We have been so busy here. Two goats have given birth and I've begun training Celtic to milk.
The first goat to go was my favorite of my new goats, Physion. My husband has more experience with livestock births and let me know that she was having trouble - the baby coming out wasn't positioned right and I would have to go in and adjust leg positions. I've never had my hand inside an animal before. Since I'd be going inside, I moved her onto the cement pad and Matt went and got hot water to keep things as clean as possible. Then I got to work with Matt talking me through it and me trying to comfort poor Physion while I tried to straighten things out inside. That was an experience - more unpleasant for poor Physion than me, I'm afraid.
I got the first baby straightened out and she came out. Here she is right after birth. Poor thing was exhausted and not sure life was such a great thing.
Then we waited to see how the second baby would present. He was coming out fine so we left her alone (except for Hannah who watched the birth intently) and let her birth her little boy.
So Physion had healthy twins, a girl and a boy, and immediately began bonding with them. She's a fantastic mother. She spent a bit of time on the boy and then turned her attention to the girl for about fifteen minutes. The little girl had been stuck for long enough that she couldn't decide for a bit if living was really worth it. After Matt cleared out her lungs, the best person to convince her that it was worth it was her momma.
Physion convinced her to stick around and she, her brother, and her mother are all doing very well. The intensive involvement in the birth seems to have taken care of the imprinting. The babies are not at all nervous when I enter their recovery pen. Physion's always been the friendliest of my new first fresheners, but she's become a bit more cautious around me. Not that I blame her - she probably remembers where my hand was recently, poor thing.
Physion and her babies.
The babies the next day.
A few days later, Ariel unexpectedly gave birth to twins, also a girl and a boy. Ariel is Hannah's goat - you can tell by her pink collar. Hannah's watched me work with Celtic's babies and was present when I worked with Physion's newborns. When we found Ariel's babies, she immediately went and got some grain for Ariel and came back to work with them.
She's been religious about working with them every day since then, several times a day. It's really impressive to see that dedication in a four year old. Three days and counting. :) She's named them. Introducing Trip and Triplip. Ariel appears to be as attentive of a mother as Physion.
Hannah getting grain for her goats.
Ariel and her babies.
Hannah holding the little male.
And the little female.
The only goat we have left to kid out is Tamari, my goat that I got last year.
In other goat news, I've started milking Celtic. Her babies turned two weeks old at the beginning of this week. I pull them off in the evening and put them in a kid pen. The plan is to milk the momma the next morning and put the babies back with her to nurse all day. The momma will of course be glad to be milked in the morning since her bag will be full - it worked like a charm last year with Tamari and Jasmine. Celtic didn't get the memo. Or she got the wrong memo. She seems to think that milking is a medieval torture that can only be countered effectively by literally laying down on the job. She tried kicking, jumping, and sitting. I put the hobbles on her that I'd gotten when I bought three first fresheners. She resorted to laying down. With her head in the milking stand. This may take some time.