Where’s the ring master?

dscf5680_edited-1-1126x522.jpgIt’s a Baby Boom!  I only have a short time to get a post in as I am extremely busy.  The house needs cleaned, laundry needs done, but frankly I don’t have time to take care of it.  Here is how the past couple of days have gone so far…take a deep breath…this will make you feel tired just reading it.

Saturday morning our second doe of the season kidded out.  Brianna or Bree Girl as I call her gave us triplets.  Two bucks and a doe.  They are all black and white, just cute as a button.  The little girl has been named Clara by my daughter Katie but we all have been calling her Twiggy because she is just so teeny tiny.  One of the little buck kids didn’t make it as he was stillborn.  It is so hard to loose a baby but we were happy to get our first little doeling of the season.

Saturday I spent in the barn because two more does were uddered up and looking like they could go at any time.  All day I was running back and forth from the house.  Bottle feeding babies and checking on mommies.  I was just exhausted.  Saturday night came and still no more babies.  This meant a night of waking up every 2 hours, getting dressed, and doing barn checks.  This also convinced me that I need to get one of those fandangled barn monitors so I don’t have to keep running to the barn.  On the other hand, I bet I am loosing weight as running up and down the hill is good exercise right?

Come Sunday morning I felt like I had been run over by a Mack truck.  I was just dead on my feet.  I got up and bottle fed the 4 babies in the playpen in my mudroom.  I then woke up Mikey and asked him to help me with milking chores, etc.  I left Katie and Vince have a day off.  I figured there was no sense in all of us being grumpy and tired.  We got our 400 layers of clothes on because it is still so freaking cold outside.  I downed a cup of coffee real quick (I was so glad that I did this later on).

Mikey and I head off to the barn.  We do our normal chores, getting everyone watered and fed.  I milked the two does that have kidded so far.  I notice my one Saanen doe, Millie, is extra talkative this morning.  I tell Mikey that I think Millie is going to have her babies today because Millie usually could careless about anyone or anything except hay, grain, and water.  We come back to the house and I sit down to write Joey a quick letter.  (I write Joey a letter everyday so that he gets mail everyday while at USMC boot camp)

It has been an hour since I was last in the barn so I figure I better go and check the girls before I jump in the shower.  I grab the cellphone because something just tells me I am going to need it.  I open the barn doors and plop…Millie is giving birth to her second baby.  I quickly grab the cellphone and call the house.  I tell Mikey to come down to the barn that Millie is having her babies.

Mikey comes running down to the barn.  I clean the babies off, wrap them in blankets, and hand them to Mikey for him to take to the house.  I ask him to bring me some warm molasses water for Millie to drink (our little special treat for the mommies) and a few other items. 

Mikey takes the babies to Vince and Katie who immediately start dipping umbilical cords and bottle feeding them.  Vince is all excited to have our first Saanens of the year born.  Mikey grabs the items that I requested, brings them down to me, and runs back to the house to help out with the new babies.  Plus, it is now time to bottle feed the other four already born this year.

I am in the barn…just me and the girls.  I am milking Millie out when I hear a little grunting sound.  Hmm, I know what that sound means.  I finish milking Millie, give her the molasses water, and take a look around at the other girls.  Abby comes and bumps into me to get my attention.  I watch her walk into a stall and lay down.  She looks back at me as if to say “it’s time”.

I call the house.  Vince and the kids are knee deep in baby goats and bottles.  I can hear the stress in Vince’s voice when he says hello.  I tell him Abby is in labor and I could use a little help when he has the chance.  Mikey comes down to the barn and leaves his father and Katie to tend to the baby goat nursery.

Now, I am a little nervous for this birth.  If you have been reading my blog you know Abby nearly died giving birth to Mr. Phil.  I only bred her again because I really wanted to get a doe out her (Abby is a wonderful milker) and everyone thought the first time around was just a fluke.  So as Abby’s labor progresses, I am saying a prayer that all goes well. 

Poor Abby really is pushing and straining, standing then laying.  I am starting to get a little worried that there doesn’t seem to be much progress when I finally see a sack coming.  She keeps pushing and I noticed the baby is breech.  Great, just great, here we go again.  I grab a hold of the baby and as Abby pushes, I gently pull the baby out, break the bag, and clean off the baby’s face to get it breathing.  I take a quick peak…It’s a boy.  Darn!  I really wanted a girl.

