Yesterday was both an exciting and dramatic day. My dad noticed in the morning at 4 AM that one of our yearling does was acting like it might kid. But, Sugar, the doe, looked around….saw how many people there were on the farm and promptly decided that 4 in the morning was too convenient for kidding.
At 7ish, Mom checked again one last time before going to work. Sugar said no. Still too convenient. Then at 2 when I got home from work, I looked out in the pasture. Sugar was out there grazing looking unconcerned. Now, I barrel race in state finals in less than 2 weeks so I’ve been trying to ride a lot the last few weeks. So, since Sugar looked like it was a false alarm, I went and caught up my horse. After I had him and had gathered all his equipment together to go ride, I glanced over at Sugar again.
I swear she shot me a side ways glance, smirked and headed to the barn! Riding today? Not likely! Looks like an inconvenient enough time to have this kid! When I arrived at the barn, it was obvious that Sugar was really in labor this round. So, I had to run to the house, change into grungy clothes, grab some towels and go turn the horse into the round pen.
When I got back, my dad arrived from work and came straight out to the barn. He brought the video camera so that we could work on an instructional video for our website. Sugar was still at it 30 minutes later and the only thing that appeared was legs and the nose. She wasn’t making any further progress. After a while, when I realized that the kid was stuck like a cork in a bottle, I grabbed legs and started pulling. It was such a tight fit that even with my tiny ladies hands, I couldn’t get in there for a feel. I was just hoping and praying that the legs indeed belonged to one kid as they appeared to and not to two separate kids. When I started pulling, Sugar got up and began trying to push it out. When I gently pulled, she kept taking off around the pen in the barn. It was turning into a regular rodeo event!
Thankfully, after less than 15 minutes of my assisting, the kid finally got it’s head out, and I was able to grab it’s neck. It came easily after that. We have a beautiful little coffee coloured doeling who is fine and is doing well. Her momma also came through all right and she is doing well now as well. That was one of the roughest kidding that I’ve had to assist with in 10 years of goats. The only one rougher than that was another Sanaan cross doe whose baby was an 11 pound buckling being born breech. Thankfully, most of the time, the births go off without a hitch and no help from humans is necessary.