I disbudding the horn buds on the first 33 kids born this afternoon. That was quite a job! Mom helps by giving them their "comfort" bottle of milk as soon as I get them disbudded.
Several of them will be going to their new homes tomorrow. It's a good thing too! I've got the last 30 kids still out in the barn with their mommas. They need to come into the Kid Nursery and their mommas out with the milking does.
For details about how I do the disbudding, you can check out my post Disbudding the Kids . It has to be the hardest thing I do with the kids, but necessary if you don't want them to grow up with horns.
Early yesterday morning (Monday) ... when I got out to the barn to check on the goats ... I found that Lexie had kidded overnight. I found her and her babies sound asleep in their kidding pen. Her babies are both little girls.
Lexie and her twin doelings
Lexie is LaMancha/Alpine cross. She is a 2 year old first freshener. RC is the sire of her kids.
Lexie and her kids
She is a good momma with lots of milk
At least this time there wasn't any kidding going on while I was trying to get the morning chores and milking done. After finishing morning chores,I checked the does again and none of them looked like they were in labor.... so we decided to go into town to get feed for the goats and some groceries for the house.
I think Lilly heard us drive out of the driveway, because she delivered twins while we were gone. We were only gone an hour and a half.
Lilly is a 2 year old first freshener. She is 75% LaMancha and 25% Nubian. RC is the sire of her kids.
Lilly and her twins - 1 boy (black/white) and 1 girl (tan)
She did a great job taking care of them
No more does went into labor the rest of the day ... until I came inside the barn just as the sun went down. Trina looked like she was in early labor. She is a 2 year old first freshener. She is 75% LaMancha and 25% Nubian. RC is the sire of her kids.
Trina in early labor
I went ahead and started evening chores in the barn and kept an eye on her. I actually got the first group of 12 does down to the milking parlor, fed and milked, and back to their area of the barn before Trina got serious about delivery. When I checked in on her after milking this first group, this is what I saw. She had pushed out the first fluid bubble.
Trina getting ready to deliver
I knew that I wouldn't have time to milk the second group of does so I sat with Trina to make sure she wouldn't need any assistance. It wasn't long before the first little foot was being pushed out.
Little foot coming out
She delivered her first baby just fine by herself. The first one is a boy. It took her a minute to realize that new thing in her pen belonged to her. But, when she smelled of him, she started licking him dry.
Trina and her first baby - a boy
As soon as the babies are born, I take either my hand or a towel and wipe the gooey slimy birth fluids away from their nose and mouth so they don't breath it in. Then I take a piece of the hay from their bedding to tickle the baby's nose. This makes them sneeze to clear out any fluid they have in their nose. The better you can get them breathing ... the less problems they have with their lungs.
Tickling baby's nose to make him sneeze
Trina dried him off really good. She's going to be a good momma.
Here comes the second baby. You can see her nose and eye through the membrane of the birth sack in the photo below. She's about to become an air breather!
Trina's second baby being born
Here's Trina drying her little girl
First meal of momma's milk/colostrum
As soon as the babies are born, I scoop up the thick birth fluid and the wet bedding. I keep a 5 gallon bucket close by to toss it into. This helps keep their kidding pen dryer and more comfortable for the momma and new babies.
Bucket for birth fluids
I also grab some dry hay to spread on the area under the heat lamp to make sure it's dry. This is the place the babies will spend most of their time. I also spread dry hay over any excessively wet areas of the kidding pen after birthing.
Spreading dry hay
After birthing, the clean dry towels and not so clean and dry any more! I usually take a stack of them in each evening to put into the washer. Mom usually puts them into the dryer when she's downstairs bottle feeding the kids.
Towels after birthing
While I was in the kidding pen with Trina, I noticed that Precious's kids were not nursing her udder evenly. (She is in the kidding pen next to Trina.) Sometimes, even twins will nurse on one side and the doe's udder can get over full on one side. This makes it very sore and even harder for the kids to nurse out that side.
Uneven udder from uneven nursing
If you leave the udder like this there can be problems with mastitis developing in the side of the udder that is not being nursed out. Mastitis is an infection in the udder and if it develops, it can be deadly to the doe.
I always check the udders of the does that are nursing her kids in the kidding pens to be sure there is no tightness in her udder. If there is, I'll milk out completely the side that is tight. If it's very tight it will be sore and she may not want her teat touched. The udder has to be milked out anyway. Just be gentle as possible and secure her from dancing around. I clip her collar to the welded wire fencing that the kidding pens are built of.
Milking out the overfull side of the udder
I usually offer the milk back to the momma. Some of them will drink it and some won't. Precious was glad for the warm milk. The calories and calcium is good for her.
Precious drinking the extra milk
It was only minutes later that her twin girls were nursing both sides
For more information on what I do to take care of my does after they have had their babies, you can read my post on After Kidding Doe Care
This morning (Tuesday) when I checked the does, I found Tina in early labor. Tina is Trina's mother. Tina is a 3 year old LaMancha/Nubian cross. She is one of the first babies born on my farm. She was one of the quads that Emily gave me during my first kidding season. That birth story is here My Frist Kidding Season - Emily Tina is the baby you'll see in the birth sack being born.
I checked to see if Tina was dilated yet by putting two fingers inside her just a little bit. Her cervix wasn't quite dilated yet. So, I figured I had time to go inside to get a shower and breakfast before she would be ready to deliver.
When I got back out to the barn, she still hadn't made any progress with delivery. I felt inside her again. This time I felt the tail of the first baby. His butt was preventing his birth! I reached in and down to get his back feet coming out so I could help deliver him. I had to push his butt back in a little bit to get his feet started out. This was my first assisted delivery for any of the LaMancha does this season. I'm really impressed with how easy their deliveries have been.
Tina and her little boy
Here she is after pushing her other 2 kids out. She has 2 boys and 1 girl. The little girl was the last one born and is in the center front. Tina is getting them all cleaned up and dry.
Tina and her triplets
Tina babies all dried off
Lots of mommas and babies
Mid-afternoon - I was getting ready to go downstairs to the Kid Nursery and start the disbudding. I decided I had better go out to the barn one more time before starting the disbudding because it usually takes several hours to get finished. (It took3 and a half hours to disbud the 33 kids) I went out to check on the remaining 3 does that were in the kidding pens. They're a little past their due dates. Daphne had a large gel stream hanging from her.
Daphne is 75% LaMancha and 25% Nubian. She is Lilah's granddaughter.
Large gel stream
I knew she would deliver within minutes. So I stayed with her until she had delivered. Here is the foot of her first baby.
Pushing the foot out
Daphne and her first born little buckling
Here she is with her second baby - a little girl.
Here they are all dried off and eating.
Dried off and hungry
When Daphne was finished delivering her twins, I had to get inside to disbud the kids in the Kid Nursery. They're going to their new homes tomorrow! It took a little over 3 and a half hours to complete the disbudding task. This threw me a little late for evening chores.
As soon as I stepped into the barn this evening, I noticed SweetPea with a gel stream and already pushing. SweetPea is a 2 year old second freshener. She is full blood LaMancha.
SweetPea and her first baby girl
We've had 63 babies in 11 days! There's only one doe left to kid at this time. Then there will be almost 2 weeks with no new kidding! I'm looking forward to the break.