What a beautiful way to kick off kidding season! It was an easy delivery resulting in a pair of beautiful twins.
Magic is new to me this year, although as a 6th freshener she’s a veteran at this point. While I wasn’t very worried about her, I did want to make sure I kept a close eye on her since I don’t know her as well as the others. All four does due to deliver in January have been sharing the same little pasture, and I have been supplementing them with alfalfa to make sure their protein needs are met. Early that morning, I poured the pellets into their feeders and reached over the fence to feel Magic’s ligaments. They were completely gone, which was a big change from the day before. I let myself into the pasture and did a close-up check of Magic. It was obvious her babies had dropped, and her udder was at least twice as big as it had been the day before. She wasn’t acting like she was in labor, but I checked on her a couple more times before leaving for the morning. I thought to myself that I would probably be missing dinner for this delivery and sent a head’s up to vet and my goat support system. Most of my goats deliver around day 148, and this was day 144 for Magic, so I was a little surprised. About that time I got weather alert on my phone: there was a winter storm rolling in, accompanied by big barometric pressure changes. Who needs the Weather Channel when you have pregnant goats? I shifted my errands to the morning and started supper in the slow-cooker. I checked Magic again around 12. She was laying down, but did not seem uncomfortable and was not having any discharge. She had been staying very close to the left side of the hay feeder (her favorite spot), and was still happy to stay there. I set about preparing the kidding area – this time of year, I am especially thankful for the little room next door to my milking room. I have a convertible baby gate in use to create and indoor kidding stall. We have electricity, heat and running water. It’s also where my medicine cart is. Around 3 o’ clock, I needed to make a decision. It was time to pick up my daughter from school and take her to ADHD therapy. Magic had now separated herself from her little herd. This was really the only behavior change she displayed all day, so I put her in the kidding stall and made sure my Arlo security camera was working so I could monitor her remotely. She still was not having any discharge or acting uncomfortable, and I decided we were good to go. I planned to be home by 4:45. I picked up my daughter and checked her in with her therapist for her 3:30 appointment. I settled-in for some monitor-watching. Magic basically held the same standing position a half-hour, then at 4:05, she suddenly settled into a squat and started pushing. Time to go! I hustled my daughter out of the appointment early, and made it home at 4:20. Magic was actively pushing and finally had a little discharge. Her sac seemed to be intact, but I could make out a single large hoof behind it when she pushed. I was a little concerned about the baby’s presentation, so I gloved-up and pinched her sac of water to break it. Then I was able to go in and check positioning. I followed the front leg back and could distinctly feel a nose and mouth, but no second hoof. It was clearly tucked under the kid. I worked it forward and then pulled a little on the front legs to work with Magic’s contractions and deliver the kid. He was pretty big and vigorous. I got him wiped off and positioned him in front of Magic so she could clean him. It was 4:35. Within about 30 seconds, a second kid was born easily. She was also big and active. Magic typically has triplets, so I checked to see if there were any more waiting to come out. There was only placenta, which would come out on its own at about 6. In the meantime, I dipped the babies’ umbilical cords in chlorhexdine and weighed them. Weighing the kids isn’t strictly necessary, but my parents got me a large dog scale for Christmas so it was pretty easy to do. The boy was 7lbs, 6 oz and the girl was 6lbs, 6oz. I got Magic some water with molasses and made sure she had some good snacks. The babies had figured out how to nurse, so all was good. These two will be retained to improve the herd. To read more about the girl, Wicca, click here. To learn more about her brother, Hocus Pocus, click here.