Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Like mother, like daughter

We have really come to appreciate that cliche out here. There is a lot to genetics, and Charlotte proved it again yesterday afternoon. An older couple came by to buy a pair of wethers as pets, mostly for their grandkids to play with when they visit. As we were leaving the barn, I heard Charlotte let out a scream that translated as, "I'm in pa-a-a-a-a-a-ain!!!" It was quite different from the whiny "Don't leave me!" sound she makes.

Since she's a first freshener, I didn't rush too much, but I did go back in there as soon as the couple was gone. I took one look at her and knew she was really pushing. Head stretched out, tail curled over her back, long scream, vagina bulging, and a little string of mucous hanging out -- definitely pushing! I yelled, hoping Katherine would hear me on the baby monitor, "She's pushing! Bring the camera!" I went to the store room and grabbed a couple of clean towels. About 10 minutes later, Katherine and I were sitting with her in the stall when Charlotte plopped down on Katherine and got very serious. Charlotte spent the first month of her life sleeping in Katherine's bed and being read bedtime stories, so I think she reverted here when she was kind of scared about what was happening to her.

She gave birth to one huge buckling. As soon as we saw his size, we didn't expect any additional kids. We were worried about Charlotte's mothering instincts at first. She wasn't licking her baby, and she just kept curling her lip up. When I realized she wasn't licking him, I quit drying him. I figured I needed to give her something to clean up, and the last thing I want is a goat who gives birth thinking that I'm going to do all the work for her. She needs to know what she's supposed to do just in case I'm not there! She started licking up the fluids and blood on the towels where the baby was laying, so we got rid of the towel. Finally, she started licking him.

The funniest thing is that she wouldn't stand up. He was obviously hungry and looking for his first meal, and while laying on her side, she lifted her hind leg. "Does she think she's a cat?" I asked Katherine, "or a pig? This is not how goats nurse their babies!" But I figured that any bit of colostrum was good, regardless of how it was obtained, so we scooted the little guy over there, and as soon as his lips touched the teat, he grabbed it and started sucking.

She did eventually stand up, and they did eventually figure out the nursing thing, even though he is on the wrong end in this picture. He is a cutie, and Charlotte is adjusting to her new role as a mommy.


Susan said...

Beautiful little guy.
Do you happen to have a house cat that sleeps in Katherine's bed too? Just wondering... :-) Glad all is going well, except for the coyote incidents. We're getting flooded all around, but at least we got some basil, more lettuce and beans planted before that, so I won't have to worry about watering for awhile.

Nancy K. said...

These pictures are absolutely priceless! Especially the one of Charlotte leaning on Katherine! You must be so proud of your daughter...

Deborah said...

Thanks, Nancy! Katherine actually loves the picture also, which is unusual. Like you said in your blog recently, most people don't like pictures of themselves. I have a picture of her when she was 9 with a baby goat, and she hates it, even though I think it's adorable. She has given me her permission to have the picture of her and Charlotte framed!


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