You know the story, about the time you think everything has happened that possibly can, you are reminded that it hasn’t.
A little background on one of the does: Akira is an alpine/nubian born in 2008. She has a coat that is slightly longer than most of the goats in the barn. She is a stocky type of girl. She does not fit into the graceful lines of a dairy doe.
When I walked into the barn to feed a few days ago I immediately set eyes on a newborn. She had a clean dry coat. She was walking around like she knew the world already. Then I began the task of finding the mother. Akira! How in the world did she have a kid? I checked her udder, I didn’t feel one. She had not looked pregnant.
Because I did not feel an udder, knowing there was no milk, I knew I needed to get colostrum in the kid very soon. So, to the freezer I went for a bottle. I returned with a warm bottle and the struggle began. The newborn was angry. She refused to eat. Akira was not hovering.
So, I deposited the newborn in a pen with bottle kids and returned in a couple of hours. Still, she refused to nurse.
I knew it was going to be a long night. And I was tired.
I picked up the little doeling, marched to the house with her for the night. I can sleep-walk and feed a newborn fairly well.
She finally ate at 4:30 AM the following morning.
When we returned to the barn later that morning I immediately felt Akira’s udder. She had milk, a lot of it.
I set the kid in an empty stall and took Akira to the milk stand for the first time. I milked out about a tablespoon of colostrum and dabbed it on the newborn’s lips and under her tail. I wanted the newborn to be recognized by sight and smell. When I took Akira to the pen, there was no sniffing involved. The reunion was spectacular. And guess what? The kid definitely knew what an udder was. She had been there before. She lunged for it, even though her belly was already full.
Akira’s udder is rather high. She is milking out beautifully for me. She had milk all along.
All is well. Just call me the goat kid snatcher. And, without a doubt, Akira hovers now.
Have a good day!