Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Intuition? Goat ESP?

Whatever it is, I need to learn to listen to it.

Last Friday (it is now Wednesday) I felt like Hyacinth would be having her babies soon, so I got the stall all ready to move her into.  I debated with myself if I should put her in that night or leave her out a few more nights.  I refreshed my memory about the gestation period for goats.  It is roughly five months or 150 days.  If Hyacinth (and the other goats) were bred on the first day they were exposed to Billy, Friday would have been day 142.  So, I decided to ignore what my gut was telling me and leave Hyacinth and Daisy outside for another night.

So, at around three in the morning, I just woke up and my very first thought was, "Hyacinth is kidding."  But, it was pouring down rain (of course) and I didn't want to go out there.  I laid awake for an hour and a half worrying about Hyacinth having babies outside on a cold rainy night (Even though all of the livestock do have shelters to be out of the wind and rain, it is still cold).   I finally was able to go back to sleep.

I went out to feed extra early on Saturday morning and when Hyacinth didn't come out of the shed for her breakfast, I knew she had kidded.  I ran down to the shed and sure enough, she had twins, both alive and apparently healthy. 

Tom and I spent the morning, out in the rain, moving goats around.

So, even thought the babies are healthy, Hyacinth once again has a congested udder and can't support two until it softens up, which is several weeks.

This picture was taken yesterday.  They are four days old.  The one in the foreground is the female and the one closest to Hyacinth is the male.  On the second day, it was clear that the male was not getting enough to eat.  He was lethargic and huddled up just like the twin that died last year was.  For some reason, the female was perky, running around, and  playing.  Maybe the difference in who lives or dies is that one learns to nurse faster and gets all the milk first, then there is none left for the baby who is less adept at finding the teat and latching on.  That is what I observed with these two.

I remembered that I had some frozen goat milk left over from previous years - four quarts from 2010 and one from 2011, so I thawed those and started bottle feeding the male right away.  The female was not really interested and it has remained thus.  The male guzzles the bottle down and the female has to be forced to take even an ounce.  They both are still attempting to nurse...successfully, I guess since the female hasn't starved to death.

She has become slightly smaller than the male.

But they are both active and playful and neither seems to be starving.


April said...

I'm shaking my head at you..WHEN are you going to follow your gut? Why make so much headache and extra work for yourself? You always end up kicking yourself for not following what you KNEW you needed to do. *sigh* I know, I know..YOU'RE the one living the farm life and I'm just standing on the sidelines pointing out what you SHOULD be doing...go ahead and make me 'put my money where my mouth is" when you see me in about 3 wks..LOL

Mosaics said...

Heh. I always second guess myself.