Sunday, January 06, 2008

BIG NEWS!!!!!!!

The Blessed Event has occurred!!!!

Yes - today our goat, Gyra, finally had her babies! Cigars all around!

I checked on her last night and she seemed pretty restless so I set up the watch, going out to check on her in 2 hour intervals. Hubby had work today so he went right to bed. By 4am I had enough and figured nothing much was going to change between then and 7am when I had to get up for church.

In the morning I woke up and got dressed for chuch and peeked in on her - still nothing going on.

getting ready

After church and breakfast with the in-laws, I came home and started about my daily chores. I did the spine-squeeze thing when I went in to feed her and I could wrap my fingers right around the bone.

Hmmm...I better keep an eye on this.

I was going to go drive by a house for someone out of the area and snap some pictures to email so I went back in and got changed into not-farm clothes. On my way out to the car I stopped and peeked in on her one more time. And this (oh, remember when I said I would warn the faint of heart ... or, I guess, queazy of stomach ... before I post graphic pictures of the births? Well, consider yoursleves warned) is what I saw...

mucus trail

That would be a big string of mucus.

That's one of those things I read about in the book that means "Get ready, goat farmer, because the baby is on its way."

So, I turned around and dashed back into the house, kicking off my shoes, tossing gloves, as I ran upstairs to get changed out of not-farm clothes and back into farm clothes. Judging by what I just saw, things might get messy.

I ran back downstairs, pulled my boots on, located the kidding kit that I carefully put together over the previous weeks, located my "Raising Meat Goats for Profit" book, grabbed the camera, and dashed back outside. I peeked in on her again to see this ...

water bag1

... and was all "AHHHH! Hold on! I don't have everything yet!"

I dropped all the stuff outside the Birthing Room and ran back to the house.

For what?



Why did I come back in here???!

Oh, yeah. Newspapers. The book says to lay out newspapers so the baby can just plop onto them and then you can pull it around to the mother's head so she can lick it off.

Back out to the birthing room.

By now she was starting to push in a getting-down-to-businees sort of way. I donned my latex gloves and opened the book.

... you will soon see a bag of water protruding from the vulva ...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. What next? What am I supposed to look for? Oh crap. What do I do??!!

Skip ahead, skip ahead...

... you will soon see two little hooves and a nose ...

Check the goat again...


Oh God! There's the nose! Are there two littl hooves? Wait ... Oh crap. Get out of the corner. I have to see if there are two little hooves!

At this point Gyra laid down with her butt wedged into the corner of the Birthing Room. I figured I'd just let her go for a little bit and see how things went. Just to be on the safe side, I jumped ahead to the part of the book that tells you what to do if there are difficulties with the birth. After a little while I checked on her again and saw that she wasn't really making much progress. Upon closer inspection, I noticed that only one hoof was visible with the nose.


Check the book, check the book...

If you only have one hoof and a nose presenting, then the other hoof might be just a little bit back (just put your finger in a little ways...

Oh. Oh. My finger. In the goat. Oh. Ok.

...where the hoof should be and feel for it). In which case everything will probably go just fine, or you may need to pull on it a little to get it together with the rest of the program.

Oh. Fine. Here we go.

So, yeah, I put my finger in the goat and found the other hoof.

I rock.

After that, the baby just kind of plopped out on the next push.

But not onto the newspapers as planned. Because Gyra started eating the newspapers as soon as I laid them down. She obviously didn't read the book.

So I grabbed a feedbag and put the little goat on it. I sucked out his little nose and mouth with a bulb syringe, and pulled him around to mom.

just born baby boy

The book said to let her lick the baby off for a bit and then dip the end of the umbilical cord and the hoof tips in iodine.


It then said to wrap the baby in clean towel and put it butt first into a bucket so mom can still lick it, baby will stay put, and the next kid can be born - if there is a next kid. The kid in the bucket will usually just fall asleep.

trying to restrain baby boy

Baby obviously didn't read the book either as sleeping was not on the agenda.

baby boy waaaaaaa

If there is no other kid, the next thing to watch for is the afterbirth.

second water bag is that? Afterbirth? Another kid?...

After about 40 minutes of watching mom walk around with this ... bag of water hanging out her, she finally started to push again and, what do you know, a nose and two hooves this time!


just born baby girl

Baby number two!

cleaning baby girl

So we have a boy...

baby boy

... and a girl.

baby girl

I called hubby to give him the good news. We are bonafide! Woo-hoo!

Much thanks to Gail Bowman who is the author of "Raising Meat Goats for Profit" (from where I took the excerpts), for writing such a good, instructive book. This book is like my little bible right now.

The only thing I would add to this wonderful bit of writing is a warning to someone assisting in a goat birth that, once the babies are all dried off and on their feet, they are so darn cute you might just squeeze them to death.

I stayed to make sure the babies started nursing and to be sure that there weren't any more on the way. Mom delivered the afterbirth and promptly ate it.

eating placenta

Live Action Shot of Mother Eating Placenta!


