Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Kid watch


Sherri was due Sunday, and she's still pregnant. This afternoon, I thought she might have been in labor because she was making a lot of noise, even mumbling when she was eating her grain and moaning as she ate her hay. But her tail ligaments are still there, and she isn't "hollow" yet, meaning that she still looks like a table top. She is flat across her spine and belly. Although I never understood that whole "baby dropping" thing with humans, it definitely happens with goats when they're close to giving birth. When the babies drop, there is a hollow area next to the spine on both sides of the goat's belly.

At least this year we have a nice warm room where we can wait for kids, which is important today because a blizzard is predicted tonight. Last month, we put together kidding pens in the smaller barn. That's where our pump room is located, and when we bought the place, there was a room called "the office" by the previous owner. We have continued calling it the office even though we've never used it as one. Most recently Mike was staining wood in there for the library bookcases, which he finished. (I need to take pictures and get that post online!)

There is a toilet, sink, heater, refrigerator, television, phone, and now a futon. It is also where Sam and Bogie, the two new barn kitten live. They love all the attention they're getting now. Unfortunately, I can't get a signal for my cell phone, so I can't send text messages, which also means I can't send tweets. Otherwise, it's a nice little place to escape, and it's 100% better than sitting under a heat lamp in the barn, especially when it's supposed to get down to zero in the next few days.

People often ask why we need to be there when kids are born, and usually the only thing we do is dry off the kids. That's especially important in this weather. A kid can get hypothermia and die within minutes. Unfortunately, it's happened. And I know other people who have had kids lose their ears to frostbite. Moms do lick their babies when they're born, but if they have three or four kids, they usually can't lick fast enough.

11 comments:

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

One word about Sherri - OUCH!

SkippyMom said...

Michelle I was thinking the exact same thing. Poor girlie.

How many kids do you think Sheri is going to have Antiquity? Knowing nothing about farm animal husbandry - I still want to guess more than one?

Take care and try to stay warm tonight. :D

Kara said...

Love the "office". Good luck on kid watch.

Deborah said...

Michelle -- I agree! I was thinking that maybe she's moaning because she's just so huge!

SkippyMom -- Sherri has always had three or four kids. Goats often have twins, but triplets are pretty common with Nigerians. Once in awhile you hear of someone's doe having five or six.

Kara -- Thanks! Katherine spent last night out there. I think she likes the privacy since she shares a bedroom with her sister in the house. She looked like she was moving in!

Claire said...

Oh my, this makes me worry about our kid(s) that are due. We don't have such a good setup. We lost our first 2 kids to the cold, but we didn't know they were coming. The guy who sold us the goat said she was due Nov 27 and she never did anything, so we assumed she was not pregnant and she went back out with the others, only to give birth on Dec 27 when we were on our way home from Canada, and they died, much to my heart's sorrow. Now the next one he sold us is due (he told us "sometime in December" but we already know not to believe him). She is inside the Wick building which is unheated but we have two heat lamps (the chick kind) with 250 watt bulbs, so we hope for the best. We are at work 9 hours a day so it's hard to say when they might show up, but I hope we'll be there. I keep feeling ligaments but I'm so new to this that I just don't know.

Lucy said...

The kidding office

Nancy K. said...

I'd say she hasn't dropped! It looks like she's probably got 4 in there and no room for them TO drop...

Awesome 'office'!

Sharrie said...

The way Sherri looks, I would say that goats have litters like puppies and kittens. That must be extremely uncomfortable. Hope you have had some progress by now. Good luck!

Deborah said...

Claire -- probably the easiest thing for you to watch is the udder. It usually fills up with milk before the kids are born. With first fresheners, however, it might not be as obvious. Good luck! I know it's heart-breaking to lose them.

Lucy -- LOL

Nancy -- I said the same thing last night! What if she has so many in there that they have no place to drop?

Sharrie -- Sheri definitely has litters!

Claire said...

Well, when I feel her udder, it's what I would call "puffy." Before, it was nothing - just flat. Now it's not hard or red or even what I would call full or swelling - it's just "puffy" like if you had a mitten in a pocket and it just made the pocket puff out a bit. It's quite subtle. Today she is stretching her neck out a lot. She looks like she is playing at being a giraffe. She is a pygmy. I will try to do a blog post about her tonight with pictures. Maybe you will have some ideas.

Deborah said...

Claire -- my advice could be a bit off since she is a pygmy. I've been told they don't produce (or have the udders) like Nigerians do. In my experience, puffy would mean she's about a month from giving birth. When my girls are within 12 hours of birthing, their udders fill up really big UNLESS they are first fresheners. All bets are off with them, as a couple first fresheners had me worried that they'd produce enough milk to feed their babies, but they did come through. It just took them a couple days to really get going. I wish Sherri would get "hollow" so you could see what it looks like when the babies drop.

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