Yesterday (Thursday) when I went out to check on the pregnant does around 6:30am, I found that Nellie had just finished kidding. I did a double take when I looked into her kidding pen .... there were lots of kids in there! She had delivered quads! 4 beautiful babies ... 3 girls and 1 boy. Latte is the sire of these kids.
Nellie and her quads
Nellie and her babies
The little red doeling was pretty cold and not active like the rest of the kids so I tucked her into my vest to warm her. It didn't take long and she was ready to get down and have some of momma's milk.
Warming the baby
She's getting her belly full.
I thought that nursing 4 babies might be a challenge for Nellie, but they've learned to take turns. When they're hungry, they let her know and she stands up to let them eat. The little boy is the one who tries to get more than his share of the milk! Nellie gives a gallon and a half a day of milk so I'm sure she'll have plenty of milk for her babies for the 3 or 4 days that they'll be nursing her.
When they had their fill of colostrum, they all settled down for a nap all snuggled around Nellie.
Nellie and babies ready for a nap
You'll probably notice that 3 of Nellie's babies look like Boer goats instead of dairy goats. Nellie has some percentage of Boer genetics. I'm not sure what her exact cross is because she's another rescue goat here at the farm.
About 2 and a half years ago I found out about a neighbor down one of the back roads who had 2 goats tied to a tree in his yard. When I went to see for myself. He said he had bought the goats for his kids to play with. I saw the kids teasing and tormenting the 2 goats and his dogs terrorizing them. One of the kids said that he had bought them at the sale for $20 apiece. I offered him $60 for both of them ... handed him the cash ... loaded the 2 goats into my pickup and brought them home.
Bell was the other doe I purchased that day. She didn't give very much milk when she had babies so I sold her to a family who would take good care of her. Nellie, on the other hand, gave a gallon and a half of milk a day. That's the kind of production I like here at the dairy!
The first season Nellie was here she wasn't in prime condition and she gave me one doe kid. Last year she gave me 3 beautiful doe kids. Now this season she has given me quads! Amazing! Pretty good $30 investment.
In addition to finding that Nellie had kidded early yesterday morning, I found Lacey had given birth to 2 babies ... 1 doe and 1 buck. The little doe is smoky tan color and the little buck is black and white. Lacey is a 2 year old first freshener and is doing really good with her babies. She is the daughter of Opal who is the first kid born on my farm. RC is the sire of Lacey's babies. He is Purebred LaMancha and his color is chocolate brown.
I give warm molasses water after kidding to help replace fluids and give the doe energy
Lacey and kids
I found one of my hens laying her egg in the kidding pen with Lacey and her babies. They were checking out the hen and the hen was trying to ignore them so she could lay her egg!
Thursday was a beautiful day with sunshine and temperatures closer to normal. I opened the doors to the big goat pens so they could get out of the barn. I had closed them in due to the extreme cold temps.
Heading out to soak up some sunshine!
It felt like springtime even though it was only 20*
The rest of Thursday was pretty quiet around the kidding pens. But, I did find lots to do in and around the barn so I could keep an eye on the pregnant does who should be kidding any time.
While I was doing evening chores, I saw that Emily had a long string of gel hanging from her back end. This was a sure sign that she'd finally be kidding. This was day 153 for her. I kept an eye on her while I went about feeding and watering the does in the kidding pens and taking the does who were not ready to kid yet to the milk parlor for their dinner.
She had not made any other progress toward delivering her kids or looking like she was going to go into pushing labor any time soon. So, I came into the house to eat some dinner and rest for a little bit. When I went back out an hour later, she was grunting a little but not much else. I gave her a 3cc shot of Oxytocin to help maker her labor more productive. I didn't want her to be in pushing labor for hours.
