Goat-O-Rama Kids of 2022!
We're gearing up for a busy weekend here at Goat-O-Rama! Skeeter and Sadie are due on Friday, Apr. 22, Mocha and Isabella are due Saturday, Apr. 23, and Snowball is due Sunday, Apr. 24! 

So far Mocha and Skeeter are looking the ripest. Skeeter started revving up a huge udder about two weeks ago, but it's subsided a bit in the last few days. I think she may have triplets but of course it's always hard to tell. I hope she's just exaggerating and has twins. 

Mocha is also looking quite ready and was feeling a little gooshy in the hindquarters this morning. Guessing twins for this one.  

Sadie looks nowhere near ready even though she's technically due tomorrow. As usual, she hardly looks pregnant, but she's such a tall, deep-bodied doe that she conceals her condition very well. I hope she's deceiving me and carrying twins. 

Snowball looks like she'll have twins, but she looks like she could hang onto them for another month from the looks of her body and udder. I hope she doesn't take after her mother, Tigerlily, and go a week past her due date! Tigerlily was nearly always overdue and it drove me nuts. 

Little Isabella is our sweet child bride. She wasn't supposed to get bred but we had a Romeo and Juliet situation. I'd put Buda in the pen with Mocha and left them together for an hour or so. When I came back, Mocha had beat the snot out of Buda and he'd jumped through the fence to get away. Isabella was out with the herd and I suspected she was in heat, but she was so young her cycles weren't very strong yet. Also, I didn't think our bucks could breed anything when they were out with the herd because my four big wethers were intent on defending their ladies' honor. Well, I guess the two of them managed to elope because Isabella never came back into heat and now she's making a cute little udder. She doesn't look anywhere near due, but she's due the same day as Mocha. I suspect she has just one little kid.  

Ziggy will finish out the season on her own. Her kids aren't due until May 11. I think she'll probably have just one, but she may blow up a bit more in the next few weeks and prove me wrong.  

I'm impressed with Buda and Pest. These little guys really proved themselves. Buda's first kids hit the ground a week ago. I'd taken him over to breed Zelda, who I sold last fall to a lady in Rye. I told her this was Buda's first time and that it probably wouldn't take because of his small size and inexperience. But she got bred on the first try. When all of my does came into heat at the same time, I put Pest in a pen with Skeeter and Sadie thinking that maybe one of them would get bred if I was lucky. I honestly didn't think he was big enough to reach either of them, but I figured it would be good practice for next time. 

Mocha was downright hostile toward Buda. The year before, I'd tried three times to breed her to Scout and she rejected him each time and pined for Sonic. I finally had to put her with Sonic. Mocha was pining for Sonic again this year, but that romance wasn't going anywhere. Mocha immediately beat up Buda and chased him away when I put him in a pen with her, so I naturally expected no kids from that first date. Imagine my shock when she never came back into heat! Buda must've been sneaky, determined, and just plain fast to get the job done on that big, mean girl! He did his job and then beat a hasty retreat and busted down the electric fence to get away. That's when he met Isabella. 

Snowball's date was a fiasco. She's also a big, strong girl and I had her with little Pest on a day with very bad weather. I couldn't lock them in a pen together because all the goats needed their shelters. I took the two of them out of their pens but didn't have much hope that magic would happen in that biting cold wind and driving snow. I gave them about five minutes together and I'm not sure how babies got made because first Buda tried from the downhill side and couldn't reach. I turned Snowball around so he could try from the uphill side, and somehow he slipped and fell off part way through. He landed on his back, legs flailing in the air. Snowball turned to look at him, and before I could reposition her, Buda went for it again. But this time Snowball was backed up almost into the electric fence! Buda tried to breed, touched his butt to the hotwire, then leaped off and fell on his back again. There were no more attempts after that, but somehow a miracle occurred because Snowball never came back into heat. Those little bucks must be potent! I was hoping to spread the breedings out like I usually do, but because the boys were a lot more efficient than I realized, we have five does due in one weekend! The only one they didn't get to that week was Ziggy. I was determined that she would get bred on a later cycle because she was so small, and I was sure she would get bred on the first try. I did not expect that more than one or two of the big girls would get bred on the first try!     

I can't wait to see what the stork brings in the next few days! Keeping my fingers crossed for lots of boys!
Sounds like you aren’t going to be getting much sleep this weekend. Sending good wishes to everyone!
Four kids today! Sadie had a girl and a boy, and Mocha had a great big boy and a girl! Skeeter looks like she could go any time. I'll post photos and the blow-by-blow as soon as I get a chance!
It's been an exciting couple of days here at Goat-O-Rama! I don't have time to post all the photos now, but I'll post the first photo I took of this season's kids. Meet Bonnie--the first kid born here this year! 