Abby quickly begins pushing again.  I wrap the first baby in a blanket and hand him to Mikey.  He runs the baby to the house to Vince and Katie so they can do their thing.  He runs back to the barn.  The second baby’s head comes out and I quickly clean it’s face off so it can breath.  The shoulders are a little stuck so I again pull when she pushes.  I take a peak…It’s a girl!  Yeah!  I announce it to Mikey and we are both cheering Abby and telling her she did a good job.  I wrap her up, hand her to Mikey, and off to house he goes with our long awaited little girl.

When he comes back to the barn, I am delivering Abby’s 3rd and final baby of the year, another little boy.  Mikey quickly grabs him up and runs him to the house.  By now my cellphone is ringing.  It is Vince and Katie.  They are completely overwhelmed and need a little help.  I send Mikey back to the house to help dip umbilical cords and bottle feed babies.  Poor kid, all day long he is running back and forth from the house to the barn and back again.

I get Abby all cleaned up, milked, and fed.  I walk to the house.  I am starving, it is 3pm and I haven’t eaten yet.  In an hour it will be time to milk and do feeding chores all over again.  I jump right in and help bottle feed babies, etc.  Vince runs and gets Mikey and I McDonalds.

After we eat, Mikey goes out to the barn and notices that one of the ewes has lambed.  He goes into the sheep/lamb nursery and sees that they ewes and their babies have all escaped.  All the ewes are running everywhere trying to steal each other’s babies.  I am getting dressed to go back out and milk when he comes in and announces that he needs a little help.  My husband who has been playing nurse maid to baby goats all day, now has to help him catch lambs and ewes and put them back in the barn.  He says to me as he is walking out the door, “This place is a 3 ring circus”!  I am right behind him, and I say, “Where’s the ring master?”

We get everyone put away, milked, fed, watered, etc.  I notice another one of my does is uddering up and she is past due already so I am expecting her to go in the wee hours of the morning.  I am exhausted but I am guessing that this will be another night of barn checks every 2 hours.

Sure enough, Dew Drop Rose delivers quads at approximately 5 am.  She has had triplets and now 2 sets of quads in the past 2 years.  My mud room is over flowing with baby goats in playpens.  Everyone is named so that we can keep them all straight.  I am still doing barn checks every two hours because I still have 2 more does that are over due.  I am hoping that they go any time now as this will give me a break from regular barn checks until the beginning March when the next doe is due.

 All the babies are healthy and happy.  Their mommies are too.  The sheep are still lambing with 3 being born just before this post.  I have posted a picture of the little snuggle bugs sleeping away in their playpen.  This isn’t all of them…I have several playpens just like this one.

You have to be an animal lover to be this exhausted and busy and love every minute of it.  By the way, the girl count is 5 so far which is way better than last year so I am not complaining. 

Ok, it’s time to do a barn check, feed babies, and milking chores.  I keep making my morning coffee stronger and stronger.  If you see the ring master, tell him the 3 ring circus he is looking for is at the Bada Bing Farm! 🙂

About asciotti

Please keep in mind that I never grew up on a farm, lived in the city or its suburbs all my life. Many farmers out there will find this blog a hoot as I stumble through the every day life of running a farm (most of the time...all by myself).
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One Response to Where’s the ring master?

  1. Hi Amy!
    I saw your post on NubianTalk and saw your blog link and thought I’d take a peek!
    What cute babies!!!! Sounds like they are keeping you hopping this year! 😉
    I’ve had 4 does kids so far with twins (50/50), 3 more to go, and 3 of my four ewes have also lambed, 2 sets of triplets & 1 single!
    I also noticed your mention about your son in USMC Boot Camp! I have 3 brothers in the USMC (another planning to join as an Officer in a few years)!!!! There are Forums available for families to join to discuss their Marines-to-be in USMC Boot Camp. I have links for those on my USMC page:
    Well, need to head out and do my chores, but wanted to pop in and say HI!!!
    Jessica 😉

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