The Country Diary of a GenX Woman

Baby Goats

DPP_0065Andreas and Sonja had kindly invited me to their goat farm, Koonac, to see a doe kidding, so I know what to expect when Midge has hers in September.  They weren’t sure when, but they had 17 does due this week, so I was bound to catch one in action. I got the call at 11.35am, so I grabbed some lunch, walked the dog, locked up and jumped into the car.  I pulled into their drive just after noon with fingers crossed that I hadn’t missed it all.  I hadn’t.

They took me into the kidding paddock and showed me some of the kids already on the ground.  They were very cute and surprisingly soft, much softer than a baby lamb.  The does park their kids somewhereDPP_0066 safe then go and graze, it was strange seeing the babies all on their own, with some lying out in the open in the middle of the paddock. There were 2 boys that had been born that morning and were still needing a good clean that were fast asleep one minute then playing the next.   I spent 10 minutes taking pics of the kids, then went over to see the doe that was about to give birth.

She had separated herself a bit from the other does and had spent the previous 30 minutes getting up and laying down.   Just after 12:40pm she laid down and started pushing, and a little pair of hooves appeared.  Then the real labour began.  After 4 minutes of pushing thegoats_20130710 049 head started to appear and she got up for breather.  A minute later she was back on the ground and everything happened very quickly.  At 12:47 the kid was out, six minutes after she had started.  She started to clean up the little brown doeling, but soon got interrupted with the next one. Only four minutes after she delivered the first one, a second pair of hooves appeared.  She laid down again at 12:54 and the kid was out within a minute!   This one was a black and white boy with a black spot on his back.    As mum was cleaning up baby number two, the little girl was trying to get to her feet less than 10 minutes after the birth.   It took her another 10 minutes to find the udder.  The little buckling was not as strong, but was on his feet 30 minutes after the birth.
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Andreas asked me to hold the slimy little things while he cut and disinfected their umbilical cords.   I gladly obliged.

I have posted an album of pics of the cute babies like this on facebook.

If you want to see a time-lapse video of the painful ad messy side of a goat giving birth, you can see that here.  Not for the squeamish, especially in HD.

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