I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: KNOW YOUR GOATS. This morning, I went out to do chores, and when I poured the supplemental alfalfa pellets, Lucky wasn’t interested. She was also being pretty vocal. Since she is one of my quietest goats, I thought that was a little strange. However, she wasn’t due for a couple more weeks. She wasn’t “hand-bred”, though (hand breeding is when the doe is exposed to the buck on one or two occasions during a single heat cycle). Rather, I had let her “run” with Vulcan for several weeks last fall, keeping note of the times when breeding occurred. There are pros and cons to each method, and depending on the needs of my herd at the time, I will use them both. Lucky is a long, deep doe and despite being confirmed with triplets, she still wasn’t very big. However, her udder was bigger than the day before. I watched her for a few minutes and in that time, she pawed the ground, stretched and peed several times. Taken separately, those signs don’t mean much, but together they signal a goat in labor. I had recently reviewed last year’s kidding notes and recalled that her labor was pretty swift. I threw some fresh straw in my kidding stall, cranked up the heat and moved her in there. I texted my vet to explain the situation and ask if the U/S would allow a 2-week wiggle room. I wasn’t sure if my dates were wrong or if we were going to have premature kids. I was worried because being 2 weeks early, they would immature lungs. I put the camera on Lucky and went inside to have some breakfast. Before my coffee got cold, I would help Lucky deliver 3 babies.
My husband had made us some bacon and eggs, so I scarfed it down while watching the monitor. Within a few minutes, she was definitely pushing, and by the time I got out there, I saw 2 hooves and nose presenting. Lucky easily delivered a tiny baby boy, followed by a girl and another boy. Although small (2.2-4.4lbs), they were vigorous and mature. They are all black with frosted ears, and the girl and one of the boys have some of Lucky’s pretty roaning. Once everything settled down, I looked back on my breeding notes. Lucky’s last heat came a week early. Although she stood several times for Vulcan, it apparently was not a true heat and she had actually conceived 2 weeks prior!
At this point, we are planning to retain the girl and sell the boys. These kids are F4, and immediate grandparents are Soaring Hearts, Paradise, Green Gables and Sonflower Ranch. Lucky and Vulcan’s dam (Fiona) will be on DHIA test this year, making a *B possible for the boys. Please contact us if you are interested in one of these kids.