I guess Rachel was not interested in adding to Sean's growing confidence in his OB/GYN goat kidding skills. She had this all on her own.
Since before kidding season was upon us, we have been checking the goats for imminent kidding signs every couple hours. Yesterday was no different. Rachel was the only pregnant doe left for this season and we were anxious to have her delivered safely. Sean checked her in the morning before going to work. I checked her mid-morning. Sean checked at noon. I checked in mid-afternoon. Sean checked at 5 pm, again at 8 pm and once more at midnight. At his last visit, everyone was asleep, the does sleeping together in a mound and their kids cuddled up beside one another snuggled into a pile of fresh hay in a cozy, dark corner.
Morning dawned. Our weather dropped into the negative digits overnight, but the barn critters were comfortable. All looked good. Sean opened the stall door and called for our first does to come to be milked, Abigail and Leah. It was then that he noticed what looked like some blood near the stump I sit on in the doe stall and a piece of umbilical cord???? "Rachel? You have some s'plaining to do." Sean said in his best Desi impersonation as he approached both hopeful and afraid.
Rachel was curled up contentedly chewing on some hay unconcerned by Sean's accusation. Sean did not immediately see Rachel's kid because she was wrapped snug against her body, clean, but wet and sleeping in the cold morning air. Initially Sean hesitated to disturb them, but Rachel would get up as soon as she heard her grain coming. And, too, the kid was still wet and shivering a little. So, Sean gave Rachel her grain and brought me the sole female doe kid to be born to us this year to inspect, weigh, and finish drying.
Little Keziah is not for sale and will live with us on the farm. She is a lovely mix of a white Lamancha (she got the recessive elf ears gene from her Momma) and some of her Daddy's Oberhausli stripes. We hope she takes after her Momma's personality because Jedi is about as stubborn as they come.
Keziah was returned to Rachel's care without incident. Rachel is a good mother and is quick to respond to her offspring's cries, but she is very laid back about our involvement. Not only does she not mind when we hold or play with her young, she seems to appreciate the break our attention affords her. She visits the other does, grabs some water, butts heads with one of the yearlings before meandering back to offer a meal or care for bath time.
This afternoon, I plan to try to get some footage of Keziah and Rachel together. This will be posted in the next few days. Stay tuned!
Thanks for stopping in for a visit, friends. It is nice to have some company.