So the waiting is over. We had our very first livestock birth and are feeling all kinds of proud. Mom and babies have settled in nicely, the weather is cooperating, all is right with the world.


Professor J said...

Congratulations Anne! Those kids are DARLING! You are an honest to goodness goat farmer!

OmegaMom said...

OMG. Those two are just adorable! I can see how you could smother them with squishy hugs, they are too cute for words!

Blog Antagonist said...

Very, very cool! Except the afterbirth eating part. I've seen every animal under the sun do that and it still icks me out. But those kids are ADORABLE. You are obviously a very competent Midwife. Congratulations!

tony c said...

I guess this a milestone for the Lone Pine Farmers. Very nice. Love the textbook quality photos, too.

Better buy another copy of that book in case the goats eat the first one!

Anonymous said...

very good indeed!!!! congrats and all the other stuff. girl, you are a livestock farmer, and animal husbandrist? i can't wait to meet the little ones. now all we need is some curry and coconut milk. (i know, no eating the angoras). it does look like some nice fiber colors to me! oh, and thanks for the shot of placenta eating, it rocks out loud!! ken

we_be_toys said...

Hey! Congratulations on the new additions! They are so cute - I don't think I could eat them later, having witnessed their birth - maybe they could just make milk for cheese? (she asked hopefully, knowing that these kids were already on the menu)
Truly gross and graphic documentary photos - thumbs up!!

Kelly said...

cute babies.congrats .we'll have to take a ride up to see the lil buggers..nice pictures

audrey said...

Congratulations! They are so cute!!

steph said...



That is so amazing! WOW!! How beautiful and amazing!!
Congrats, and thanks for posting all that info and pictures, it was awesome!!!!

D.B. Echo said...

Hooray for baby goats!

And these photos are just semanding the I Can Has Cheezeburger treatment!

Chanda (aka Bea) said...

Wow! What an amazing experience - Those babies are too cute! You are a far stronger woman than I could hope to be. That mama goat would have been on her own with the whole sticking of fingers and finding of hooves. Yikes!

Jozet at Halushki said...


They are really cute - and just in time for Epiphany!

So, what are we thinking? Balthasar and Magi?

we_be_toys said...

I miss you - I need a post! When are you setting up the Kid-Cam for round the clock baby goat action? (I'm kidding...sort of!)

Anonymous said...

Wow annabelle you DO rock. The younguns are adorable. love Amy and Kelly

WillThink4Wine said...

Congratulations! Goat Watch ends. Geez, what will I look forward to now?

Li'l Foot's Mommy said...

WOW!!! What an amazing experience! That must have been so cool. I would love to witness something like this...and you did a great job documenting it so I kinda feel like I was there.

And OMG...those babies are toooo toooo too cute and I don't blame you for squeezing them out of cuteness and all!!!

anne said...

Hello all,

Thanks for all the congrats and pats on the back, etc. It is very mucc appreciated.

Some answers to questions:

Tony C - I actually thought about buying another book as Gyra turned her head at one point during the birth and pulled my book mark out and ate it!

ken - these actually are meat goats as opposed to the fiber ones. Although, mom (we think) is a cross of a meat and dairy goat. So, coconut milk all around!

we_be - The female will stay for sure. As far as the mail goes, we have to wait and see what we really have. Unfortunately, a lot of being able to sell an animal as breeding stock or a show prospect depends on whether it is able to be registered or not, and mom is not registered nor is she able to be, thus making these kids unregisterable. Is that a word?

chanda - I wasn't crazy about the whole sticking of fingers in goat thing either but it's kind of like you just do what you have to. I don't consider myself a hero, really. : )

sis - I originally suggested Profit and Income as names. Just jokingly though. But hubby has become attached to Profit as a name but wants it to be Prophet instead. So things are still up in air as far as the girl's name.

willthink - Fear not! We have more goats on the way!

I'll try to get another post up soon with some new photos.

nadzent said...

WOW! Totally amazing. Congratulations to you all - coming from a mom of twins. And they are SO CUTE! How could you ever eat them? I know, I know....I am sooo suburban and blah....But really, congrats! You are a far braver woman that I.

Paida said...

OMG I love blogs so much!

how cool that after following a few random links you can end up looking at a photo of a mama goat eating her placenta.

great story. Love it.


jon said...

Congratulations on the new kids they are so dang cute. Enjoyed the ring side run down from the barn as well. So will they be used for milk, breed (bread) or just extras on next seasons nativity scene? Oh yea, can we refer to you as farmer Anne?

Pocklock said...

Hooray! And, ew, a little.

Congrats to Gyra and the Farm Family!

Sojourner said...

Your blog is awesome! Your goats are adorable! I envy your farm life- city girl that I am. You sound like one incredibly busy woman! But you also sound like someone that could be my best friend. Keep posting. You're great!

Magpie said...