Sadie had a fairly uneventful delivery. I was at a saddle club work day all morning and I got home about two hours later than planned. I pulled up just in time for the action! Sadie was in active labor and pushing hard. I gave a polite tug or two on the front legs as they came out, but other than that she did the job on her own. First was a beautiful 8 lb. blue roan girl followed almost immediately by a lovely 7 1/2 lb. cou clair boy. We're calling them Bonnie and Clyde. 

Mocha, Phil informed me, had been going at it since mid-morning. She'd had long strings of goo all day but hadn't shown any sign of contractions. I didn't like the sound of that. Still, she showed no signs of distress. Mocha eventually did lay down and start to push, but she seemed half-hearted about it. She'd push for a while and then give up for long stretches. I had a quick feel and nothing was in the birth canal. Mocha also was determined that I should be there. I left for a short while and labor immediately stopped. Phil sat with her but it wasn't good enough. She stood looking out the shed door until I returned, at which point she promptly laid down and began to push. I had to help pull the massive blue roan kid. He weighed 10 lbs. and had a broad forehead that didn't want to clear the pelvic bones. We're calling this one Spats. 

There was a long delay and I began to wonder what was going on. I was about to go in and look for another kid when Mocha finally laid down and began to push. I felt feet and began to panic. This one was breech and it had been a long time since the first kid. I pulled quickly and could tell right away that the kid had been stressed from the dark orangey-yellow muck inside the amniotic sac. Unfortunately this kid was dead on arrival. She was small and very beautifully colored, with splashy white on a delicate blue roan coat. I swung her, pumped her chest, and even tried to blow some air into her lungs, but I quickly realized that this kid had been dead a while. Her tongue was solid white and when I pried an eyelid open the eye was filmy as though she'd been dead at least a couple of hours. I realized that she was probably the reason Mocha couldn't get on with labor. I suspect she may have started as the first kid in line, but it took all those hours for the big boy to get past her into the birth canal and start the contractions going. 

Our sadness over the loss of the second kid was quickly overtaken when a third kid surprised us by popping quite suddenly into the straw. This one was a lovely cou blanc girl and she weighed 7 lbs. Phil quickly took the dead kid away and buried her. Mocha was so enamored with the two she had that she didn't seem to notice she was missing one. That was a great relief!  

On Sunday we could see that Skeeter was revving up. Poor girl! Her udder was enormously swollen. The problem was that it didn't seem to be engorged with milk. I suspected that if I milked her down I wouldn't get very much. Her udder just seemed massively congested but there wasn't much I could do about it. Sometime in the mid-afternoon Skeeter finally started labor. She was having a hard time. It was clearly painful for her to lay down on her udder. Skeeter was pushing hard but it seemed to be taking a long time for anything to appear. I suspect if I'd left her alone she would have eventually gotten the job done on her own, but she seemed fairly distressed so I reached in, grabbed legs, and helped pull. It was a very dramatic "Hollywood" type birth with mama screaming her head off, but once the first kid came out she forgot all about her agony. She was smitten with the little cou clair boy with the splashy white face. She quickly delivered a second buckling without much help. The first one was 10 lbs. and the second one 9 lbs. so I guess Skeeter had good reason to yell for assistance. 

I hoped that if I milked Skeeter down a little and got the kids nursing, the inflammation in her udder would subside through the night. It did, but not enough, and this morning the left side was engorged with milk while the right side was shriveled up, hard, and not producing much. It wasn't hot but I could tell it was starting mastitis. I began treatments this morning and went out and massaged it every few hours during the day. It's improving, but I feel like we may be battling this for a few days. Thankfully I had some shots of Naxcel in my freezer and I'll give her a course of it along with some ToDay. I hope it sticks to just the right side and doesn't start in the left. I was hopeful all day, but this evening I felt a little ominous hardening and heat in the left side. I'll check it again before bed. I hate it when this happens. She had such a nice, low-maintenance udder the last two freshenings. I hope I can get it back to that soon! 

