Goat Kids

Three of my four does are first fresheners, kidding for the first time this year. First fresheners often have a single kid the first time, but twins aren't out of the question.

Felicity was huge, so I wasn't too surprised when she had buck/doe twins on Friday, 12/20, just as the freezing rain heralded the beginning of the ice storm. They were really good-sized and very vigorous. Both were standing up when I found them, and still damp. Felicity was talking to them, but wasn't keen on nursing them. I worked with them and they caught on quickly. The next day I was worried because it seemed like mom didn't have milk, but finally realized that they were nursing very well and she'd been milked out when I checked her. I'm keeping an eye on the doeling though because I think the buck is drinking more than his share - they often do.

The buckling is the bigger one, of course. He is brown with a white splash on his right side, and frosted ears and nose.

The doeling has a white splash on her left side, and self-colored ears. (I'm partial to self-colored ears.)

Sometimes you'll get a Nubian kid with an ear that doesn't unfold like it should; the ear stays folded in half. I've had it happen once, years ago, and a friend told me to put a hair curler inside the ear and wrap it with vet wrap (the pink foam curlers, with the pink plastic part removed). Now I'm very careful to dry off the inside of the ear really, really well and to check it often that first day to make sure it isn't stuck together. So far this seems to work pretty well.

On Monday afternoon Firefly and Phoenix both delivered at the same time. I was working on Firefly's kids, drying them off and dipping cords in iodine, and noticed a new kid standing next to Phoenix in the goat pen. Oh my! I hadn't expected her to kid for another three weeks.

I went in the pen to move Phoenix and her still-damp kid into the horse trailer with the other moms, and found that she too had had twins. The doe kid, quite small, was lying out in the cold, while the buckling was standing next to his mom. I tucked the cold, wet doeling inside my coat to warm her up, and carried the buckling while Phoenix followed. Hubby arrived home from work at this point and helped me get them inside the trailer with Felicity, Firefly and their kids.

Each doe had a set of buck/doe twins. There were babies everywhere and it was utter chaos for awhile. I worked with all four of the kids to get them to nurse. After a shot of BoSe, a vitamin E capsule squeezed into her mouth, and a belly full of warm colostrum, Phoenix's little girl was in slightly better shape.

As well as worrying over the little doeling, I worried that I wouldn't remember which kid belonged to which doe: all are varying shades of brown. But they stayed near their own moms, and their moms knew which kids were theirs. My friend SE uses matching collars, put on the kids as soon as they are born, so she can keep track of which kids belong to which does. I wish I'd been prepared for that, but Phoenix took me completely by surprise.

But I had matching kid coats, and it was cold, so the twins wear coats of the same color. When the weather doesn't require coats, I'll use the matching collar method. (I'll post the how-to's on kid coats soon.)

Firefly's buckling (on the right).

The doeling is a lighter brown, similar to Firefly's original coloring - Firefly lightened up over time and is a blond roan color now.

Phoenix's buckling. Look at all those brown kids!

Phoenix's little doeling. You'd never know she had such a rough start.

Whew, what a weekend - twins from all three of my first fresheners! I'm quite shocked. My herd more than doubled in size in just four days (from five goats to eleven!) I've never before had my entire kid crop one color like this; it's a sea of brown.

I know for certain that Ziva won't kid for several months, since I bought her unbred. I'm glad for the break.

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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