Sunday, February 2, 2014
First kidding for 2014
We don't have any birth pictures or terribly exciting stories to tell about our first birth of the year, which occurred on Friday. Lizzie was so stoic through the whole thing that by the time we realized she was in labor, Mike went to the barn, and there were two kids already on the ground -- a buck and a doe.
We have a video monitor, which also has sound, and Lizzie is now nine years old and doesn't have a history of being very quiet. The TV is upstairs in our bedroom, and we were both downstairs, and I heard the unmistakable sound that a goat makes when pushing out a kid, and I told Mike he needed to go outside and check on her. Being new to this whole birthing thing, he wasn't in a hurry. (He has only started to help with birthing in the last couple years after our second daughter went away to college.) In all fairness, however, I wasn't pushing him terribly hard because I had just heard her start to make noise. And Lizzie has a history of having really huge babies -- as big as five pounds! -- which don't usually come shooting out very fast like the normal two to three pound baby goats.
Although the kids were apparently born without a problem, the little buckling had some challenges over the next few hours. It appeared that he had been the second kid born because he was not nearly as clean or dry as the doeling. Although the doeling was pretty active and nursing, the buckling was not. He just kept standing and standing. I'd put him under Lizzie, and he acted like he had no idea what to do with that teat that was dangling in front of his face.
Because I am having problems with the cold weather myself, I can't spend a lot of time outside, so I came back into the house a couple of different times, hoping he'd figure it out for himself. Mike also tried to help him nurse for quite a long time. Finally I decided to bring him inside because his legs were feeling quite cold, and when I put my finger in his mouth, it felt cooler than normal, and he had a very weak sucking reflex that would not have produced any milk if he had attempted to nurse.
After getting him warmed up with a heating pad in my lap and giving him an ounce of Lizzie's colostrum in a bottle, I put him on the floor to see how he'd behave. At first he laid down, but after about a fifteen minute rest, he got up and started bouncing all over the living room. We sat down to dinner, and I said that I didn't want to put him back outside until I'd seen him pee. And a few minutes later, he bounced over to the dining room table and left a nice big puddle right there a couple feet away from me!
Since we had him inside, I suggested that we weigh him, and he was a whopping 4 pounds, 7 ounces, so although he didn't break any records for Lizzie, he was almost twice the weight of an average Nigerian newborn! Mike took him back outside to be with his mom and sister after we finished our dinner, and he said that the little guy started nursing like a pro within a couple minutes of saying hi to his mom.
Two days later, and both kids are doing great!