I got some fun photos this afternoon. Hopefully I'll have time to post them tomorrow!
Still no time to post photos, but we've named Spats' little sister "Toots" and Skeeter's boys are Rosco and Bugsy. Can you detect a theme here? We had them all out playing today and it was so much fun! They're too little to run very far or climb on top of things yet, but they twitch and pop like little jumping beans. They're so cute! Phil is going to have a lot of fun video footage for his livestream this Sunday! Bonnie is the sweetest, most outgoing, and adventuresome kid so far this year. She had fun learning about the teeter-totter today. Roscoe is my lap cuddler. Bugsy has yet to express his personality. Clyde was Phil's lap cuddler today. Whenever Phil sat down, Clyde came over and put a foot up on his knee and asked so politely if he could be let up. Toots is a little nervous and high-strung. When she goes somewhere, she races all out! Spats is just sweet and laid back at the moment. I think it's his personality, but it's hard to tell because he was born with bent knees and pasterns that fold over forwards. Yesterday it was hard for him to walk and he went in kind of a crab-like motion with his feet way out in front of him. Today he's much straighter and stronger, but he's still slow compared to the other kids.

I buried a couple of old truck tires in the pen today. The lower half is in the dirt so the top half sticks up in a half-circle. I think the kids are going to have a blast with those once they're big enough.

We're still waiting on Isabella and Snowball. They're due any time, but Snowball looks like she could wait a month. I don't think I could've got her breeding date wrong, but who knows. I thought Isabella was going to kid last night. She laid down and refused to budge. I made her get up and dragged her into the pen where she promptly threw herself on the ground and assumed the birthing pose. She kept stretching and groaning. Then about an hour later she got up and went about her business like nothing was the matter. In hindsight she was probably just positioning the kid(s) and feeling generally yucky. Her udder is starting to form and it was probably quite sore, which was likely why she wanted to lay down. She seems fine tonight.
At long last--some photos! 
I already posted a photo of little Bonnie, so here is Clyde. 

Sadie went from licking her kid to licking Phil's hat. Mmm... tasty! 

Spats makes an appearance. 

Spats--all 10 lbs. of him! 

Standing up is hard!

I didn't take any first-day photos of Toots except for this rather unflattering one. This baby-goat-in-a-bag doesn't seem too happy about getting weighed! 

Skeeter's kids made an appearance the next day. Here we have both boys going for the milk bar. I believe Roscoe was 9 lbs and Bugsy was 8.  


"Um... what do I do now, Mom?" Poor Bugsy. At one day old, he had a hard time standing on our slippery basement floor! 

Much easier to stand up on the dirt! "Who is this funny person, and what is this funny thing he keeps pointing at me?"  

My Bonnie Blue. I can't get over how pretty and sweet, how athletic and adventuresome she is. Phil calls her our "welcoming committee" because she was the first to engage Snowball and Isabella's kids. She rounded them up and incorporated them into the group even though they were almost a week younger. But she also loves people and is often the first to run up to us when we come in the pen. 

Spats is just a lovebug. He's not as active or adventuresome as the other kids. He's a long, lanky character who chases along after the group but doesn't care to rush into anything. He's also a very good eater. Looking at his bone structure, I think this guy is going to be huge!  
I love this picture of Phil and the kids. 

Just a few days old and they've discovered the mineral blocks! 

Finally... A photo of Toots! Right now her whole front end is white, but I think it's going to darken out. When it does, I think she may have some flashy white patches between the tan and black. 

You can't see it here, but Clyde has a moonspot over the top and back of his head surrounding the white patch. The hair is brown instead of the expected black and I'm curious what it will look like when he grows up. I need to get some photos of his daddy (Moonshadow a.k.a. "Pest") because he shedded out this spring with some very stunning moonspots on his shoulders. 

Wheee!!! Languid Spats looks on as his spastic sister Toots takes flight. 

Go Bugsy!

I buried these tires right after the first kids were born. The kids couldn't jump on them yet in these photos, but you should see them now!  

Finally--all six kids in one photo!
A few more photos from last Thursday. A week ago, all six kids could fit into the doghouse. I seriously doubt they'd all fit now! 

Roscoe discovers the teeter-totter. This toy should be a lot of fun, but most of the kids are afraid of it once they discover that it moves. We'll have to work with them on that! 

I don't live in paradise. Nope. Not at all. 
On Friday, April 28th we had a highly unusual situation. Isabella, who is Snowball's yearling kid, began showing strong signs of going into labor that morning. Snowball and Isabella have always been inseparable, but lately Isabella was stuck like velcro to her mom. She slept with her body pressed up against Snowball and rested her head on Snowballs flank or shoulder. Most does prefer to be alone when they start labor so we tried to give Isabella a little privacy in her own shed, but she wouldn't have it! She screamed and cried if Snowball wasn't right with her, so we locked them both in a shed together and waited and watched on the Goat-O-Scope. Snowball was very interested in Isabella's condition and kept checking under her tail and nuzzling her teats ("Are you making enough milk, dear?"). 

