Kidding season officially closed tonight with the birth of Fancy’s twins. All told, we got 12 kids. One premature and stillborn, one premature and now deceased, and 10 healthy strapping kids – 5 bucks and 5 does.
Fancy has been our lowest-maintenance goat throughout the time we’ve had them. No hoof trims needed, no worming, no nothing. Which is good because she’s also the most standoffish and hardest to catch. So I was hoping that if any of the goats needed help, it wouldn’t be Fancy.
She had the longest labor of anyone. She started when I got home from school around 3:30 and finally finished giving birth around 9:30 at night. In the rain. In the cold. But the kids were strong and vibrant. One dark 8-lb buck and one light 7-lb doe, so she “bucked” the trend I talked about yesterday of the dark does and light bucks that all the other does had. In fact, her little doeling looks almost exactly like her.
Fancy cleaned her kids off well and then….
SHE WOULDN’T LET THEM NURSE!
Oh no! Every time one of the kids got near her udder they received a swift kick to the head. She would let them suck at her knees, her chest, her sides, but not her udder.
I sat in the rain and watched this go on for way too long wondering if I should intervene. The kids were holding up their end of the bargain. They were tenacious about sucking and trying to find the udder and nipples. They searched, they sucked, they bleated, but she wouldn’t let them on.
So finally I decided that we’d have to help her get the hang of it. I went to get Lindsey and we both trekked out in the rain. The plan was to hold Fancy and let the kids latch on with the hope that Fancy would figure it out. When we got out to the paddock we decided to wait 5 or 10 minutes longer and she finally did let the kids nurse.
After they had both gotten a good drink we carried them underneath the portable shelter to help them stay as dry as possible before we went back in for the night.
One calf to go, then only small stuff for the rest of the year. Rabbits and chickens are much less stressful!