Monday, April 7, 2008

More baby goats in the neighborhood.

I talked some friends into getting a goat. They were looking for a 4H project for their daughter, and dairy goats seemed like a good option. She wanted something that her sisters weren't doing. They're identical twins, two years older, kind of dominating everything. But it needed to fit with the rest of what was going on. Dad already had beef cows on pasture, and the sisters had sheep. A dairy goat fit the mix and would blow the sheep out of the water with her personality and charm. Everyone was happy.

You see goats wouldn't compete with sheep at the fair, so there were no worries there. Goats would eat all the stuff the cows wouldn't touch on pasture, so there where no worries there, and there were several other girls (including my daughter) taking dairy goats for 4H. NO WORRIES!!!

Today I got a call from the rather frantic mother of the girl with the goat. The babies have arrived!!! Both at the same time!!! I have two back legs, one front leg, and a head. The mom has been in labor for 3 hours!!! What do I do?

At this point it was too late to try to separate the kids. I told her to work on pulling one, and that I would be over as quickly as I could. (It is more than a half an hour drive from our place to theirs.) {{there are no photo's with this post. The camera wasn't in position to be grabbed as I rushed out the door.}} By the time I got there one of the kids was delivered dead, but the other was out, and breathing. We rubbed her down and tried to get her to nurse. Momma goat seemed to be recovering from her part of the ordeal, and the live baby seemed to be responding to our care and to mommas attention. We got her dry, and it was time to run off and pick up our respective children. Forty-five minutes and half a dozen text messages to spouses later and we were back with the goats. While the children ran and played in the upper part of the barn, we milked out momma goat, fed the baby girl a bottle and got her on her feet, and had a good conversation about goat nutrition, bottle babies, and the future.

It was a rough start, but we scored one for local Ag. Goat milk is one the menu for the foreseeable future at our friends home just out side of Keene, OH.
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