Thursday, May 10, 2012

twins for Joon

Calypso and Comet
Last Friday Joon gave birth to twins, a doeling and a buckling, our first kids born here at Applegarth.  We had been getting ready for them all last week by setting up a separate paddock and stall just for Joon, cleaning her area and filling it with fresh straw, gathering all the supplies I thought I might need in a basket set by the door, plus I spent time reviewing every book I had on goats and what to expect for my first kidding.  The last year I also followed several blogs that focus on milk goats and read all about their birth experiences, so I did feel somewhat prepared.  Still I was nervous and anxious because I didn't want her to go into labor without me there. 

I watched for the signs that would indicate she was going into labor soon, a full and shiny udder, soft nickering, a pinkish discharge, and of course the days.  A normal gestation for goats is 150 days, but does can give birth anywhere from 145 to 155 days.  Finally last Friday morning, day 148, I went out to feed everyone breakfast and noticed Joon stayed in her stall and wasn't interested in eating.  Upon checking her, I noticed a pinkish discharge and watched her lay down and could see she was in labor, I thought it was still the early stages.  So I quickly finished feeding everyone and ran to get my husband,  he had one more gap to fill in the stall so the new kids couldn't slip through into the big goat area. The timing was good because he hadn't left for work yet. While we were in the big barn where he was cutting a piece of wood, we kept hearing all the goats calling, I wondered why since I had just fed them.  As I ran over to check what was going on, I realized they were trying to tell me Joon was giving birth and having her first one.  By the time I reached her she was cleaning up her first doeling, it was that fast, like 10 minutes from when I first saw her.  I ran to the house as fast as I could and grabbed my basket by the door and sprinted back out to help dry her doeling.  She was all black just like her mom, except she has grey ears from her dad Cowboy, she is so cute! 

Applegarth's Comet and Calypso

Being new to all this I was so surprised how active a newborn goat is, once dry she was crying and crawling all over both Joon and I, it was a noisy affair and Joon was still in labor.  After almost an hour and a half of  pushing during the second birth, I started getting concerned for Joon and thought my first delivery I'd be going in to help straighten out a kid or untangle kids.  I also knew the little doeling was getting hungry because she was stomping her foot and crying as she looked at Joon.  I had read that new kids need to nurse within an hour, and every time Joon stood up, we tried to get her to nurse, and she couldn't get the hang of it,  then Joon would lay down and push some more, I was getting worried.  After two hours of pushing I began to pray in earnest for her as I watched her push and cry out and still saw nothing.  Finally the pinnacle happened with one huge push and I saw a large form begin to emerge, she continued pushing and I realized she was giving birth in a breech position and that's why she was having such a hard time. Imagine touching your toes, he was coming out bottom first, and he was a big strapping buckling compared to the little doeling.  As she pushed I helped ease him out carefully with each push, by the time he was born I breathed a huge sigh of relief, I didn't realize I had been holding my breath.  It was an emotional moment, and I was thankful to be there for Joon. 

Joon was thrilled to finally welcome him and she licked him all clean, then laid her head down for a much needed rest and dozed, she was exhausted.  I dipped the bucklings umbilical cord in iodine and then his feet, I had already done the doelings earlier.  I also gave them some probios, a probiotic, and some vitamin E and Selenium, stuff I had read is a good idea to do.  I was getting anxious for Joon to get up and nurse them, as the doeling was going on two and a half hours, finally once rested after about 20 minutes Joon got up and the kids began to nurse, thankfully.  She is such a good mom!  I waited not knowing if there was another kid to be born, but soon after nursing she passed the placenta uneventfully and the final part of the birth process was over.  Once we were all done I got Joon some fresh water, alfalfa, and extra grain.  She also wanted some probios and licked it up, her body must have needed the electrolytes after all that. 
It was so amazing to all of us that when goat kids are born they are only wobbly on their legs for a few moments and then are running around and will crawl all over you.  Joon is so proud of them, and Cowboy too looks on at his first offspring, I went over and congratulated him.  All the goats wanted to know how Joon was and it was fun to watch them and see Zolena peak in to give updates to everyone as I held the doeling up for her to see.   We are going to name the doeling Calypso, and the buckling Comet, he has white mark on the center of his head, and is so cute too.  Both are C names, every year the American Dairy Goat Association has a letter for tatoos for that year, if you want to name your goats by that letter it helps to  remember the year they were born, this year it's the letter C.

Sugarcreek Joon and Comet


goatgirl said...

Nice job on your first babies. They are darling.

Jewel said...

Thanks goatgirl, I have loved seeing all the cute newborn kids on your blog!