Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kids and Blooms

Papa Bear went to the feed store, came back and went to throw a bale of hay in the barn.  He heard a noise and turned around and our doe Sugar was over in the corner with two new kids.  We had put our other doe Jersey in the birthing stall as she is due today (Saturday) but the goats have other ideas... They are not reading my calendar.  Papa Bear gets Jersey out of the birthing stall and puts Sugar and her two kids in the stall.  I helped Sugar clean and dry the kids and checked her teats so the kids could nurse.  Both of the teats were plugged so I went to get a warm wet cloth, a milk bucket and nursing bottles.  I got the teats unplugged, milked her and gave the kids a bottle as they were still not finding the teats well.   Mama and babies settled down in their nice clean stall.  Big dark angry rain clouds were on the horizon and I went back to the house to start supper while Papa Bear finished the rest of the chores.  

I wasn't inside 30 minutes when Papa Bear called from his cell and said our other doe Cocoa Puff had lost her plug and was in labor.  Cocoa is not due yet either.    Papa Bear got her into another stall but it is all dirt and no hay down and it is small.  I am trying to spread hay whenever cocoa moves so the baby is not born in dirt.  By this time the sky has opened up and we are in the middle of a big thunder storm.

Cocoa usually has her babies very fast so I knew after over an hour of pushing something was wrong.   When Cocoa pushed I could see a nose but only one hoof.  In a normal birth, kids are born in a diving position with their nose in between both hooves.  Papa Bear got our medical kit and I put on gloves and jelled up to go in and feel what was wrong and to get the leg and hoof in the right position.  I felt all up inside her cervix and womb but what I was feeling was not right.  I could feel something else all wrapped up in the baby who was already trying to come out.  I told Papa Bear to call our vet as I couldn't get the baby free.  Our vet is on another farm call and is almost an hour away.  I knew then if I didn't fix the problem we were going to lose our doe and baby.   I put on fresh gloves , jelled up and said a prayer.  By this time my doe is almost screaming with every push.  I managed to free the trapped leg,  got the baby in position and pulled one leg at a time when Cocoa pushed.  I finally got the baby out and wrapped all around the hind quarters was another baby that did not fully develop.  This was a first for me and it was very sad but at least one of the kids were saved and so was our doe.  I got this one dried and he started nursing just fine and Cocoa was eating her extra portion of grain like nothing has happened.  Animals are amazing!

 This is the kid I saved.  He is so cute.  He has waddles.  He is the second one born  on our little homestead that has waddles.  The story doesn't end here....

So this huge storm is going on and water begins to rush into the corner of the stall.  Our livestock guardian dog had dug her out a huge hole right at the corner of the stall,  I took off to get the shovel and rake to fill in the hole so the baby is not in a mud puddle.     There is no more signs of labor from Cocoa.  I waited out in the barn for 3 hours for her to pass the afterbirth but it didn't happen so I will have to call the vet in the morning for a shot to help her pass it.

This morning I woke early, took care of the Marines needs, made a pot of coffee, went to the barn to check on the new arrivals and to see if Cocoa had passed the afterbirth.  If no signs of it I will have to call the vet for a shot.  

Imagine my surprise when I walked into the barn and found another kid with Cocoa!  She was all nice an dry and already exploring.  So if the other one had lived Cocoa would have had 3 kids.  Lat year she had 4 at one time.

 This is our doe Jersey , I call her Bat Girl.   See the white bat hanging upside down on her side?  She is the one who was supposed to have her kids today or tomorrow.    What is she doing?...just climbing up on the platform and looking at the new storm coming.

I took these pictures on my trips back and forth from the barn.  Our blueberries are loaded with tiny berries.

There are even some blooms still on some of the bushes.  I wish our bee's were here.  The only thing buzzing them were those big old carpenter bees.

 The roses on the trellis are beginning to bloom.  I think this is Don Juan.

The Bridal Wreath shrubs are extra pretty this year.  I love these in the spring!

The peach trees are blooming.

...and a baby pineapple has started!  Spring has sprung!  2 does down and 4 more more to go....I hope they are uneventful births.
Have a great weekend!


  1. Wow, what a busy day! Such cute little kids and Mama Jersey in gorgeous. How do you do it Mamma Bear, you seemed so calm?

    Your blossoms are beautiful and how cool to have a pineapple blossom.

    God Bless you, Papa Bear, the Marine, all your livestock and homestead.


    1. Thank you so much for passing along the blessings! We do what we have to do...LOL I am on baby watch today. One of my other does lost her mucus plug this morning. I did get her into her own stall but she is not actively in labor yet. Jersey is still not displaying any signs of upcoming labor. I am wondering if the first breeding didn't take and she is a few weeks behind the other girls now. She is very shy until she goes into labor and then she wants me in there with her.

  2. oh Mamma - i am sure that i would have died just with the sheer enormity of all that happened!!! just having to get the goats moved into different stalls and whatnot but to have such a difficult birth too?!?!?!? but oh my - those little goats are gorgeous! the mothers are gorgeous too, as is Jersey! wow! i wrote a post today about us being tired and sore - now i feel like an idiot! we certainly didn't go through what you went through! i am super happy for you tho! you did great! and all of your blooms are so beautiful!

    your friend,

    1. kymber...all in a days work here at our little homestead. It's just some days are more exciting than others! As far as being tired....If you're tired, you're tired, no matter what the job is. Hope you and jambaloney got caught up on your rest. I will rest in a few days when all the kidding season is over. I'll then get into the routine of milking twice a day. Can't wait for the fresh milk. I love to make yogurt and I am going to try my hand at cheese making if the girls produce enough milk for the kids and us too!

