Duchess must have known I needed an easy one. She gave us a sweet, healthy little buckling today with only a little drama.
Yesterday I noticed Duchess’s udder was starting to fill and her ligaments were getting looser. She was acting pretty normal, but there was a cold front predicted for overnight. I also learned that her twin sister (who conceived on the same day) had just had a speedy delivery that day. I decided to keep Duchess in the indoor kidding stall overnight, even though I didn’t really expect her to deliver until the following day. She was not thrilled with her new digs, but ate a snack and settled in after a minimum of fussing. The following morning, she was acting a bit more quiet and had a fuller udder and looser ligaments. I let her outside to get some fresh air and exercise, but by about 11:30am, she was looking more uncomfortable, so I returned her to her kidding stall. She began pushing around 1pm, and a quick check showed me that the kid was lined up correctly, but it would be a tight fit. Duchess still has some growing to do, and it’s a good thing she was bred to Vulcan who always has smaller babies. I gripped his front hooves and tugged while Duchess pushed. However, Duchess is an unusually accommodating doe and just kept walking backwards when I would pull. I finally braced one hand against her rear end and pulled the kid with the other. Like many first fresheners, Duchess was pretty surprised by what was happening, and just stood against the wall for about 10 minutes. Luckily, the little buckling was vigorous and I was able to get his umbilical cord clipped and dipped, and get him weighed (4lbs 6oz) while Duchess recovered. Duchess finally perked up and started looking around for her baby, so I showed him to her and helped him nurse. He’s been eating nonstop since….