Brooding On

Any Time Now!

We have now reached the stage in awaiting our goat kids when it really could be any time!  In their own ways, both gals are showing signs that they're nearing delivery.  Razz, is spending more and more time in the goat shelter-- nesting, perhaps.  Supposedly, they do actually dig a bit of a nest for birthing.  Meanwhile, Honey is 'bagging up."  This unseemly terminology means that her udder it starting to enlarge.  For "first fresheners" (1st time mommas, like Honey), this can happen as much as a month before birthing, whereas more experienced mommas don't tend to "bag up" until just before delivery.  At the risk of giving a little too much information, we've also noticed some mucous, so that's a good sign that the time is drawing nigh. 
I've trimmed my fingernails down to the nubs (and am now useless when it comes to getting bananas and cuties "started," which I'm asked to do at least 6 times a day).  If I must don those OB gloves and assist with a breech kid, I'll be ready and won't risk scratching the girls in the process.

Here's our birthing tool kit all stocked and ready to go.  We purchased some nipples for bottle feeding that fit neatly over the top of a pop bottle, making use of something most people already have on hand (but, ironically, we had to especially buy).  It's definitely a cheaper option than purchasing bottles as well as nipples.

And, this box (holding items too large for the tool box) is waiting by the backdoor.  Old towels for cleaning and warming kids, newspaper to wrap up and discard the afterbirth, wipes for all manner of nastiness that could be involved, molasses to reward the mommas, and a box in which to nestle the first-born kid while momma is thrashing about in the throws of delivering a second (should there be one).

I've been re-reading the birthing sections of our goat books, trying to be sure that we'll be prepared for anything.  One book mentions that the momma "may drift away from the herd to seek a private birthing spot, sometimes in the company of her dam (mother) or a daughter, sister, or best friend."  I love that!  When the time comes, she wants her mom or gal pal by her side in the delivery room.

When I was pregnant with Girl 1 (my only experience with pregnancy, remember), I was very patient right up to her due date.  At that point, though, I was ready!  I'd been walking nearly everyday, but, having heard that it would prompt labor, I was determined to walk that girl out!  I think that John and I walked about 7 miles over the course of that day and into the night before she was born the next day.  I wonder if that might work for goats, too.  The gals usually follow me when I go out into the field.  Maybe I'll go walk the fenceline to try to get them moving!  Or maybe I should hold off on trying to hurry things up until after the impending ice storm has passed.  ;)