Well, Gwendolyn had me worried this year. After her driveway date with Hocus, her ultrasound showed a singleton. The last time she had a single, he was a big-shouldered, 8lb buck who almost didn’t make it out. Her triplet delivery the following year had two 6lb kids AND an 8lb, 3oz kid. She grows them big. Gwen was also overdue. Since it was a driveway date, I was 100% positive on dates, especially since Gwen has the least-subtle heats in the herd. She went all the way to 157 days before her udder began filling. Late that afternoon, she was acting a little “off”; there was nothing I could quite put my finger on, just acting a little distracted and uncomfortable. That was enough for me to move her into the kidding stall. After I did that, I noticed she was also doing a lot of “baby talk”. For Gwen, that means short, soft, high-pitched, noises that she will later make to her babies. I got her settled in and checked on her periodically.
I wasn’t convinced she would have her baby that night, but the last time I checked the monitor before going to bed, she was definitely pushing. When I checked her, I could feel a nose and 2 hooves, but after several pushes, she just wasn’t progressing. As a 6th-freshener, I felt that she should be having an easier time. I decided she probably needed some help, so I gave her some TUMS and began to pull the kid’s feet with Gwen’s contractions. This kid was really wedged in, and I pulled harder than I ever had before. At one point, Gwen was standing up pushing while I pulled, and she skidded backwards because I was pulling so hard. She is not a small goat. I even got a charlie horse in my obliques that I’m still feeling today. It took about 20 minutes of strong effort from the both of us, but we finally pulled the kid out. I immediately started vigorously rubbing the kid because it was not doing well. After a few minutes, it thankfully responded with some coughs and weak cries. I think we got it out in the nick of time, because a very expired-looking placenta immediately followed the kid, as though it had detached as the kid was being pushed out. When that happens, the kid has no oxygen source. This baby still was not showing enough energy in my opinion, so I collected some of Gwen’s colostrum and gave it via syringe. That did the trick – it immediately began sucking and rooting. I was able to get the kid latched to Gwen pretty easily at that point, even though it was still laying down. After I took a few minutes to catch my breath, I decided to clip/dip the cord and weigh the kid. I was in for a couple surprises: first of all, the kid only weighed 7lbs, 4 oz. Secondly, it was a GIRL! I had been referring to the kid as a buckling in my head (and to Gwen) through the whole ordeal because it was so big and because Gwen has had 9 boys and only 1 girl. This little girl is a solid Black and Tan, with the densest coat I’ve seen on a kid. I think the extra incubation time went all to her fur. She is wide and level, and will be retained.