Monday, April 2, 2012

Girlfriend's triplets

This kidding season has been filled with more surprises than any other in recent memory. The triplets were not a surprise, but the way that Girlfriend did things was very unusual, to say the least.

Girlfriend, a first generation mini la mancha, has been quite large for at least a month, so I've been saying that I wouldn't be surprised if she had triplets, even though she's a yearling, and they usually only have one or two. Saturday night, her udder was quite large for a first freshener, but her tail ligaments were still very easy to find. The udder convinced me that she could kid pretty soon, so I put her in a kidding pen during evening chores.

A mini mancha doe with elf ears
Katherine was doing chores Sunday morning when she walked into the kidding barn to find Girlfriend standing in her pen munching away on hay with a kid nursing -- a fluffy, dry kid nursing! Katherine thought to herself, Well, isn't Mom going to be surprised that Girlfriend only had one kid!

She went to milk the goats and when she came back about half an hour later, there was a kid in the straw, still half covered with an amniotic sac, and Girlfriend was in the process of pushing out a third kid! It had to have been at least two or three hours since the first kid was born because it was completely dry and fluffy.

So the final count is one buck with erect ears and two does that are marked just like mama, but one has big ears. I definitely lost the ear lottery big time with the second generation mini manchas this year. Odd are that 25% will have erect ears, but three of the five mini kids this year actually have erect ears! Well, that lovely little doe will make a great family milker for someone who isn't interested in registered goats. But I digress . . . back to their entry into the world . . .

A mini mancha doe with erect ears,
which happens 25% of the time with second generation.
For the first time ever in the history of this farm, I have to say that I'm glad I wasn't present for a birth. Even though no one was there, we learned a lot. My "let nature take its course" attitude might have been tested severely if I'd been there. I am a lot more "hands off" than a lot of people with goats. As long as a doe is not in obvious distress, I let her handle things, and it works quite well. So many people are afraid that kids will be born dead if they don't intervene after a certain number of minutes, even when the doe seems perfectly fine. I could make guesses all day long about what I'd have done with Girlfriend, but I'll save myself the time and simply file away this information under "lessons learned."


MamaTea said...

What an amazing kidding season you're having! Full of so many surprises. :) I sure am enjoying reading about it - learning so much from your experiences...and lovin' the pictures!

rachel whetzel said...

I have to say, I think I'll be a much calmer goat tender when Ginger kids... just from your repeated reassurance that things don't have to be rushed. Thanks to Girlfriend, for even MORE confirmation on this one. :) Note to self: Watch and wait. :)


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