|A few days old|
Before I continue with the story, you need to know a thing or two about my dearly beloved. Although Mike is extremely supportive of everything we do out here, his involvement with the livestock has been minimal over the years. He's the carpenter and fence builder and will do whatever we ask of him, but he doesn't really know much about actually caring for animals. He's an engineer and his interest is really in renewable energy. He is also a great cheesemaker, but I digress. Last year, because our children are growing up and leaving home, I told him he needed to learn how to take of goats giving birth because there would come a time in the not-so-distant future when he may be the only one home as a goat is kidding. And last year during our goat birthing marathon in February, as I was collapsing with a migraine, he delivered a set of triplets with me sitting in the corner of the stall trying to convince myself that my head would not really explode.
|The bucklings at a week of age|
Mike started shaking his head and gasped. "I swear she wasn't doing anything when I was out there!" He was putting on his boots as quickly as he could.
"You know," I said, "you really weren't out there long enough. You should have watched her for at least five or ten minutes." Brilliant of me to realize that now, but it's true. You do need to watch a doe for at least one contraction, preferably two or three, to know if she is really serious about giving birth. The really surprising thing about this birth, however, is that we heard nothing over the baby monitor as Clare pushed out the first kid.
Shortly after we arrived in the barn, a second kid was born. Both were bucks, and both obviously had horns. What rotten luck! I had bred Draco, a polled buck, to both Viola and Clare, hoping to get polled mini manchas, and I wound up with five horned kids! The odds of polled kids from a horned-polled breeding is 50/50, and I had been running a little higher with polled in past years, so I suppose it was time to even up the odds. I looked at Clare and said, "I don't suppose you'd still have a polled kid in there, would you? A doe maybe?"
Mike laughed. "She's done," he said. It's true that la manchas almost always have twins.
"She's not that deflated. She could have another one in there," I said.
"Or she could be fat."
And as I was double-checking testicles and horn buds on the kids, Clare plopped down on her side and gave a little push. It was too early for the placenta. I looked under her tail and saw a hoof! "It's another kid!" I shrieked like a fifth grader, "She's got another one!"
And it was a beautiful chocolate sundgau doeling -- polled! Yes!
This lovely little girl will be staying here, so if any of you have any suggestions for naming her, that would be great. Clare's kids are named after country songs, which is kind of odd because I'm not a music fan at all. Her kids from last year are Brand New Girlfriend and Casanova Cowboy. Got any ideas for this little sweetie?