called yesterday afternoon to say that nothing was happening yet, but could she call us at any time of the night in case we needed to make further decisions. (That was a bit of a nail-biter to take off to bed). She also told us that after they give the drugs to induce labor the average time is about 30 hours, so we knew it was possible to be between 10 PM and midnight.
Midnight came and went, and every time I awoke and checked the clock I thought, awesome Betsy, you hang on for some warmer temperatures! Anyhow, at 6 AM the vet called and let us know that she had pulled two live kids, one doe and one buck, at 11:30 last night. They are doing fairly well, although the buckling may have had some ataxia (oxygen depravation), and he was the one they were watching. But we were free to come and liberate them!
And so we toodled to Monmouth and picked up Betsy and kids. The vets had gotten them started on bottles, with Betsy’s colostrum mixed with milk replacer, because they needed sustenance right away, and also because nursing two kids is not going to be to Betsy’s advantage. She had gotten very thin in the last few weeks and she needs all her strength for herself, not to put into making milk. The little doe is very vociferous and takes the bottle well, but the buck wants nothing to do with the bottle. He just wants mama! He will be our challenge. Luckily I planned ahead and milked Eleganza and saved quite a bit of her colostrum, and also a few quarts of her milk. That will definitely help us along here.
It is so bitterly cold that when we got them home, I relented and borrowed a friend’s heat lamp. Betsy doesn’t have the resources to keep herself warm enough, let alone the babies. They are all nestled up together under the lamp tonight, and the buckling must be getting enough to eat because his temperature is over 102. But as with everything else, we will keep checking and deciding how to proceed.
The weather service claims that the windchill advisory will be over first thing in the morning. I really hope that is true! This is inhuman. I don’t know how folks manage to live in the tundra regions. Mind-numbing wind is a force to be reckoned with, for sure. I can’t say that I am looking forward to a foot of snow on Tuesday and Wednesday, but if it’s in the high 20s, I will live with it, happily :*) (I may need to remind myself of this as we are so quick to forget, and everything is relative, right?).