Don’t you just love first fresheners? Add that to the melodramatic Nubian temperament, and it certainly can add some zest to your kidding season.
Well, the temperature has dropped 40 degrees over the last 2 days, so you know what that means! Girlfriend – one of our full-size Nubians – was 153 days pregnant last night. Her udder had gotten fuller, but I couldn’t tell if her belly had dropped. This brings up a good point. Girly is a very long doe, and a first freshener. She was bred to a Nigerian Dwarf (handsome Ajax)and ultrasound showed a singleton. She barely looked pregnant at all since she had plenty of room to hide a small singleton. Her ligaments were still present, but her vulva was looking pretty poochy. Since I had these signs AND it was snowing, I decided it was time for Girly to spend the night in the kidding stall attached to my milking room. Unfortunately, Girly did not agree. After much loud bellowing and a clumsy (yet successful) attempt to jump out of her stall, I thought maybe she was lonely and needed a buddy. I brought Pandora in to keep her company. No dice. She broke out again. I was at a loss; this had never happened before. I did not feel comfortable leaving her in the outdoor lot with polydome shelter. As a first freshener, she may not have the common sense to kid in the shelter and dry off her baby. However, she was clearly distressed to be separated from her herd, and stressing a doe close to delivery is also dangerous for the baby. I also did not want to be running out in the snow every 2 hours all night to check on her. I came to the decision to move her into the barn where the stall walls are higher and sturdier. I had a small stall vacant, and at least it was dry and out of the wind. She would have the company of the newly delivered Tinker (in the stall adjacent). The barn also serves as overnight housing for the kids who spend the night away from their dams. I got her settled in with some grain and water, and made sure my camera was up and working.
I checked the camera a few times through the night and first thing in the morning. Girly appeared to be resting comfortably. I rounded up my milkers and headed into my milking room. I sent my daughter to the barn to transfer the kids to the goat lot and feed our two bottle babies. After she was done, she reported to me that there were no new babies yet, but Girly was yelling at her loudly. That’s pretty normal for Girly, so I didn’t think much of it. I finished milking and bottled my milk. I headed out to the barn to lay eyes on Girly and see how Tinker did through the night. I could hear Tinker’s babies calling as I approached the barn which I thought was odd because they are really quiet babies. Turns out, it wasn’t Tinker’s babies. There in Girly’s stall was a very wet little kid! Since it was about 25 degrees in the barn, I decided to transfer the pair to the (heated)
milking room stall. Normally it isn’t advisable to move a newly delivered pair, but I really felt it would be safer this way. I tucked baby under my jacket and ran her into the milking room. I settled her into the stall, covered her with a towel and went back to get Girly. She was pretty confused by the whole ordeal and needed to be coaxed. I got her into the stall with her baby and encouraged her to sniff and lick the baby. Her instincts took over and she started mothering. A quick inspection showed me a lovely long doe kid with a roman nose and what will likely be long airplane ears.
This baby girl has some fantastic udders behind her, and for that reason I was really hoping for a buckling from this pairing to further influence my herd. I am not sure if she will stay on or if I will try to trade her for an F1 50:50 buckling. At any rate, I am grateful for a healthy fast delivery!