Have you experienced a kidding yet? This past weekend my husband, Scott, and I finally had our first kidding on the farm. With tensions high and the fear of the unknown we were beyond stressed. Little Miss Gizmo added to the stress by going five days past due!
We debated Friday on whether or not to call our farm vet out to check on her but decided we would wait till Saturday. Allotting her a bit more time to do it on her own. When Saturday morning rolled around I eagerly went out to check on her at 6 a.m. Instantly realizing something was different, she acted a bit off.
She was hiding her face in the corner like a scolded child. Shortly thereafter she began to paw at her bedding, building what can only be described as a nest. We allowed her out that morning to graze upon the pasture as she wished, absorbing the sun and munching on the grass, she seemed content. We checked on her often throughout the day, labor was progressing slowly.
Gizmo and baby two days after birth.
As evening came we decided to head in eat a bit of dinner, shower, and clean up the house. While cleaning house I had made a pile of things that needed to head back to the barn. So, I grabbed the items and headed out.
As soon as I walked in the barn I realized it was time. Luckily, my husband was only moments behind me. I said, “Babe I think she’s pushing.”
He said, “No your’re seeing things.” Then she stood up and a rather large nasty looking sack was hanging out her backside. Scott ran for the garage to put his coveralls on. It was baby time!
In the blink of an eye the baby was born. Gizmo did an amazing job! Baby was up and feeding in less than fifteen minutes.
There were a lot of things I had not read up on that I thought may help other new goat moms. Considering the amount of research, I did prior to the baby I was shocked at how unprepared I felt.
Baby just hours after birth.
Things learned about labor and delivery:
- Early labor took roughly 12 hours.
- From the time, the bubble appeared till the baby was born took 30 minutes.
- The baby moves and makes noises before it is even fully delivered (So weird!).
- It took roughly one hour for the afterbirth to be delivered (It still sounds and looks like mama is having contractions).
Baby and Gizmo right after the birth
Things learned after the birth:
- Mom will eat the placenta (That’s a sound and sight I could have lived without ever experiencing).
- The baby’s first few poops look like black tar (Meconium).
- Then comes yellowish-brown poop, that hardens like cement (You might need to wash a bum from time to time).
- The baby’s little genitals will become red and swollen the next day.
- Moms clean their baby’s privates constantly, she will also drink their pee.
- Hang water buckets! It took less than 15 minutess after the baby’s birth for it to fall in the water bucket (Easily could have been catastrophic had we not been right there).
Scott finally deciding to check the sex.
While Gizmo had a healthy baby, we forgot for several hours to check the sex. We got a doeling! Gizmo and Izzabella are doing great! Mama did act a bit off for a few days, but quickly returned to normal.
We provided her molasses water for 24 hours after the birth, it made her poop a bit clumpy. We also gave mama and baby Vitamin B Complex paste that included: B Complex, Thiamine, and probiotics that night and the next night. Vitamin E and Selenium paste was also given to Gizmo and the baby the night of the birth.
The baby’s umbilical cord was sprayed with iodine and her nose and mouth were bulb sucked, to ensure no left-over mucus. We were lucky to have a smooth, uneventful, perfect delivery for our first kidding experience. Make sure an emergency veterinarian is on speed dial just in case.
Photos property of Carrie Miller.
Carrie Miller grew up in a small rural town in Northwest Pennsylvania, married her high school sweetheart and had two amazing children. She spends her time raising chickens, pigs, beef cows, and Oberhasli dairy goats at Miller Microfarm. She raises vegetable gardens, fruits, and berry patches while never using herbicides, pesticides, or chemicals of any kind. She spends a lot of time preserving the bounties through canning and freezing methods. She recently added bees to the farm in hopes of producing fresh honey and beeswax products.