— A Bunch Of Pictures Are Below This Background Of Today’s Barn Events —
Boy life on the farm right now is a flurry. Three of our four Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats have had kids with the third doe, our favorite, having triplets today. Asiago is a very special goat to us and I have written poetry about her. That poem will be added to the bottom of this entry so you will see why we love her so much.
So today, March 1st, my husband and I just had a sense more babies were going to be born and we would see a bunch more cute faces when we entered the barn. But, no new babies – just the four born over the last several days. After chores I sat down inside the kidding stall to play with the baby goats and watched and watched my two does still due to deliver. Asiago was beginning to show real signs of labor. She is always hard to read as she will have false labor signs up to a week before she actually delivers.
But, after about one hour in the stall I knew it was time. I called my husband to come and assist and we helped Asiago give birth to three lovely little doelings. We now have one buckling and six doelings. That is VERY RARE I have to say. Usually you have more boys than girls. And we have alot of doelings this spring. Maybe God knows something that we dont and homesteaders are going to need dairy goats very soon. Who knows, but it is very rare to have so many little doelings born in that ratio.
Asiago was pushing up to 20 minutes and at that time I knew I had to assist. I put on my medical gloves and felt inside to see where the baby was at. The baby’s head was forward in the correct position but its legs were back underneath it, versus the dive position. So, I had to reach inside and push the baby back to position the head and feet correctly and together Asiago and I pulled the baby out. It was a healthy very big solid black doeling.
The second baby came out on her own about four minutes afterward. She was a healthy solid white big girl. It is amazing how big these babies are and that Asiago had three inside of her.
It was then about ten minutes between the second and the third delivery. But, this baby was NOT coming out. Asiago had pushed and pushed and was getting very fatiqued. My husband was working to clean off the other babies to help Asiago with her work so that Asiago could finish her delivery.
Asiago looked back at me and I knew what I had to do as she and I have teamed on her deliveries before. I had to go inside with new gloves to assure sanitation and pull the baby out with all my might as Asiago couldnt get her out. She pushed and I pulled only having the head as I couldnt find the feet and we worked together. Out came yet another healthy big beautiful black doeling. It can be stressful when homesteaders do this, but you have to get the baby out or it can kill the mother. And, after so much time, there comes a time when you simply have to do the hard thing. Fortunately, we have always been blessed with healthy babies even when I have to assist in delivery.
I learned about ten years ago how to deliver and tend to goats on my own as we did not have veterinarians within two hours of us where we used to live. Ultimately, all farmers learn a great deal on how to help their livestock deliver, over time.
While we are an organic farm, we do have to use medications when the life of one of our animals is at stake. In this case, while Asiago is doing great. I will be administering penicillin for her due to the fact that I was inside her and that prevents infection. Since we are organic, her milk would not be used for any organic products for a period of time, until the medicine clears her body. Of course, the medicine is fine when the babies are nursing on her.
So, here is the photo journey of today.
So, that was our heart warming morning. This goat is truly a spectacular mother. I have never seen another goat let other babies that are not her own nurse on them before they give birth. That mothering instinct is so strong with Asiago. And, she lets other babies jump up on her big belly like a trampoline, even while in labor. We would remove the babies and she would talk to them wanting them to come back.
So, in closing I am going to share the poem I wrote about our favorite doe Asiago. I wrote this a couple of years ago.
MY PREGNANT DOE ASIAGO ~
Tired and achy, she stretches and yawns
she rubs her head on the stall wall.
The bah of sheep sound so far away
as she drifts in and out …. she’s preparing.
Her udder is filling, her hips displacing
as the dip in her hind tells time’s near.
Tired and achy, she stretches and yawns
she rubs her head again, on the stall wall.
Pawing the ground, a bed she makes
only to hop up moments later.
Dusk slips toward moonlight
painting deep blues on barn walls.
The sheep are now sleeping. The horses down too.
She waits and waits some more.
The babies are moving, but mama is tired.
She rubs her head again, on the stall wall.
I enter the barn, it’s very late now.
My headlamp shines on her belly.
Big she is, I say to her. I softly rub her head.
She leans her body into mine and I lean back to her.
I hold her there in the dead of night.
In reality it is she who holds me.
My favorite doe, she is I say, as I’ve delivered her babies many times.
She struggles with birth as her hips are narrow,
I go in and assist when she calls.
She knows I am there as she is for me.
Tired and achy, she stretches and yawns.
This time she rubs her head on my heart.
I stay with her, and let her rub, as I can do much better than the stall wall.
At last, in the morning with the sun’s first burst,
she delivers three perfect little kids.
Two boys and one girl, I smile as she cleans them.
Tired and achy she stretches and yawns.
Tired and achy I stretch and yawn too…..
I lean my head on the stall wall.
~ Two Mothers, for Asiago
~L. Davis, The Poet Farmer