She is 9 years old this Spring and not as strong as she used to be. I am very pleased with how her pregnancy went this year though. Last year Emily and I fought for her life through Pregnancy Toxemia and Ketosis. You can read about that here in my post Dealing with Pregnancy Toximea and Ketosis
It only took a few minutes after giving her the shot of Oxytocin for her to start pushing with her contractions. She got the first birth sack pushed out and I saw a foot in it ... a BIG foot. Then I saw both front feet. Big feet! I felt just inside of her to be sure the head was coming with those feet and not tucked back inside somewhere. I felt the nose so I pulled on the kid's legs to help her get him out. No matter how hard I pulled he wasn't coming. I didn't want to hurt his legs with all that pulling so I reached in again to see if the head was coming through the birth canal.
That's when I found that the head was not fitting between her bones. He was wedged against her tail bone and her pelvic bone. I had to push his legs back inside and hope his head would fit through the birth canal with out having to share it with his legs. I was able to get his head unstuck and on out. Then I reached back in beside his neck and pulled his legs back out so I could get that baby on out His hip bones almost got stuck as I pulled him on out. He was as big or bigger than the buckling I helped Maggie delivered the night before!
Emily was very glad to have the delivery part over and clean her baby!
I felt along her left side to see if I could feel any other babies. I felt another baby so I waited and let her push out the fluid filled birth sack with the next few contractions. I saw a back foot in the birth sack ... another BIG one. I ruptured the birth sack so I could help pull the baby. I pulled and pulled and he kept coming and coming. I had to back out of the kidding pen door to have enough room to get him pulled out. He was bigger than the first one. I'm really glad he wasn't head first presentation for birth. I don't know if his head would have come through that way!
First born in the back and second born in the front.
It only took minutes for these big boys to be ready for their first meal. Emily gives around 2 gallons of milk a day so she'll have plenty to keep their bellies full.
No need to stand up when your food is down here!
They were up and getting around in only minutes after birth
Emily and her boys this morning (Friday)
Taking an afternoon nap (Friday) They're almost a day old
This morning (Friday) when I went out to check to see if any of the does had kidded overnight. I found that everything was the same as when I left the barn last night after Emily's delivery around midnight. No new kids this morning. So I went about getting fresh water for all of the does in the kidding pens. That's when I heard Mocha making pushing grunting noises.
Mocha is a 2 year old first freshener. I wanted to be sure she didn't have any trouble so I came to sit with her. That's when I heard Kit making those same pushing grunting noises. Oh no .. two at once on opposite sides of the barn! Mocha is in a kidding pen on the West side and Kit is in a kidding pen on the East side of the barn. This was going to get interesting.
Mocha wasn't pushing out a birth sack yet, so I went to check on Kit.
Mocha in labor
Kit had just delivered a VERY small baby girl. She was only around 2 pounds but perfectly formed and strong.
Kit and her little girl
I went back to check on Mocha as soon as I knew Kit's baby girl was breathing fine. Mocha was just delivering her first baby. He was born without any difficulty.
Mocha's first baby boy
As I was helping Mocha dry her baby off, I heard Kit crying out and pushing. She was giving birth to a normal sized buck kid. I helped her dry him off and went back to check on Mocha.
Kit and her 2 babies
Mocha had delivered a second baby without making any noise. He was already crawling about 2 foot behind her. I laid him up beside her to lick off and felt of her left side to see if I could feel any more babies. I didn't feel any so I went back over to Kit's kidding pen.
Mocha and her 2 bucklings
Kit had delivered a third baby... another girl.
Kit and her 3 babies
Since I knew that Mocha was finished kidding, I sat with Kit for a little bit admiring her first tiny doeling. She is precious. And, then Kit started pushing again! She delivered another buck kid. She has quads too!
Kit and her 4 babies
Her first tiny baby was the first one to nurse. She is a strong little girl.
Little girl nursing
You can see in the photo below how small she is standing under her momma. The other kids have to get on their knees to get under there to nurse.
Kit and babies
You'd think that was enough for one day. But, the does didn't think so. Mandy started groaning and pushing out in one of the big goat pens. I got her into a kidding pen before she started delivering babies. Her due date isn't until Sunday, but she decided to deliver a little early. She has a boy and a girl.
Mandy's buckling - born first
Mandy and her twins
Here they are a little bit later when they're dry and getting their breakfast.
Lots of kids the past couple of days. That brings our total up to 40 kids from 15 does.