Oh what a week it has been! In the last week we have had 2 kiddings, resulting in 5 kids. 2 kiddings down – 2 to go!
On Thursday morning Sonia kidded. Her kidding went beautifully. She had 2 perfect kids, a buck and a doe! They both look exactly like their mom. She milked great right after and has been producing the same amount of milk that our does last year were producing in the height of production. She’s a rock star.
On Monday, 4 days before her due date, Ruth kidded. Why so early?… Because she had triplets! Generally kiddings with more than 2 come a little early. The kids were a great size though. Only one of them, the doe, looks like a premie. Ruth had 2 bucks and 1 doe. When Sonia gave us as much milk as she did I was shocked, when I saw what Ruth was producing I was BLOWN AWAY! At her first milking she gave us a half of gallon of milk. This wouldn’t be unusual for a second freshener (a doe who has had a previous kidding) but for a first freshener (this was her first pregnancy) this is outstanding. A half a quart to a quart is more normal for a very first milking (right after they kid) in my experience. The production increases over the next 2 months then levels off. Our first fresheners last year were giving us a little over a half a gallon A DAY in the height of production. Ruth gave us half a gallon in one milking. I can’t imagine what she is going to be giving us in 2 months when she reaches the peak of production. Even now that we have her on a schedule she is giving us 3/4 of a gallon a day. Her utter is huge and beautiful.
Now on to Hillary… She’s giving us a bit of a scare. She is a second freshener and isn’t due until the 28th. Hillary came from a kidding of 6, which is extremely, extremely rare. Tina was in the same kidding. Since there is a possibility that she, like her dam, could carry a large number of kids we ultrasound her at 45 days pregnant. At her ultrasound the vet saw one kid with a heartbeat and the potential for two other water bags, which means we could have 1-3 kids. Goat ultrasounds are not as clear as human ones, and rarely tell you the exact number of kids… so far every ultrasound has underestimated by one kid. We were expecting Sonia to have 1 (she had 2) and Ruth to have 2 (she had 3). Hillary always looks huge when pregnant, even last year when she was carrying 2, but this year she is enormous. You have heard me talk about ligaments a lot. These are the best way to tell if a goat is about to kid. When they disappear the kids will soon make their appearance. On Monday while Ruth was kidding we put the other goats and llamas in the back pasture so Ruth could have a quiet, peaceful environment to kid. Hours later when Ruth was done, cleaned up, and milked we let everyone back into the front pasture. Hillary was following far behind everyone else, walking slowly with her back legs spread. I checked her ligament and I couldn’t find them. She didn’t have any other symptoms but this was very concerning. I called the vet and she said there isn’t much we could do, to just keep her calm and comfortable. If kids are born before 10 days from the due date they will likely not survive. In an effort not to upset her and stress her out I have not been checking her ligaments a lot. I’ll go and peak in on her here and there and listen to the monitor very closely. We need to get her to next Wednesday to have the kids be viable. All of this leads me to believe that she has more than 3 kids or the kids are huge. She is already larger than Ruth was when she kidded her three… but like humans, goats all carry differently and comparing one goat to another will get you nowhere. Please send good vibes our way that Hillary will last until at least next Wednesday but preferably until next Saturday or later!
Kidding is full of excitement and worries. I love the anticipation and watching new life come into this world. I am always so proud of my girls.
Hopefully there will be no new kiddings to report with next week’s What’s up Wednesday.
More details, pictures, and even video for each kidding coming soon!