Apparently there is a strong genetic predisposition for some does to kid in private. For the second year in a row, Rhea has evaded my assistance and presented me with fait accompli at kidding time. Her dam did too. At least I got her in the kidding pen this year….
This morning (Rhea’s 147th day), when I went into my milking room, I looked out the window and spent a few minutes observing Rhea before morning chores. While most of her herd mates were still in the shelter, she was standing outside, with her head erect and cocked, as though listening for a far-off sound. Based on that, I knew today was probably the day. She turned, and my suspicions were confirmed by her much-bigger udder. She began pawing the ground, and that clinched it. I knew to expect babies this morning. Her yearling Circe did not get the memo because she also saw Rhea’s new udder and decided to nurse. To my surprise, Rhea allowed it! Funny girls.
I began working through morning chores (I’m milking 10 now!!), and fielded a phone call from my brother-in-law who is dealing with a goat emergency today. After 2 hours, I was finally done and prepared Rhea’s kidding stall. I got her settled inside, and went inside for a quick breakfast. She was only having a little clear discharge, so I mistakenly believed I had time. When I came back out, I found wet buck/doe twins already standing and nursing! Well-done Rhea! Even though Rhea is very petite, she easily kidded her boy at 5lbs, 12oz; and the girl at 3lbs, 12oz. These are beautiful F2 kids, and George really brought the ears this time! The girl is retained, and the boy will be available as a pet wether.