Unfortunately, Isabella wouldn't get on with the job and things were starting to drag. Snowball (who didn't look close to kidding when I checked her shortly before) eventually got fed up and began to push. However, it didn't look like she was having normal contractions, which are involuntary. Between the rolling, the sitting, and and the strained, determined pushing, Snowball appeared to be forcing herself into labor! I suppose she thought Isabella was taking too long and needed someone to demonstrate the birthing process? 

In any case, Snowball got down to business and things started happening pretty quickly. Hooves appeared, but then all progress ceased. I waited a while, but more pushes yielded no results. I took a shallow feel and there were two hooves and nose right behind where it should be. The hooves were tiny. A baby this size should pop right out. What was holding things up? I gave the hooves a tug but nothing moved. Strange. I reached further in and there was a third hoof! Then suddenly it dawned on me that one of the hooves I'd been pulling on was upside-down! It was a hind foot from another kid! No wonder things weren't moving. At that point I knew I had to intervene. I washed up while Phil got Snowball to her feet and plunked a milk stool under her belly so she couldn't lay down. Further exploration revealed four feet in the birth canal--two belonging to a forward-facing kid and two belonging to a breech kid. I closed my eyes to get a better mental picture of front vs. hind leg conformation so I could translate that to the slimy, kicking things I was feeling in the dark. Hind legs are luckily very easy to distinguish and I knew they were the ones that had to go away, so I found the hind legs first and pushed them back into the uterus one at a time. I had to reach far in to put that second determined hind leg down where it couldn't pop back! Then I had to grope around and re-find one of the front legs that had vanished in the excitement. Once I relocated it we were in business! I pulled the legs toward me just slightly and then reached in to make sure the head was still in place. The last thing we needed was for the head to turn back! I guided baby #1 into the world and she immediately sat up and shook her head. She was tiny and one of the prettiest two-tone chamoisees I've ever seen. She weighed barely six lbs. 

I waited a short while to see if Snowball would deliver the second kid on her own, but Snowball was too enamored with her first kid to bother pushing out a second. I was concerned because I knew the second kid was breech, and I didn't know if all my fiddling around might have caused any problems for the kid. What if I'd broken the umbilical cord or wrapped it around a foot? I decided we couldn't wait so I plunged my arm back in and fished those hind legs back out. Snowball didn't push at all. I had to pull that kid out 100% on my own, and it was a big kid! For a minute I thought it was stuck, but then it came sliding out--a huge white and gray doeling. She weighed 8 1/2 lbs. but looked bigger because of her thick, chunky neck and shoulders. Snowball seemed surprised at the newcomer ("Wait, I didn't push this out!"), but she was immediately thrilled nonetheless.

Baby #1

Baby #2

Milk is always tastier on the other side. 

"Whew!" Two healthy girls and a cheerful mama! Who could ask for more after a scary ordeal like that? I was ready to pack it in, but Isabella wasn't going to let me have a break. After watching her mom give birth, she decided she was finally ready to give it a try. She started to push... and push... and PUSH! Nothing was happening. Was this going to be a problem birth too? I washed up again and looked for hooves. There they were, but these were HUGE! I reached further in and felt a big nose with a broad forehead jammed tight between the pelvic bones. Isabella is tiny and she had a single huge kid which had gone a week overdue. No wonder she'd taken so long to start labor--she was afraid to push this thing out! The kid was presented correctly, but getting it out was an ordeal. I had to pull hard while mama pushed. For a few minutes I wasn't sure the head could clear, and then we had another problem when the shoulders got stuck. I pulled one leg forward and pushed the other back a little to offset the shoulder blades and then the kid was able to slide out. A big, handsome buck! He weighed almost 10 lbs. 

Isabella was exhausted and a little confused. She wasn't sure what to do at first. And here we were with two mamas and three kids in one shed. How to keep them apart? We didn't want any mamas trying to adopt someone else's babies, or anyone's kids getting confused about who was their mama. Luckily Snowball was already starting to act a bit standoffish and protective of her own. Isabella just seemed confused by the entire ordeal. We decided it was a good time to separate them. But for a few minutes it was fun to have everyone in one shed together. And it meant less cleaning for me since I only had to pitch out one shed!      

Skeeter was totally uninterested in the day's drama. "I need some 'Me Time'!"  

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