It seemed like every day this week, I woke up absolutely certain that Abigail would have kidded.
Without taking the time to make my own breakfast, I'd chop carrots and
then head up the hill to check on our doe...who kept showing signs of
kidding but never quite managed to pop out a kid.
not early enough! I'd missed the main event and was greeted by a
healthy white buckling, standing on his wobbly feet as his mother
vigorously worked on licking him dry.
I had expected Abigail
not to want me to handle her baby, but she didn't mind me lifting him up
and setting him on my lap. According to my notes, if there was another
kid she should push that one out within about twenty minutes, so I
wasn't terribly concerned at first when Abigail didn't want to let her
current kid drink. Instead, every time he headed for a nipple, she
This process continued
for a while, until I tucked the kid into the front of my coat and sat
down to give Abigail a little peace and quiet. She promptly lay down,
and when I let the kid out, he settled down by her head.
Abigail sucked down the
entire bowl of molasses water in short order, and then she seemed ready
to push out whatever was on its way. At first, I wasn't sure if it was a
kid that needed help, but soon became confident that the mass of gunky
goo was the placenta, meaning that Abigail had carried only a singleton
this time around.
Anyway, back to the
kidding drama.... Once the placenta plopped to the ground, Abigail
turned around and promptly began to chow down. Some goat keepers don't
let their does eat the placenta, and the process did
look a little gross. But I felt like Abigail might need the dose of
nutrients, and her intentness on the placenta also gave me a chance to
help the buckling finally find a nipple. I squeezed out a little
colostrum to make sure Abigail had let down her milk, then worked with
the kid until he figured out that the teat went in his mouth. Soon, he was happily suckling and his fur was quite dry, so I finally felt comfortable leaving the pair alone.
Next up --- I need to
decide whether to milk out a bit of colostrum to put in the freezer as a
backup, and then (in a few days) it will be time to learn to milk for
the human table. With only a single kid, we should be able to start
drinking homegrown dairy pretty soon --- I can hardly wait!
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