Thursday, May 13, 2010
Sherri's triplets (for the sixth time)
As a two-year-old here, we thought she was in labor for two days, and we kept her in the barn. Then I finally decided that we had no clue what was happening, so we let her go out into the pasture. About 15 minutes later, my son reported that there were three kids in the pasture with her, and one wasn't looking good. When I got there, I thought it was dead, but my daughter insisted it was alive. We brought the tiny doeling into the house and put her in a sink of warm water, because she was ice cold and clearly suffering from hypothermia. She finally snapped back into the world, and she grew up to be a fine doeling. I, however, am still traumatized by the experience five years later. Sherri gives birth too efficiently -- so easily that she doesn't have time to clean off the three or four kids that she always births.
Monday morning, the ligaments were gone, so I knew it would be soon. But the thing about Sherri is that she is the most stoic goat in the world. She makes NO sound until the kid is actually being born -- as in, the kid is shooting out at that moment. This is not a big deal for Shetland sheep people, because practically all Shetlands are quiet as a lamb when giving birth, but most goats are kind of wimpy and loud.
"I'll check on her." Katherine said. A moment later, as I was in the middle of my second bite, I heard her scream over the monitor, "Baby!"
With my mouth full of tamale pie, I pulled off my reading glasses and dropped them on the table, dashed to the front door, pulled on my shoes and ran across the yard towards the barn. (Note: Chewing and running are really not compatible activities. Do NOT try this at home!) I arrived at the kidding barn as I was swallowing my tamale pie, trying not to inhale anything and choke.
Katherine was laughing about Sherri's impeccable timing, and I suggested that she retrieve her brand new camera from the house so that we could get pictures. (She's been saving her money for months to buy a fancy DSLR camera.) She took my advice and then proceeded to take more than 100 photographs of the birth. They're truly amazing, and I'm trying to talk her into making a slide show for us! (Hint: If you want to see it, and enough people ask in the comment section, maybe she'll do it!)
Sherri took an unusually long amount of time between kids this year. For her, that means we were able to get each one dried off before the next one was born. It was really fun compared to most years where she is spitting them out faster than we can dry them or even check the gender of each kid.
The first two kids were does, and then she had a buck, which is pretty cool, because that is exactly what was reserved from her. So, yes, that means that all these sweet little darlings are going to another farm to live. But that's okay, because this was a repeat breeding of the one that produced Jo, whom I dearly love. She fed triplets last year as a first freshener, so she's an awesome little milker.
Back at the ranch, uh, house, the timer on the oven was going off. Luckily, Jonathan was still inside, and he knew it was for the muffins, so he pulled them out of the oven. No one, however, knew that I had put my big tomato plants out on the deck for their hardening off time (including the beautiful green zebra I wrote about yesterday). When I came back inside an hour later and saw them out there, they were only a little wilted, and I pulled them inside immediately.
If you want to see some of the pictures of Sherri's actual birth, I've created a photo album on the Antiquity Oaks Facebook page, so you can check it out. Warning: They are not for the faint of heart, as they do contains things like blood, amniotic sacs, and other bodily fluids and tissues.