Wednesday, April 12, 2017

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Final Kidding of the Season~ Lydia's Delivery

We have been on final kid watch since late Thursday night when Lydia's ligaments softened and disappeared. On Friday morning, her udder swelled and she started showing signs of discomfort. She spent hours calling softly, pawing the ground, staring off into space, standing and sitting intermittently determined to get comfortable despite her burgeoning belly. I checked on her through the day and evening hours while Sean was working. Her timing couldn't have been worse. Sean had made plans to spend time with a friend who is moving to Florida. I urged him to keep his plans with the understanding that I would call as soon as Lydia passed her mucus plug and labor began in earnest. Lydia is 14 months old- and though vigorous and strong, she is smaller than we would like. With Becca's terrible kidding the week before fresh in my mind, I was not looking forward to this final one.

First hoof!
Sean got home at 10:30 pm and split the night watch with Kristen. They were up every 90 minutes, then hourly, and finally every 30 minutes for kid watch. It was a long, long night that didn't need to be. Lydia started labor in earnest at 6:30 am. By 7 am, she had progressed to strong contractions. Sean handled the morning milk chores alone while I spent time petting Lydia, talking to her, and preparing for kidding. While not a completely textbook perfect kidding, Lydia was pretty close. I took pictures and captured video as I could, but one-handed and alone, that was not the priority. Within 30 minutes of the bubble forming, Lydia began pushing hard with contractions. One little hoof peeked out. I know to let nature do its thing, but I was so worried for her, I went ahead and checked for a nose. It was right at the entrance, just on top of the hoof. That's good. We hit the 30 minute mark, but only the tip of the kid's nose joined the hoof outside of Lydia. I squirted on lots of lubricant gel before gently checking for the 2nd hoof. It was right where it should be. Everything was in the right place. It was just a matter of Lydia pushing that baby free.

Lydia was dilated, but she was not as large as I would like. I wasn't concerned that she had "Ring Womb"- where a doe fails to dilate though she is in labor. (Read about that HERE.)  Time was passing, but neither Momma nor kid was in distress. The pressure from the kid's head helps expand the opening so a kid can be born. Pulling a kid before the doe is ready to birth it can cause tearing and trauma. Letting a delivery go longer than it should can exhaust a Mother and kid and cause other problems. I waited another 10 minutes to see if there would be any more progress. When there wasn't a marked change, I thought that rather than trying to pull the kid at this point, I would try to gently add massaging pressure with just my finger tips to help ease Lydia further open. It took about 5 minutes of good, progressive contractions, but the kid's second hoof eased close enough to push against my finger tips. It was too slippery to grab well. I kept gentle pressure with two fingers of my left hand near the nose that was poking out and with my other hand, I provided gentle traction to the second hoof. Then, everything slid into place and head and shoulders were born. I stopped assisting at this point.

The rest of the delivery should be relatively easy and it was. Lydia started sniffing her kid within a couple minutes of its little cries. Then, she began cleaning it. She delivered the smallest kid we have ever had born on the farm- a 2 pound, perfect lamancha doe kid. :) It took about an hour for little girl to get her legs under control and attempt to nurse, but she got the hang of it in no time. Both Lydia and Senorita Brigitta are doing great. They are separate from the rest of the herd to bond and get a good start together. Though Lydia is developing a good sized udder- we probably won't milk her this season. We generally give first time Mothers the year to get used to their new role. Since parasites tend to bloom shortly after birth, and can contribute to difficulties, we prefer not to add any pressure to first time Mommas, other than caring for their young. That can be challenging enough!
Photo Shoot Models. Kristen, Brianna, and Meaghan with Brigitta. :)
If cute sells, we should be out of jewelry real quick! :)

In the couple days since Brigitta's arrival, she has gotten her feet under her and is thriving. Today we had a bit of a photo shoot with Krissy, Meg and our friends, Brianna and Benny in and around the yard. Brigitta was in the thick of things. Lydia roamed by herself for a bit. When breaking into the chicken yard to steal some cracked corn failed, she came looking for her offspring. Brigitta was happy to see her mother and get a drink, too.

That is what is happening in our neck of the woods. We're making progress slow and steady. Thanks for visiting with us today, friends. We're glad you're here.

~Sean and Sonja ♥

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