The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Udderly humongous

Bowing goat
(Friday was such a massively exciting day that I have to break it into three (or four?) parts. Here's part 1, written at 9 am before I knew for sure that Artemesia was going to kid within a few short hours.)

Monte's mom called up Wednesday to remind me that Artemesia could start popping out kids any day now. I was already a ball of Goat pettingnerves, but had to be impressed by the personalized attention. Clearly Artie's boyfriend comes from good stock.

Since then, I've been waking up way too early to check our first freshener's butt by flashlight, but Artemesia is taking her late pregnancy in stride. Well, except for begging for me to scratch her neck for a pretty much indefinite amount of time every day.

Between the yawning and the stretching and the mucous plug slowly oozing, signs of birth are imminent. But after reading that average goat gestation period is shortest for multiples, in the middle for male kids, and longest for females, I'm rooting for Artemesia to hold out a little longer. I still have my fingers crossed for a girl.

Goat udder

So I watch her tail positioning and the color of her mucous, but try to keep patient. It has to be soon, though. Our poor doe's udder is so humongous she can barely waddle and her teats are already about twice as big as Abigail's were at their peak. My hands are definitely breathing a sigh of relief. (What, your hands can't breathe?)

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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