New (goat) Kids on the Block

We had two little boys born early Saturday eve! I'm calling them Robin Hood and Little John.

Brook had been holding on to them for a long time - every day I'd check, thinking it would be "the" day, but she was stubborn. Finally Saturday morning she seemed ready, so I put her in the kidding pen. I always separate my does for kidding. For one thing, we have a camera in the kidding pen so I can check on progress from my phone. For another, it gives the doe plenty of privacy to nest and give birth without more dominant goats stressing her out. And finally, it allows me to keep the kids safely separate from the herd so they do not get lost, stepped on, etc.

Around 4 in the afternoon I went out to see what Brook was up to. She didn't seem to be close to birth yet, so I went back inside and told DJ I would check her again in an hour. A few minutes later I looked at the camera and saw her standing with her head down. I thought, That's unusual. I went out to check and sure enough, she had Little John and was working diligently on cleaning him up.

Then things went off the rails, a bit. Brook was still acting as if she was in labor, but no second kid emerged. I waited 25 minutes, and with no further progress I was starting to feel very concerned. Sometimes kids get stuck, sometimes they are in a bad position and the farmer (which would be a very reluctant ME in this case) has to reach in there and re-position the kid or help pull them out. Putting my hand and arm into a goat is really not my idea of Saturday fun. I'm a little bit of a pansy like that.

Thankfully DJ came along to the barn with me and got my goat guru on speaker phone. She advised me on what to do, starting with bouncing. "Bouncing" the doe means putting your hands under her belly, pulling up and letting your hands back down. If you feel something hard "fall" into your hands, you know there's another kid in there. We did that, and felt something hard. Time to take a deep breath, make sure my hands are clean, cut my nails short, lube up and go in to try to get that kid out. After more drama, and with more goat guru phone advice, I was able to pull Robin Hood out by his head. He was in position upside down with his head tipped back instead of forward, and that had hung him up and prevented him from making a more gracious exit. I felt certain he was dead because of how long I had waiting to go in after him, but he revived and Brook started cleaning him immediately.

Both boys are doing great. Robin Hood is much smaller than Little John, but he's energetic and Brook is careful to make sure they both get plenty of attention. These boys will be bottle fed and sold, but it's fun to enjoy their antics while I still have them here.