Almost-Final Kidding Update

Well, our streak of near-constant goats kidding is maintaining pretty well.  No one had babies on the 16th, 17th, or 18th, (and prior to that the 7th, 10th, and 11th) but otherwise there's been at least 1, usually 2-3 a day since the 4th, 27 mamas done with 2 left.  I emailed a local playgroup about the babies last Sunday, inviting anyone who was interested to come out - and we had 27 people show up throughout the day, another 3 on Monday, and 8 more on Wednesday (2 of those were repeats)!  I think just about every family/group had at least one kid crying when it was time to leave, which did indicate a successful visit :)  

We are up to 43 kids on the ground, of 56 born so far (probably 4 more coming), and still heavy on the girls - 25 to 18.  We have only lost one goat baby since the early bad run, and I have no idea what happened.  I took the boys to Caleb's office for lunch, and stopped to check everyone on the way out.  Leona had one just-arrived, and I assumed one more was on the way, but I was running late. When I came back, the second was there and dead, no indication of why, it was healthy-looking and plenty big.  Otherwise, everyone has been fine for both kidding and mothering, I've been watching closely with minimal interference.  I am monitoring not just for an unaided delivery, but for the initial good-mama actions as well - cleaning, nuzzling, talking, and especially letting the babies nurse.  Sometimes first-time mamas will clean and clean, and circle when the babies try to nurse, and just keep cleaning them.  The poor things never get to eat, even though at a glance the mama is doing a great job taking care of them.  I have only had one do that this year, so that's good, and really everyone has been doing very well, including the first-timers (except of course the bottle boys' mother).   I did help one just a bit with her triplets on Friday - the third one was coming right along with the second, just like Koa (2 back feet, and 2 front feet with a nose, all at once).  This time, she did fine and the head-first one came first, right past the other back feet, and I just broke her waterbag so she could breathe.  The third came most of the way out, breech - and then mama decided she was tired, and took a break. I let her sit a minute, but then, since the poor baby's head was still inside, I went ahead and pulled her out the rest of the way and cleared her face too.  I really didn't want another baby that had breathed a bunch of fluids!  Sunday, with all the visitors, not a single baby was born, but Marshmallow accomodated our Wednesday group with a birth right before they had to leave.  

The best news for me is that Sophia, my milker, has finally kidded, and was waiting at the gate to the milk pen this morning like we'd been doing that the whole time.  The other two I'm milking are both dropping in supply already - I'm getting maybe 2 cups between the both of them.  Cinnamon is doing well, other than the loss of volume, but Bad Mom (as I call her, the bottle boys' mother) is awful.  By halfway through, she starts stomping with every pull, so I have to hold the pail with one hand, way up high, and move it with every pull because she steps way up her side and tries to scrape down and get her foot in the pail.  I'm really getting tired of milking her, and as soon as Sophia's girl is several days old and I can start separating her overnight, I'll feel comfortable dropping Bad Mom from the rotation (her supply should be low enough by then to not be an issue).  I'll probably start Snowpea back milking soon too - even though she has triplets, I think nursing all day will be plenty for them, and I'll give them a good headstart before I start taking anything.

I've taken some pictures, and rather than trying to shrink them and get them in this post, I've added them to the goat photo gallery, so pop over there and check out the cuteness!

Kidding has slowed enough - and the stress of checking all day long because of all the early losses has backed off enough - that I'm finally getting in some garden time.  I'll post more about that soon, but I'm trying to finally get some of the out-of-control weeds taken care of so I can plant some things, and the hoophouse is about at the turn-over point in the spring - exciting!  

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