Goat-O-Rama Kids of 2017
And here are the promised photos of last night's festivities! 

It was a dark and stormy night... 

Delilah puttered around all day not getting the job done, and just as it was beginning to get dark she finally settled down to business. She held out as long as possible until she thought Phil and I would surely not check on her again. She doesn't like anyone to attend her births. But it's a good thing I can keep an eye on her in the Goatoscope because she needed help with these. 

Poor Delilah came down with mastitis Sunday night. She had a fever and her udder was hot and lumpy with no milk in it. I started antibiotics right away and by Tuesday she was mostly recovered, but I know fighting sickness took a toll on her energy levels. Her contractions were weak and far apart. I could see hooves just inside, but every time she laid down and started to push, she'd jump right back up and stop pushing for a long time. At the rate she was going we would be there all night. After probably half an hour I finally grabbed hold of one of those toes and started to pull. Delilah didn't help much and I had to pull pretty hard to get the first kid out. The baby's nose was halfway out for what seemed like ages but I could see the little purple tongue twitching so I knew the kid was ok despite her delayed entry. 

And she was worth waiting for! We got a chamoisee doe with an all-white face and cute little pink nose. She has a classic white splash on the left but the right side has spots more reminiscent of her Nubian father.      

Phil loves his baby goats!

And best of all, she has wattles!!!

Mama was delighted with the little one and seemed content to stop there. But when I bounced her belly I could feel a hard little Something still lurking in the depths. Delilah started to lay down and push a few times, but her efforts were totally feeble and nothing was presenting at all. The first kid had been on the ground about an hour when I finally took off my coat (ugh, it was cold!), rolled up my sleeves, disinfected, and went fishing. 

The kid was still completely in the womb with nothing coming to the birth canal. Apparently Delilah was perfectly happy for him to stay right where he was. He was presented correctly with one leg forward and one back. His head was in the right spot. I felt his teeth to make sure he wasn't upside down or anything weird like that. The fact that he was still so far down in the depths had me worried that he was in a bad position. But he was fine. Mama just didn't have the energy to push him out, so I had to pull. Once again, Delilah barely helped at all and this kid was bigger than the first. But I soon had him out and he was fine and strong.   

Once he was out, Delilah was happy to see him. She licked him off and then took a brief nap. I gave her some Nutri-Drench to help chirk her up and it helped a lot. Then I had the lovely task of cleaning out the wet, soiled bedding in the dark and cold. But at least it had stopped raining. 
And a few more photos from this morning while the sun was still shining. What a beautiful morning to welcome the new members of our herd! 
And if anyone is interested, it looks like Jezebel is ready to pop any time. I'm just about to head out there and hold her hand.
False alarm. We waited out there with her for 45 minutes and she did nothing more interesting than look uncomfortable and get up and down a few times. She's probably waiting until it's time for me to leave for that Saddle Club meeting.

The weather is terrible. Wind, rain, hail, lightning. I'm not going back out there until I see something happening under that hyper-flexed tail of hers.
Lots of color on the first one.

Oh, man.  Watching this difficult birth is heart-wrenching!  It's out!  Yeah!  I hope Jezebel is ok.  She looks exhausted.
Goatberries Happen!
Jezebel is indeed exhausted! Poor mama. The first kid had one leg back and it wasn't coming forward. That's not a big deal in a roomy doe, but Jezebel is anything but roomy. She and Delilah were both stunted when we bought them, so Jezebel does much better with a small kid and a normal presentation. That first kid was HUGE for her! He's a buckling and his big ol' head was stuck in the canal. I couldn't bring that other foot around so I went ahead and pulled him without it. I was having a hard time even figuring out which leg I had and which one was back. Clearly I need more practice at this!

The second kid is a doe and she's normal size. She came shooting out all at once easy-peasy and I thought, "Oh good, this one won't need any help." But then I saw that it was only a head and no feet at all. Well, that's not gonna work. The head was way too far out to push back in very much (the neck just telescopes), and it was a little hard to find a foot with the head flopping around in my way and Jezebel pushing against me. But I did eventually manage it. It's comforting to feel the kid move and know that you still have some time. Both these kids were quite lively in the birth canal (poor Mama), but I could tell they were both tired once they came out. There was no poo in the sacs, so I guess it wasn't as traumatic for them as it was for everyone else.

Anyway, Jezebel is slowly recovering. I gave her a dose of CMPK and vitamin fortified probiotic paste. I'm starting her on a course of penicillin since I had to go in so far. Also, she had a slight fever (103.3*) a couple of hours after the birth which makes me suspicious. I gave her some banamine for the fever and pain, and also a shot of vitamin B complex (that one hurt, poor baby). She was hungry for the alfalfa pellets I offered her. Hopefully she'll be cheery in the morning. Both kids got a good drink and hopefully all will rest well tonight.

I think we may need to build an ark. It's been raining all evening and the pens look more like lakes. I have the shelters up on high spots, and normal rain doesn't go under them. There are little moats around them. But now the moats have overflowed and there's water running under every shed. There's nothing I can do about it except throw down more bedding and hope the top layer stays dry. Delilah's babies should be fine. They're strong and lively. But Jezebel's kids are still not completely dry (it doesn't help that she keeps licking them). I hope they can dry out. I covered them with straw for a little while because they were shivering. I think it helped. They are both strong and suckling well, so that should help also. I'll be stripping all the sheds tomorrow. My bedding bill is going to hurt this month! We've had a lot of water lately.
Oh, and neither of these kids have wattles, but it looks like they're going to have classic Petunia-style airplane ears that sail out majestically to either side. I love those! And they're both red bay, which is one of my favorite goat colors.
I'm especially loving the markings on the buck ... more pics please ... !!!
Happiness is a baby goat snoring in your lap
I lied about posting photos yesterday. I wasn't at my desk all day. So here's what went down on Wednesday night. 

