I do not tell many kidding stories. A person tends to get used to the births, despite the fact that they are quite miraculous.
Iris had kids a couple of days ago. It was a “different” experience.
Iris is an average sized alpine doe. She normally needs a bit of assistance. I seldom need to help any of my other does. I prefer letting nature do its thing.
The story unfolds as such…Sunday morning Iris was standing off to herself. She is a bit more vocal when labor is in progress.
I was concerned to see the remnants of a water sack hanging from her. The order of things was not what I normally see. In fact, I looked around for a dead kid. I decided to put Iris in a small stall, with the notion that I would check on her every 20 minutes. I headed up to the house.
A few minutes after I entered the back door I heard Iris grunting. I also heard another grunt that was not hers.
I headed back down to the barn. Snowball, a snubian, first time freshener, was in labor. She picked a precarious place to have a kid, in a doorway. Half of my herd was looking at me as to say, “Traffic jam!” I urged Snowball towards the middle of the barn, which was readied with clean straw bedding.
I turned to check on Iris, sounding more desperate. I saw one hoof. Just one. Ugh. Not good.
Snowball started grunting loudly. One hoof, then 2nd hoof. She screamed louder. My goats normally do not scream, and normally I do not need to assist.
I took another glance at Iris. Still one hoof.
Snowball began pushing again. I looked at the hooves, made sure they were pointing in the right direction. They didn’t look right. I went in. Felt one head. It was positioned correctly. I decided to pull. It was a job. Wow. But we did it. Mother and new buckling (male goat) are fine.
I checked on Iris, talking to her, “I will not do anything until I see 2 hooves.” Something seemed off. Even the color of the discharge. Dark yellow.
Iris began pushing again, no progress. So, I checked. I felt a head in the right position, and said, “Okay, girl, when you push, I will pull!” Wow, another struggle, but we got that beautiful doeling (young female goat) out.
I knew Iris was not finished. I said to her, “Well, momma, your next one will be fairly simple.” I’ll stand back and wait. I left the pen open.
It was not long before Iris laid down and grunted. No hoof. Not even one. Then I see a tongue. A nose. No hoof.
I was tired, so was she. I am tired a lot lately. It tends to make me very careful and aware with judgement calls.
I went in, beyond the kid’s neck. Shoulders only, legs back. Oh oh. Another push. Out comes an ear.
I cleared the nose and the mouth. The kid took a breath.
And for whatever reason, Iris shoot out of the pen and ran to the back of the barn. A very dirty end of the barn.
The kid’s eyes are open, the head was completely out, and Iris was going at a good trot. Well, she doesn’t run well when her udder is that swollen, and especially while in labor.
And…I was laughing. I said to her, as I calmly walked behind her, “You are one crazy goat chick!”
I told her she was not going to have a kid in that dirt!
So I let her lay down. I gently urged the kids head forward (not a good thing to put much pressure on). I did get a tiny bit of forward movement. I went in and found a leg folded back. Finally, leverage! It wasn’t a difficult pull, I got the 2nd doeling out and I laid her on momma’s side.
I’ll never forget goofy Iris flying down the barn. Her legs were spraying outwards. The kid’s eyes were open. She was going for a ride! What a way to start a new life.
I shake my head and giggle.
The things we see and do.
Praise the Lord I get to experience these beautiful things.
Life is a miracle.
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