Thursday, March 3, 2011
Even if you've been reading my blog forever, you probably don't remember me mentioning Viola. That's because she has done little other than frustrate me for four years, and I don't like to complain. Viola's mama is the one that died from copper deficiency -- the one whose liver I insisted be biopsied to check the copper level, because four different vets insisted a copper deficiency was impossible if I were feeding a complete feed and had minerals available for the goats. She died when Clare and Viola were only two months old and after learning that her copper level was only 4.8 (normal is 25-150 ppm), I was amazed she had survived as long as she did. That also meant I was now the owner of two orphans who were severely copper deficient, because mama can't give her babies something that she doesn't have. And I was going it alone because the current vet was still obliviously trusting the feed companies and refused to give me prescription copper for any of my goats.
About a week before they ultimately kidded, I noticed Viola's udder was really starting to get big. It was filling up in the rear, which never happened when she got a precocious udder. And each day as her udder got bigger, I got more excited that we really would have mini-mancha babies, at last!
Although Viola had no problems at all, I was momentarily freaked out when she was in labor. Mike had just walked in the barn to check on me, and I told him I saw a hoof. Then a minute later, I said, "Oh, this is not good. The hooves are upside down." After a couple more pushes, I realized my error. If you see an inch of a Nigerian hoof, it's the bottom of the hoof, which would mean the baby was coming out upside down or breech. But these babies are bigger, so I was relieved when I realized I was seeing the front of the hoof. How much bigger are they? The little buck was 7.4 at birth, and the doeling was 6.7, so they weigh about twice as much as Nigerian babies!
During Viola's labor, I kept noticing Lizzie laying on her side, looking like she was pushing a little, but she wasn't screaming, so I wasn't worried. I had to leave to go to U of I and pick up Caboose, but I knew Katherine would be home at any minute, and she would be able to handle whatever Lizzie threw her way. If this were fiction, I'd think, "Oh, foreshadowing!" but as they say, truth is stranger than fiction.