Finally, after months of anticipation, weeks of prayer and worry, and too much stress, our Kinder doe, Arabella (aka Bell) kidded last night!
I have been so stressed about her delivery. Her due date was not for another 8 days according to the breeder, at which time I would have been away on my trip. That was bad enough, knowing not only would I miss it, but S would have to handle things–which he wasn’t too keen on. So, I was caught off guard when I fed breakfast yesterday morning, and, when I checked her ligaments (a morning habit within a week or two of delivery), I noticed they had disappeared. I know the breeder housed her with the buck for about 6 weeks, so apparently, there was a bit of a rendezvous prior to the date they thought. In any case, as has become my routine with does in early labor, I put all the goats out to pasture, which I can easily see from the house. Within a few hours, I noticed Bell was hanging out by the fence yelling a lot. Anytime she would see me (or another person, for that matter) in the window or outside, she would really yell. It was clear she wanted out of the pen. Curious, and knowing she is a people-loving goat anyway, I let her out. I then proceeded to spend about 1/2 the day doing some outdoor chores. Bell was happy as a clam, as long as she could see me or be near me or one of the children playing. It was obvious something was going on with her. As a precaution due to my last 2 kidding stress-related issues, I gave Bell some free-choice fresh kelp, yeast, and a dose of Vit a,d,c, and B12, all of which she seemed to enjoy and appreciate.
I continued to monitor throughout the day, then put her in the kidding pen that eve. There had been no additional changes other than she just seemed to want to be with people. I took my shower, and around 10:00, decided to check on her before heading to bed. I found on her lying on her side, grunting, panting, and generally acting miserably uncomfortable. I went back inside and quickly got dressed in some work clothes (I was only in a nightgown, and not one that was very conducive to delivering kids!). Long story, short, after 3 hours of first-stage labor, being a complete baby, and milking it for all she was worth, she finally progressed into second-stage and started having big contractions. She eventually popped out 2 perfectly healthy, full-term, strong and vibrant babies–1 doe and 1 buck.
Bell is a first-time mom, and the first boy’s front legs were back a little too far (elbows were bent, so his nose was almost even with the hooves), so I did wind up pulling him, one leg at the time, to help her along. I then placed him beside her, and she looked at him like he was an alien. She had no idea what to do with him, and threatened to get up and leave until another wave of contractions made her lie back down. Between contractions, she sniffed him a bit, but she was taking so long, I decided to go ahead and ensure at least his face was clean and clear so he could breathe. Then #2 came out with no trouble at all. Since Bell still hadn’t shown any signs of licking, I went ahead and cleared the little doelings nose and face, and placed her beside mom’s head as well. It took a few more minutes, but Bell, too exhausted to stand, finally took a hesistant lick. That seemed to slowly trigger some mommy instincts, and she finally set to work cleaning her babies. It was at this point that I noticed how much fluid she had produced. There was a lot more blood and fluid than the other 3 deliveries I experienced–but, not so much blood I was concerned. It was just interesting to note.
After about 45 minutes, the babies were up and walking (relatively speaking), and looking for a teat to nurse. Bell, on the other hand, thought she was done and refused to get up and cooperate. S and I forced her to stand, brought the babies over, and let them nurse. Again, that seemed to trigger the final instincts to kick in, and after all that, she took charge and accepted them as her babies. She has since proven to be a good mom. As it turned out, the babies look almost identical in color to mom and each other, and the doe has the hilarious Kinder trademark “airplane ears” that stick straight out, while the buck’s ears are floppy like mom’s. For some reason, everytime I see the doe’s ears, I think of that old show I grew up with “The Flying Nun.” You can see for yourself.
The following information is just for my future reference:
- 8:00 am–ligaments gone and bagged up
- 10:00–very vocal and desiring human contact almost continuously
- Spent the day working outside so she could be with us
- 8:00 pm–fed, watered, and checked on her. No progress.
- 10:00–checked to find her lying on side, experiencing small contractions.
- Monitored for the next 3 hours.
- 11:30–still no progress, so I gloved up to check on things. I found her cervix effaced but not fully dilated, and couldn’t get past it. I had to wait it out.
- 12:00a.m.–Mucus finally visible.
- 12:50–Hard contractions started.
- 1:00–Baby #1 born; a buck, 6.5 lbs.
- 1:15–Baby #2 born; a doe, 5 lbs.