Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Goat babies are here!

Meet the two newest additions to our herd (for now)!

What a night!

Sass was bleeting all day on Monday, so we knew we were close. She was constantly changing positions and barely stood or sat still all day. As it got dark, we made a point of checking on her every 30-45 minutes. By 11:30 pm, we decided to try and get some sleep since she hadn't gone into full on labor yet. We had the baby monitor in the bedroom and I remember asking Rick what sounds he thought we ought to be alert to. He said, loud bleating. Not 2 minutes later, the loud bleating started! I told him to stay in bed and that I'd let him know when she was going into labor. Sure enough, I was out there maybe 10 minutes and she laid down and started to push. I told Rick to come out and grab the 'kidding kit' on his way.

We both sat there with her for about 30 minutes when we felt that it may go on for awhile. Contractions were pretty far apart, so we didn't think she was 'serious' yet. I told Rick to go get some sleep and that I'd call him when something happened. Two hours later, I went inside to use the bathroom and check the clock. When I realized it had been 2 hours, I checked some of my internet sources to make sure this was still ok. They all said that if it was going on that long with no apparent progress, something was wrong. I also read that if the initial discharge was red (and not typical amber colored) that there may be a dead kid involved. Ugh. I was worried.

I woke up (he wasn't really sleeping) Rick and sent him out there while I scrubbed up. When I got back out to the goat shed, I saw what I thought was a nose poking out. It was furry - and goats are supposed to be born feet first, so whether it was a nose or a wasn't good. I 'went in' and discovered that it was definitely a butt. I had to push it back in and turn it around so that it could be born. Unfortunately, this was the first baby, so there was no room inside (the others were obviously still in there!). My lack of skills didn't help matters, either. Rick started to get really concerned. He was starting to worry that we were going to lose Sass and the babies. As much as I didn't know what I was doing, I was determined that we'd get it straightened out and at the very least, save Sass. While I stood there with goat goo up to my elbows, Rick ran inside to check photos of a breach birth to verify that we were doing the right thing. We were, so we set about getting this to work. Just as I was about to give up and let Rick take a shot at this, Sass managed to deliver the baby in it's new position - shoulders/head first. While we were cleaning up that baby and getting it in front of Sass, she delivered the second one. This one came out backward (which is fine) and was out in a flash. We had both babies sitting before Sass so that she could clean them, and we helped dry them off. It was a real mess, actually.

We then got each kid to nurse a little. It's best to get the colostrum into them as early as possible. Since they seemed willing, we helped them find the teet and they both took a good drink. While this was going on, Sass started contracting again. We expected to see the afterbirth, but when I saw fur, I knew there was another baby on the way. This one was kind of coming out backwards, but there was only one foot. The other leg was not where it was supposed to be! As she pushed, this baby slipped all the way out and I saw immediately that it was not viable. It was somewhat contorted and the head kind of had a dent in it. I immediately wrapped it up and took it away for fear of upsetting Sass (if goats do that kind of thing). She quickly returned her focus to her existing babies, so I don't think it was a problem.

By 4:30 am, we were ready to leave Sass to bond with her new babies. We gathered up all our stuff and headed inside to shower. About an hour later, we checked on them, and everything was fine. We noticed that they were still a little damp, so we pulled out the hairdryer again and dried them off completely:

Rick using a hairdryer to dry off the goat babies about 3 hours after they were born.

At this point, Sass was pretty much falling asleep on her feet. Rick gave Sass some grain, helped the kids nurse one more time, and then we left them all to take naps while we called the vet for an antibiotic recommendation and located a good dog 'igloo' for the kids to sleep in/play on. Sass needs antibiotics to protect her from infection after our little 'intimate' experience.

And, about 4 hours later, we saw them poking their heads out of the goat shed, so we went to hang out with them. The goat baby #2 is very, very inquisitive. He is going to be a terror! Goat baby #1 seems to be a little calmer. Both are super cute and very friendly. Both are also boys. We've named baby #2 Oreo after his father since he looks a lot like him. Baby #2 still doesn't have a name. Considering that we have a cat named Kitty, we may need help with coming up with a good name! We had hoped to have a girl or two that we would keep as part of our milking herd, but we didn't plan on keeping any boys. One of them is already promised to the family that we get our grass-fed beef from - they want a goat for a pet. We are not yet sure of the fate of the second one, but we are considering keeping him around as a playmate for Buddy. We'll see.

This is Oreo (goat baby #2)...the younger brother and the one that is already shaping up to be extremely mischievous!

This is goat baby #1 until we come up with a better name for him. His coloring reminds me of both cookies and cream ice cream AND a reverse skunk - but neither observation calls forth a good name for a boy (if he were a girl, he'd be either Cookie or Flower!).

Proud (and tired!) momma with her two boys. Good job,'ve done good!


JES said...

Wow, what an event! Great job to you both and Sass, of course. How about Pepe for the #1 kid? As in Pepe le Piu?

vintage77 said...

OMG! I love them! I wish I could keep a goat baby in my loft ;-) You guys are totally awesome and I'm so impressed with your delivery skills. In the one picture of goat baby #1 he looks a little caramel in color.

I've been waiting anxiously and checking the blog daily for the arrival of little goat babies and I'm glad it all worked out!

For my part, I've at least started doing some countertop composting and we now have a community garden at my yoga studio so that's fun! With no yard or even outdoor access at my place, its the most I can do at this point ;-)

Miss you!
Love, Andrea

Cat said...

JES! That's what we decided to name him last night! How funny is that? Yes, he is now Pepe and we are working on calling them by their names and not just #1 and #2. :-)

Andrea! Glad to hear from you!! I'm growing lettuce in our basement with a regular old florescent could do it in your window, I'm sure. ;-) Miss you, too!

Anonymous said...

Way to Go Sass! Great job helping her out too! I love the picture of Rick using the blow dryer on them. Wish I could take one off your hands-They are so cute!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is one of my favorites, and reading it gives me an excellent escape when I need a short break at work.

I had been waiting to hear Sass's good news! Congratulations to all of you. I'm in awe---the way you and your DH handled the birth. I can't wait to follow these little fellows are they grow up.

Also, am looking forward to hearing about your spring/summer bike adventures, if you can find time to ride!

Suzanna (aka mickchick, velobambina)