Thursday, November 11, 2010

Goat Watch

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What a day! Besides cooking and cleaning and homeschooling and fair projects I've been on full-time goat watch. Lucille has been on the top of my goat list the last few weeks as she has been bagging up, but a couple of nights ago I began watching her pretty close as her milk started coming in. I put her up in the kidding stall with her momma Dixie for a night, then returned Dixie with the rest of the herd and put Lucille in the big kidding stall all by herself. This morning she started showing lots more signs that we probably will have a delivery sometime in the near future. Kidding is one of my favorite parts of farm life and I try to be with each one of my does at their deliveries if at all possible. Lucille was born on our farm last fall. She is the first purebred Nubian that was born here, so it is extra special to be expecting her first kid(s) now. I spent a lot of time out in the barn watching and loving on Lucille. She is one of the friendlier goats, so appreciated the rubbing and loving. She started having some small contractions and got mad at me, thinking I was hurting her stomach, and jumping and butting until they were done, then she would come back for some more loving. Poor girl, she can't quite figure out what's happening.
Trent loves to help with the goat deliveries. None of the goop or goo scare him too bad. He helped deliver Lucille, so he is hoping to be there to help deliver her kid (s), too. He knows just what to look for:)
Checking for the ligaments, which are nearly gone at this point. The ligaments can be felt by running your hand down the tail head (which a first time, very pregnant, sensitive goat does not much appreciate, nor does she like you to look under that tail at this point). The ligaments are about pencil thick, and disappear when labor is near.It is a bit hard to see under all that winter hair in this picture, but a side view with the change in the ligaments. She has really hollowed out, and the tail head has started to change position.

Compared to Santana's, which are pretty much still rounded.
All the other goats keep on checking on her to see what's going on. Nothing like a little moral support from your friends:)
Her udder has been swelling for the past few weeks, but in the past 2 days it has gotten considerably fuller, and is becoming shiny now as the milk is coming in. She is "hollowing out" under the spine, and her belly is sagging with the weight of the kid(s) as they take position. She has started loosing her mucus plug as well, and is very swollen up in the back end. It is hard to find any position to get comfortable at this point. Another funny thing our goats have done in labor is lots of yawning and mouth stretching. She can't seem to figure out what is happening in that big belly. She keeps talking, licking, and looking to see what is happening in there. She has begun stretching and arching her back, but no pawing and nesting yet.
Everything is looking like we will have a baby soon. Could be 2 hours or 2 weeks the way I guess, but things are looking good.

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