Wednesday, April 11, 2007

kidding 2007

Well, we're in the thick of kidding season. I both love and hate this time of year. I love getting new babies, but midwifing a goat is a scary activity.

Traci kidded on Monday morning--I went out to do the chores, and she wasn't with the rest of the goats. Like the smart girl she is she had gone off into the private pen (what we call "the mother-in-law apartment") and was making soft moany grunting noises. So I hurried and got a fresh batch of straw to bed down the hutch, then went inside for my kidding supplies. By the time I got back out she'd had the first baby and was drying it off. Once it was fairly dry I took it and tied off and dipped its navel--in the process discovering that it was a buckling. So I christened him Captain Stubing. While I ran up to the house and shouted for more towels Traci kidded the second baby--a girl this time, which we named Audrey Two. Once more through the drying and navel doctoring routine, then, when I thought we were all done, I looked up at Traci's back end, and there were some upside-down hooves! So the third baby--another girl, named Dame Edna--came out backwards, but thankfully not breech position. That would have been too much for me! This baby also got her navel tied off and dipped in the iodine. They are beautiful babies, and Traci definitely throws a certain type. They're all brown with white ears, and Captain Stubing and Audrey Two have white poll marks, just like their half sister Violet. I was hoping for a grey or black baby to liven up our herd color, but no luck.

Finola kidded yesterday morning, but her baby was dead. Unfortunately I wasn't out there to see what happened, so I have no idea if it was born dead or just never got up. She had done a good job of drying it off, but it was all crumpled on the ground like it had never moved. Poor Finola. She is such a good and attentive mom--she spent most of the day yesterday bawling. We're concerned about her, because she looks really red and inflamed, and hasn't seemed to finish passing the afterbirth. But from what I can feel, as well as my uncle and our sheep-ranching neighbor, she doesn't have any kids left inside her. It's weird for her to just kid a single, because she kidded twins last year. But one of those babies was dead as well, so maybe Finola has a hard time getting live babies. I hope she hasn't passed that on to Catwoman.

If we can have a successful kidding with Catwoman and Violet, then we'll be home free for this year, and all we have to worry about is selling all the extra babies. We're considering training Captain Stubing to be a draft and pack wether, so he can earn his keep and we won't have to sell him. It makes for an exciting spring, added to the fact that I'm due with our own human baby in June.