Bo’s First Freshening

I’d been watching Bo all week – I was curious to see how she would do, being Fiona’s granddaughter. Fiona and her daughter Juno (Bo’s dam) tended to kid around 147 days, and while Bo shared many of their physical qualities, she definitely had more of the Nubian phenotype. On the evening of her 149th day after her breeding to Boreas, I noticed that her ligaments had gotten mushier and her udder was getting tighter. With a cold front on the way, I decided to bring her into the kidding stall for the night. She was none too pleased, but thankfully she isn’t a loud goat.

By the next morning, she wasn’t quite in labor, but heading in that direction. Her ligaments were gone and I could reach around the whole base of her tail. While I could tempt her with some grain, she only ate about half before losing interest.

I had an appointment to take a couple goat kids to visit a local outdoor preschool, so I decided to keep it, knowing I’d be home before noon. The visit went really well and Bo was in labor by the time I returned. Her signs included pawing at the ground and changing positions frequently. She also had a faraway look in her eyes as though she was listening for something she couldn’t quite hear.

I continued with my typical Friday chores while keeping an eye on the camera, and around about the time I had my house clean, Bo was unmistakably pushing with contractions. I suited up in my waterproof coveralls and made way to the kidding stall. When I got there, I could see two hooves presenting. A quick check told me that there was a nose to follow. Bo was pushing hard, but judging by these hooves, this was going to be a challenge for a first-freshener, so I put a little traction on the hooves to keep the kid from sliding back between contractions. Within a couple more pushes, she delivered the kid. I was right – he was the biggest kid born on our farm this year, weighing in at 6lbs, 10oz. He’s a handsome blond roan bezoar buckling. I helped Bo get him dry, and  clipped his cord, dipping it in chlorhexidine after. Bo hadn’t appeared to be particularly large during her pregnancy, and I could only see one kid on ultrasound, so I was pleasantly surprised when I felt another kid during a perfunctory bump. I did a vaginal check, which prompted Bo to begin pushing again, and in no time, she had delivered a twin. This one was a dark brown bezoar moonspotted girl, weighing in at a modest 4lbs, 2oz. She will be retained, but Bo and her boy will be rehomed. Bo has a lovely foreudder and medial attachments, but teat size and placement could use some improvement (and may improve in subsequent freshenings).

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