Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lizzie's triplets

If only Lizzie's birth had been a stand-alone event -- meaning there was nothing else happening at the time -- it would have been perfectly glorious. But life on a homestead isn't like that. Of course, sometimes things happen at the perfect time when we have nothing else happening and when our heads are clear and we can think logically. But not the day Lizzie decided to kid.

If you read the post about Viola's death a couple of weeks ago, you know that right in the midst of that confusing mess, Lizzie went into labor. It's probably a good thing that I didn't write up the experience too soon, or I would have sounded like a -- hmm, I don't know -- let's just say I would not have inspired confidence in anyone that any goat could actually give birth without complications. I sit here typing today and know that is absolutely not true. But when you are in the midst of trying to save a dieing goat, and you saw a horribly deformed kid born only two days earlier, your brain can become horribly pessimistic. (You're probably thinking paranoid.)

If I would have written this sooner, I could have given you a minute-to-minute script of all the horrible things that were going through my head, but trust me when I say that you're not missing anything important. There are really only two things I remember at this point. The first kid was coming out head only, which can be a little challenging because the shoulders are kind of wide when the legs are against the chest. But it is not a big deal, especially for a doe that gave birth to a five-pound buckling last year! I know she has enough room to give birth to the caprine version of a draft horse. And the kid was born just fine.

The other thing that sticks out in my head is that while I was drying off the second one, Lizzie was standing there licking it, and suddenly -- plop! -- there was a kid in the straw behind her. I have no idea whether it was born nose first, tail first, or something in between. I'm not even sure that Lizzie knew she had pushed out another one, which is why a human needs to be there for these goats that have multiple kids. After the first two, they usually come shooting out with what appears to be virtually no effort on the part of the doe. Lizzie was busy licking one of the first two kids, so who knows when she would have noticed number three. Indeed, in our early days with goats, before we were halfway competent about figuring out when a doe was going to kid, we wound up with too many hypothermic kids that were part of triplets or quads. It was not fun.

So, Lizzie gave birth to three beautiful and healthy doelings. I had planned to keep a doeling, and now I have to choose one! Yesterday, I spent an hour with them, and I'm having a terrible time deciding. The tan one is definitely an aspiring herd queen. The creamier one is a social butterfly, and the whiter one is mama's girl. If only I hadn't broken my crystal ball, I could figure out which one will be the best milker when she grows up. I usually have such a terrible time deciding in these situations that I just let the buyers choose, and I keep the one that's left.


LindaG said...

Glad they all came out well.
And maybe keeping the last one will work out for the best! :)

Carolyn Renee said...

Congrats on the THREE doelings! I've also noticed that if a doe has multiple kids, the first one is a little difficult, but then ZING! out the others come like a cannon.

Tombstone Livestock said...

Congratulations on having 3 choices to make.

Margaret said...

Hah, you forgot to mention that I was the voice of reason trying to calm you at the time. ;-)

SkippyMom said...

So cute. She did a fine job, didn't she?

I vote for the one that is in the front in the first pic'. She seems to be saying "I wanna stay." :D

MarmePurl said...

I've been waiting to learn of the outcomes of all the difficulties.

Many thanks for sharing the story, all if it. Quite educational.

Wonderful photos!

Voni said...

They are beautiful! I would love to have a light colored doe to add to my herd but I believe your a little too far right now. I'm glad this delivery was much better for you.


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