Well it’s that time of year again — baby time. Every spring we raise baby chicks, lambs, bunnies, and kids. And, last eve our first batch of kids were born. We had twin boys, Ebony and Ivory. Nala, their mother, was a preme when she was born. She therefore has a hard time with too many kids. She actually delivered four kids, but two were still born. That is not uncommon when the mother doe has more kids than her body can adaquately handle.
From the picture above you can see how tiny the little ones are. They are about 1 1/2 times the size of Mike’s hands. Ivory weighes 2.75 pounds as of now at 12 hours old. Their small size is of course attributed to four little ones in the womb.
Last night the temperature dipped down to 32 degrees. When we arrived this morning the babies were shivering. In lieu of the fact that the kids come out at a temperature of about 101 degrees, the cold can really be a killer to newborns. If the babies do not get dried off quickly enough and they do not get the necessary colostrum in them from mama’s milk in the first 72 hours, the kids bodies begin to shiver. When the kids shiver, all their energy goes to shivering and they lose their ability to nurse and soon thereafter, they begin to lose functionality such as breathing. They can deteriorate quickly. I am warming them up here inside my coat.
Nala, their mother is an exceptionally good mother. You can see her here checking on them and continually cleaning them and making sure their circulation is good. However, due to their shivering we decided to take them into the house to warm them up as I had noticed that while they were trying to nurse, their sucking instinct seemed diminished. This is not a good sign. I took them in the house to warm them up. And, I milked out Nala and gave the babies the colostrum milk via bottle but used a dropper instead as they didn’t want to take the nipple. Now we will bring them back to their mother to stay and add a heat lamp for them to sleep under to keep them warm.
Life on the farm is always a surprise. The biggest surprises are always the weather. Then, right behind that is the thrill and unexpected realities that come along with babies being born. There always seems to be something. We will get these tiny little ones back to their mother and thank the Lord for another amazing day on the farm.
God Bless! ~ L. Davis