Saturday, April 17, 2010

First Goat Kidding of the Season

Xoe kidded to a doeling and two bucks tonight!!!! They are all black and tan like mom and dad, however, the doeling has less tan than usual, all black around the mouth, chin and nose. I haven't weighed them yet but they are all about the same size, five to six pounds each I'm guessing. This is Xoe's first positive kidding/ nursing/mothering experience so we are all very excited. She has had traumatic deliveries and has rejected her kids initially her past two kiddings.

Two nights ago I was checking in on Xoe at four a.m. and was sure she was in labor. I ended up staying up a couple hours to realize that if she was, nothing was happenning any time soon. We've been watching her like hawks, maybe too closely, for the last couple days. We ignored her for most of today and noticed some obvious contractions mid afternoon. By six p.m. we decided she was in heavy labor, she was beginning to brace against the ground with her back legs during contractions, which were fairly consistent and long. After sitting with her for over an hour her labor began to stall, and it seemed as if the contractions were letting up. We decided I should lube up and go in just to see if I could tell what was going on. I could feel a head upside down with a leg in front of it, but the kid was way in there and not close to coming up. I didn't feel any other kids tangled or nearby and decided to back out and see if things would pick up, as I had popped her water while searching around.

Shortly thereafter she begin to push out a head. My bucket with supplies was about fifteen feet away. I had latex gloves and a tub of warm water and lubricant ready. Within a minute I was back with my right hand, gloved and lubricated pushing the head back before it came all the way out. I followed her neck down and felt the right leg, grabbed it and pulled it forward, switched over to her left side, another contraction almost pushed her head out again. I grabbed the left leg and pulled it forward and then grabbed both legs together and during the same contraction pulled the kid out, in less than I minute. Can you tell, I am proud of myself!  In case you are wondering, kids usualy cannot be delivered with their legs back against their bodies. Instead  their legs need to be in the diving position. The first kid was the doeling, an exciting start to the season! The next boy was upside down and backwards, a position which can be delivered in, and he came right out. We were busy drying everyone off and moma was busy licking her kids. I tried the bouncing technique described by Molly on her Fiasco Farm site and was pretty sure I felt another kid inside. Finally Xoe took a break from her kids to deliver the third, which came out in the proper position.

We moved doe and kids into the back stall with fresh hay, water (and molasses water), grain and a heat lamp. There we continued to dry everone and help the kids nurse. We made sure all three kids got several good sucks before we left them to rest a bit. It is now eleven p.m. and we are inside watching Xoe and her kids on the T.V. via surveilance camera. At the moment one is resting, two are standing and every once in a while they try stepping or hopping and fall into a tangled heap. So far Xoe is doing great with the exception of accidentally stepping on the kids a few times. We'll be helping the kids nurse one more time before we go to bed and again in the middle of the night or early morning. It takes the kids a while to get the hang of finding the teat and latching on. It is vital that they nurse soon after kidding and then every couple hours after that. We are highly involved in enabling and forcing the kids to nurse initially and then making sure we see them nurse every time we visit for the first couple days.

I'm hoping to get some pictures uploaded tomorrow....Been thinking of A names, thats right no more X, Y and Z, thank goodness. This year the official letter to begin names, (if you wish to be a trend follower or conformist) is A. We bought our first kids on an X year, then thought of Y names, then Z names and now we are finally getting around to something different. Other naming restrictions that we have imposed on ourselves are that Rose's kids have flower or botanical names, Xanadu's kids get place or mythical place names. I'm not sure about Xoe's kids, cute punky trendy names? Rose and Xanadu are both due next week, although we are still concerned that Xan might not be pregnant. On my four a.m goat check last night Rose (who is pure white) was standing in the middle of her pen doing yoga in the night. I'm not kidding. She was stretching, going into a downward dog like pose, and back up into cobra. Movin those babies into place. It was beautiful to see, wish I could have captured it on camera. Well here is to a sucessful start to our kidding season!

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