This morning we headed to the barn for our morning chores. I had a feeling our new doe Ella would be kidding today because last night I had noticed her udder looked as if it was beginning to swell.
We began by getting everyone fed. Ella always follows me into the milk room and jumps up on the stand to be fed. I always train my ladies to do this before they kid so that when milking time comes, I am not fighting to get them on the stand.
This morning Ella didn’t follow me into the milk room. She sort of was just standing there looking at me. I took her by the collar and walked her into the milk room and helped her up on the stand. I put some grain into her dish. She just stood there and looked at me. I asked her if she was feeling ok (and yes, I know she can’t answer me back but I talk to my goats all the time and yes, I know that makes me crazy in some peoples’ eyes). I looked her over, felt her tail ligaments, and checked her udder. I knew something was up.
The kids and I finished chores. While everyone was having breakfast, I watched Ella closely. She was now off the milk stand and just standing in the milk room watching me closely. It wasn’t long before I noticed she was beginning to have light contractions. I sent the kids in their prospective directions to get things ready for our first ever Snubians to be born. We have things down to a science now. Everyone knows their jobs and this seems to be the only time the kids actually cooperate with me instead of fighting me tooth and nail.
Our entire herd had their breakfast and were busy eating their hay when Ella decided it was time. By now we had her in a private area where she could see the other goats but wouldn’t be bothered by them. She kept a close eye on me and whenever I walked too far away, she gave a small baaa as if to say “please don’t leave”.
She was a true champ and gave birth as if she was an experienced mother. She needed little reassurance but we eagerly gave it to her when she began to panic. It only took about 15 seconds of petting and sweet talking for her to understand all was ok.
The first baby was a doeling who looks exactly like a Saanen except with airplane ears and a ever so slight of a black/gray stripe right down her spine. She quickly began pushing again and to our good luck, she had another doeling that is the spitting image of her Mama except for again those cute airplane ears.
Katie took the girls off to the house while Mikey and I milked Ella out, gave her a bucket full of warm molasses water, alfalfa hay, and some grain. When we left the barn she was munching on her hay and seemed to be content. We fed the new baby girls their first bottle and dipped their umbilical cords in iodine. I called Vince who is currently in Buffalo, NY to tell him we had twin doeling Snubians and sent an email off to Todd Biddle who bred Ella when he owned her.
Miss Ella is a beautiful doe and gave us two beautiful Snubians. Our first ever and most likely our last as well. How lucky could we have gotten to get doelings only. No matter how many times I am there to play midwife and nursemaid to animals on our farm, I am always amazed by the miracle of birth. As I recently told my city dwelling sister Ann who works in Harrisburg, Pa as a Executive Assistant…my job might entail me standing in pig manure and goat birthing fluids from time to time but being there to witness life taking it’s first breath beats working in a office cubicle any day of the week.
Ok, got to go…the babies are crying for their bottles again. I will post pics when I can.
Ciao for now…