Thursday, February 17, 2011

Giselle's twins

Sunday, February 13 -- A couple days after Charlotte gave birth, it became obvious that Giselle was in labor. Unlike Charlotte and Jo, Giselle is not the quiet, stoic type of goat. Rather than running in at the last minute, we were with Giselle for a couple hours before she gave birth. I kept thinking that something was wrong and then I'd realize that I was just comparing her to Charlotte and Jo, who are truly extraordinary. And I reminded myself that it is not a good thing to have a goat scream once and pop out a kid in one push as I am running through the dark from the house to the barn.

Katherine and I were sitting in the pen with Giselle, who was so much more affectionate than normal. She kept laying down and putting her head on our laps, leaning up against us, and giving us kisses. I joked that her tongue was going to be too tired to clean off her babies by the time they were born. But she was determined to get us cleaned up!

Giselle's buckling was born first!
Once she plopped down and started pushing earnestly, the kids made their appearance fairly quickly. After the second one was born, Giselle seemed very happy -- as if she was done. But I was pretty sure that she must have one more in there. She was the widest of all the goats due last week, although I realized she is not very long-bodied. But that's why I thought three instead of four. Katherine and I debated the possibility of there being another kid inside, and finally I said that I'd believe there were only two if they were four pounds each. They were obviously pretty big, but I really didn't think they were four pounds each, so I weighed them in a canvas shopping bag hanging from my dairy scale, which was just checked for accuracy in preparation for milk testing. The little buck was 4.5 pounds, and the little doe was 4.1! That's a lot of kids to be carrying around!

Giselle's doeling
So, she was done. It was nice attending a birth when the sun was up and the temperature was above freezing. The kids are doing quite well, and Giselle has plenty of milk for them and has even been sharing with us. We haven't separated her from her kids at all, but we've milked her a few times, and we've gotten anywhere from a few squirts to a pound.

And I'm sorry I've given no credit to the father of all these kids lately. I guess I sort of forgot about his contribution since it was five months ago, but Silveraurora Apple Jack was apparently a very busy buck back then. Giselle, Charlotte, and Jo were all pen bred with AJ, so I didn't really know when to expect their babies to arrive. All the rest of the goats have a specific due date, so I can at least narrow down the possible birth dates to a six or seven day window. I don't think I'll be pen breeding for winter kiddings again. That was too stressful.


rachel whetzel said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! What do you call yourself...? Auntie? Gramma? lol They are SO cute.

Nancy K. said...

I love the picture of Giselle 'cleaning up' Katherine! How cute is that???

You're getting spoiled...


Donna OShaughnessy said...

Just when we decided to decrease our goat herd (we had 15-20 most years for over a decade) I come across your blog. It reminds me of why we have goats in the first place. Because they have the cutest kids on the block.

Tiggeriffic said...

That is so cute. I love to see baby goats..
Glad you were able to be there to help her out when she needed you most. Girls just need support when giving birth..
Have a tiggeriffic day~!
ta ta for now from Iowa:)


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