  3. I would say your family is staying busy??

  4. Hi...

    I have a Doe, who is a sweetheart and a buck that is a hateful wretch...but only to my doe...

    He is forever butting her with his head and shoving her away from me, the hay, the food pellets, the water....why is that do you reckon?

    Oh well, at some point she became pregnant for the first time and I am now in a panic. I have no experience whatsoever with goat kidding...

    I was a maternal-child nurse for a lot of years, and delivered a lot of babies, but am in the dark with the kids..

    I have been watching videos and reading everything I can about goat kidding, but there are so many confusing and conflicting reports that now, I am feeling completely overwhelmed...

    I like the way you is simple and straight-forward...and since that is pretty much the way I am, I feel like I could understand your instructions better.

    What do I need to get and keep on-hand for the delivery?

    What innioculations do you give your goats and when do you start giving them?

    What do you worm your goats with and how often?

    What do you give to prevent coccidiosis and how often do you give it?

    I am 50 years old and was raised on a farm in GA...but what we had was cows, chickens, guineas and pigs... I know how to tend to any of them and I know how to garden.

    I have been fortunate enough for the last 7 years to be able to be a stay at home wife and Mama. I have an amazing husband and 4 wonderful children..3 of them are grown and range in ages from mid 20's to early 30's.... and then we have our precious 9 year old daughter...and 6 beautiful grandchildren... 2 of which are older than their youngest Aunt. :)

    I have been worried about the way our country has been steadily declining and have been trying to make our little family as self-sufficient as possible... We have 2 wells on our property and a garden, with room for a much bigger one if we need it...

    I started "prepping" a few years ago, buying tons of beans and rice, growing as many veggies as possible, raising chickens and now goats.. and making sure my freezer was full...but I worry about what would happen if we suddenly found ourselves without electricity...that's an awful lot of money that we would be out if we lost the contents of the deep freezer...

    I have really been enjoying your blogs and so much appreciate the ideas that I get from you. I am really thrilled about the idea of canning meat...and am going to try the meatloaves and the Amish Poor Man's Steak in the next week or so...

    By the way, where do you buy the ground beef for that price?

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and I look forward to, and sincerely appreciate, any help that you can give me.

    Have a Blessed Day!


    1. Hi Darlene..Thanks for visiting my blog and for your very nice compliments. I will try to answer your questions and if I miss anything just tell me..

      Goats act the way you described. Some are gentle and some are bullies. I have a board put up and have a hook and chain for each one getting fed or milked. I place the feeders over the board and each feeder is just out of reach of the goat next to the other one. This way they all get their fair share of grain. Hay and water are another matter. It is open for all of them to use and sometimes there is shoving and butting going on. Since your doe is pregnant if at all possible I would separate the two when the time gets close especially if you plan on milking. The kids are weak for the first few hours but by a day or two they learn to stay away from the bully's.

      Since you've had experience with birthing human kids, the goat kids will not be much different. 99% of the time nothing will go wrong. Things I recommend to have on hand. Paper towels. Old clean towels. KY jelly, unflavored dental floss, a small pair of scissors. Pen G, syringes and needles(you will need to give the doe this antibiotic only if you have to go inside to turn a kid or fetch a leg) betadine or iodine. small medicine cup or dixie cup. I use a paper towel to swab out the kids mouth if needed. Let the doe do as much cleaning as possible as this is where she learns to bond. You can pick up the large goo and put it in an empty feed sack so she doesn't spend a lot of time eating it. I save the paper feed sacks and try to get one under the doe before she has the kid so it isn't covered with dirt and hay when it is born. The old towel is to help the doe clean and dry the new baby. Check the does teats after she gives birth to make sure there is a milk stream. Sometimes there is a waxy coating over the teat. After the doe gives birth and the kids have nursed you will want to take a small piece of dental floss and tie the kids cord about two inches down and snip off the rest. I dilute the betadine or iodine in a medicine cup or dixe cup and dip the cord in it to prevent any infection until it dries and falls off.

      I use to vaccinate my goats but no longer do so. I did a lot of reading on the internet to come to this conclusion and I will let you do the same so I will not tell you one way or the other.

      Only worm if you have to. I bought a cheap microscope and run my own fecal tests. You need to know what type of worms your goat may have before you give them anything. I would advise against any wormer for your pregnant doe unless you know exactly when she is due to kid and then proceed with caution. A very good source of information on just about anything goat related can be read here:
      You can find out about coccidiosis there as well and decide what is available for you to use. Most of the time only a new kid will need anything until he builds up an immunity. I personally have not had a problem but I do a lot of natural things others may not agree with.

      Good for you on prepping! You are already way ahead of most Americans who think nothing bad will come their way. I have 3 freezers that are full as well. This past year Mom and I bought an American canner. People have canned in these things over a firs outside. I have stacks of jars ready. Should we lose electricity I will still have a few days before things are defrosted if the freezers are not opened and closed too much. I plan on running my canner day and night if I have to and can as much as possible from the freezers. This is my back-up plan.

      That ground beef price was almost 2 years ago. The cheapest I can find it now is around $2.00 a pound. I should have canned a lot more than I did when it was much cheaper!

      I will get back to regular posting soon and hope I will be able to give you a few new ideas.


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