Kidding season is awfully short when you only have two goats! Just like that, we’re done.
When Steve went out to the barn this morning he could hear maa-ing from outside. He figured it was Pepper, who has been particularly vocal now that she has kids to herd around. However, as he got Pepper up onto the milk stand he realized that it was Flora calling out instead. Flora has been pretty much silent since we brought her home, so her sudden chattiness was a pretty good indication that she was heading into labor. It was also evident that all my kidding fears had come true; Steve had to be at work today.
And in a twist that even my worst fears hadn’t come up with, I work for our church and it’s Good Friday. I had to work too! Steve went on his merry way while I got the kidding kit ready, fed the boys and started praying that Flora would deliver before I had to leave. Goats can deliver out in the pasture and usually don’t need assistance, but still, we feel it’s important to be around in case it isn’t a straightforward birth.
Of course, being two days before Easter I had a long list of things to do to get ready, and I rushed around, trying to get it done while setting the timer so I could run out to the barn to check on Flora every half hour. At the last check I could hear that Flora’s vocalizing had changed even before I reached her. When I did get to her I could see a nose and head presenting, and I may have said a silent curse or two. Goats are not supposed to deliver head first, goats are supposed to deliver hooves first. Back or front doesn’t really matter, but hooves first is extremely important.
After some inspecting, I was relieved to see that one hoof was out, tucked up next to it’s face. The second one was stuck behind the kid. Not ideal, but okay. I was able to hook my hand around the kid’s shoulder and chin and guide it out with her contractions. Flora probably would have been able to deliver this without my assistance, but I imagine that it would have made for a much longer experience. The second kid was born without a problem, and after I helped Flora get them clean, dry, and on their feet, I had just enough time to shower and make it to Good Friday service.
Steve informed me that the chances of us getting 4 buck kids is only 12.5%. The odds were strongly in our favor that we’d get at least one doeling, yet they fell short. I suppose I should be grateful it worked out that our first two births were highly uneventful, but at the moment it’s hard to feel anything but unlucky. We could make do with two goats and try to get a doe out of Pepper or Flora next year, but that means it would be another two years before we’d have three milking goats, and having enough milk, butter, cheese and other nice things (like, you know, ice cream!). So, the hunt is on for another doe.
In the meantime, we’ll enjoy these four as long as we have them.
Happy Easter, everybody!