Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I can't remember the last time I came inside and blogged about my day, but this was a day that won't be forgotten soon. We have an apprentice staying with us who is learning about goat birthing, and just as we were about to go outside this morning to milk the new moms -- because their babies are not nursing evenly on both sides -- I heard Sherri yell over the monitor. She was at day 148, and I was expecting her to give birth today because her udder was getting quite big when I saw it last night. So, instead of going to see the new moms, we went into the kidding barn to see Sherri.
She was pushing every now and then, and after about thirty minutes, I heard the phone ring in the barn office. It was a neighbor telling me that a llama was in her yard. Our apprentice had already seen two textbook births, and I'd explained a little to her about dealing with complications, but I said, "This is Sherri. She's had nine years of completely uneventful births. Usually when I hear a sound over the baby monitor, I come running out here to find a kid already born, so she knows what to do. You just have to wipe off the nose and put the kid in front of her face."
I called a friend and asked if someone could come over to help with catching the llama, so she and her teenage son headed over. It started to rain again, and I said, "What else could go wrong?" I realized my cell phone was dead, so we gave my friend's cell phone number to the apprentice ... just in case.
When we got home, I went into the barn to check on the kids, which were huge! Later I weighed them and found that the buck was 4.9 pounds, and the doe was 4.5 pounds, which is really big for Nigerian dwarf kids. I'm happy with 2.5 to 3 pound kids, and I'm pretty sure the does would agree with me on that one!
My friends left, and I came inside, waiting for the phone to ring at 11:00. It didn't ring, so I called the back-up number, and got a recording saying it was disconnected. Just as I started to panic, I got an email from my publicist asking if I was ready for my noon interview! Ah! The confirmation email was wrong; is said 12 eastern time. I'm in the central time zone. An hour later, I did the interview and then decided we should head out to look for lady llama again. Turns out she was easy to find. She was in our pasture! Maybe I should have looked there earlier? I don't know. Maybe there is a place in the fence that was damaged by the storm, and she can now come and go as she pleases. Or maybe it was someone else's llama that was seen? People tend to assume any animals around here are always ours because there are not that many livestock owners in our area.
The deadline for my next book is tomorrow, so I'm hoping to have more time for blogging after that. I still need to tell you about the other births we've had so far and show you the cute pictures of the kids. We are up to 11 kids so far this year, and more are due in February.