It was a darker and stormier night...

Actually, it was less dark since Jezebel went into labor a couple of hours earlier than Delilah did the night before. But it was definitely stormier! It turns out we got somewhere in the ballpark of 3-4 inches of rain in about 12 hours, so we were fortunate no one floated away.

Jezebel, as is usual with her, decided to take her pretty time with the first kid. We waited around while she pushed, but progress was slow since she kept getting up to look out the door. And every time she looked out the door she would see our dog, Daisy, who loves babies and was curiously watching from outside the fence. Jezebel didn't want the dog watching her and would snort and stop pushing and the coming baby would slide back out of view. I had a Saddle Club meeting I really wanted to be at, so eventually I decided to move things along by holding Jezebel away from the door. Phil went to the back and found a hoof coming. He gave it a small tug, but it really didn't want to come out yet. We waited a little longer but Jezebel wasn't making much progress when she pushed and Phil didn't want to interfere much so we traded places so I could have a look. 

It turns out there's a reason things weren't progressing! First of all, there was only one foot presented. One leg back is considered a fairly normal presentation, but Jezebel is a small doe who was stunted because of poor nutrition when she was young. She does better with small kids properly presented on their due date. These kids were four days overdue. When I reached in I found an enormous, bulging forehead stuck fast in her narrow pelvis. I could tell from the large horn buds just below the surface that this was a buck. With a kid this big, I thought she might have an easier time if I could find the other leg and bring it to the surface, but I was unable to figure out which leg to look for. I could not for the life of me figure out if I was feeling the right or left leg, and when I reached around on either side of the baby to see if I could feel the other leg, I couldn't find anything but ribs. It felt like I was delivering a three-legged kid! So I went with it and started to pull. Once I began pulling, Jezebel started pushing and we soon had baby out. The other leg was there. It had just been hiding so close to his body that I couldn't tell it apart from the rest of him until he was out of the sac. 

And here's the first boy, brand new and shaking out the birthing fluids he'd inhaled. 

His mom and I soon had him dried off. 

I could tell there was another kid there. Jezebel has given us singletons two years in a row, but I could feel another hard bump inside her belly this time! At first, we thought the second kid would be easy. Jezebel barely started pushing and a big, dark mass came shooting out all at once. Alas, it was just a head. There were no legs presented at all and I knew she would need help with this one. Phil got Jezebel to her feet so I could try pushing baby back in, but she was already too far out and her neck was only telescoping. I had to reach in past her head to find a foot, and Jezebel was fighting me all the way. She was also trying hard to lay down again and Phil had his work cut out to brace her up. The front feet were all mixed up with the back feet, so it took me a little while to sort it out and make sure I wasn't about to pull the wrong hoof. I had to close my eyes several times and try to envision what I was feeling. Elbow or hock? Knee or fetlock? I could feel the kid squirming, which was very reassuring and helped quell the rising panic. Once I was sure I had a front foot, I brought it forward and the rest was easy. The kid was tired but well. And our big buck had a precious little sister! 

Poor Jezebel was exhausted. She had pushed very hard on that second kid and was spent. She licked baby a few times but then fell asleep. I let her be for a few minutes, but she really had me concerned. I woke her up after a while just to make sure she was ok. The catnap was all she needed. After that she was able to get up and help clean the second kid. She sure is adorable! 

After the kidding, my work started! Our shed, which was so dry and well-bedded when we began, was now flooding with rainwater that had formed a river outside and was running under the bedding. These kids would never get dry in this weather! I removed all the old bedding and used it to make a dam around the shed. The river slowed to a trickle. I had to race (best I could pushing a wheelbarrow through ankle-deep mud) from the barn where the bedding was stored to keep the dry shavings and straw from getting soaked on the way. I was finally able to say goodnight at 9:30 p.m. The goats were dry and warm and I was soaked to the skin and frozen. Time for a hot shower and some dinner! 

Today is lovely and I plan to take lots of baby goat pictures while the sun is shining!
We finally settled on names for the kids. Phil's parents hosted a family trip to Florida back in March, and it was such fun we decided these kids should be named for some of the memories we made there. 

We'll start with Delilah's kids since they were born first. 

First we have the little doeling, Coral, named for Cape Coral, FL where we stayed during our visit. 

Then we have Coral's brother Westin, named for the grand hotel where our luxurious suite was located. 

Now for Jezebel's kids. 

The little boy with the big head is Sox, named for the Red Sox game Phil's family attended in Florida. Phil and I didn't go to that game ourselves because we're not baseball fans, but it was a wonderful memory for those who went. This little guy spent his first day wearing a bootie with a splint because his foot was knuckling over and collapsing, making it difficult for him to walk. It looked like he was wearing a white sock, so "Sox" seems very fitting. 

And finally we have little Sanibel, named for the island where we spent a wonderful morning beach combing for seashells. She looks an awful lot like her papa, Rocky, which is a very good indication she's going to stay adorable even as she grows up.  

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