April 1, 2019

An Almost April Surprise for Me

I definitely did not mark my calendar correctly, and I wasn't expecting Anna to kid so soon. But yesterday morning when I went out to the barn for early morning chores, I heard a kid cry. A little kid. At first I thought it must be Ellie's (now three-weeks old), but something made me go take a look. There was Anna with twins on the ground! Early! The problem was that they were chilled and I needed to do something immediately to save them.

Anna's twins.

I got them in a basket and under a heat lamp immediately. If they are hypothermic they can't suck. In the meantime I milked some colostrum from Anna. Once their body temps were up they each got some from a bottle.

Little doe. She's quite vocal for such a mite of a thing.

Little buck.

They are definitely early, but I'm puzzled as to how much. My original due date is still three weeks away, but I know they couldn't survive that early. It's entirely possible that I marked the wrong breeding date on my calendar and so got the wrong due date.

Doing better but I'm still keeping an eye on them.

They were weak but able to suck and I've both bottle fed them and let them nurse from Anna. Since it's getting colder I'm leaving them in the basket under the heat lamp. She's an attentive mother and keeps watch.


I just came in from a check and bottle feeding. Happily they made it through their first 24 hours. They have good appetites, are stronger, and breathing better, so things are looking up for them.

UPDATE: April 2, 5:53 a.m. Sadly, the little doe didn't make it. I found her dead when I went to feed them at 5:30 this morning. She was still alive around 1:30 and as near as I can figure, passed pretty close to around 5. In some ways I wasn't surprised. She was much weaker than her brother. He got up on his feet yesterday but she was still too weak to manage. So it goes.

32 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

I'm glad you were able to save them. They're cute little buggers!

Mama Pea said...

Such a good sign that they're nursing! They'll probably be bouncing right out of their "incubator" within 24 hours. Thanks for sharing this surprise with us!

Retired Knitter said...

I know nothing about baby goats, but I am SO glad you managed to find them in time. So cute! Hope they continue to thrive.

Rose said...

I know you would have been heartbroken to have not found them...such sweet little creatures.

Ed said...

Good that you found them in time. It is always a sickening feeling to lose livestock in a preventable way.

Leigh said...

Gorges, always cute when they're little!

Mama Pea, I hope so. They are definitely getting stronger!

RT, I've had the experience of being too late and finding dead kids. It's horribly heartbreaking. Very thankful it worked out this way for these two.

Rose, I would have! Very relieved that it didn't work out that way.

Ed, that's so true. I still mentally kick myself for things that happened in the past. Mostly it was inexperience on my part and I learned a lot from each instance, but I still wish I'd known enough to save them then.

Sheryl said...

Hi Leigh oh what cute babies and I am so glad that you found them and with your healing hands you have given them a helping hand how much fun with all these little baby kids around xx

greenjournalhomestead said...

They are fighters! Glad to hear they made it the first 24 hours.

Leigh said...

Sheryl, thanks! It's always a relief when things go well. :)

Greenjournalhomestead, they are! I wish we weren't having this dip in temperature, but they're holding their own.

Fiona said...

They are so sweet.

Observed breeding dates are a great thong but there always seems to be one out of kilter. Thank goodness you got to them when you did.

deborah harvey said...

could they all be bred a month later to have births in warmer weather or could you sleep in the barn during birth season?

Debbie - Mountain Mama said...

Oh my gosh, Leigh, I'm so glad you found them before something awful happened - they are absolutely adorable, it must be wonderful to witness such a miracle each spring!

Helen Mathey-Horn said...

April Fools on you. Glad all are well.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

How wonderful they're ok!

Leigh said...

Fiona, thankfully it worked out well. Not sure what happened with my calendar, but I've done things like this before, LOL

Deborah, yes to both questions. There are pros and cons to breeding early or breeding late. Next year I'm going to change when and how many does I breed, mostly to try to coordinate our max number of goats with the most productive forage. Some people do sleep in the barn! Others use baby monitors to try to hear what's going on or goat cams. I usually put them up and make night checks about a week before their due date. Usually it works out!

Debbie, kidding is my favorite time of the year. :)

Helen, two years ago I had a kid born on April 1st. Her name became - April!

Nancy, agreed!

The Wykeham Observer said...

I hope everything works out for them. I'm sure the heat really helps a lot! Phil

Goatldi said...

Well well well. Little snippets.

In my world of goats if they present with the lower incisors through the gums they are mature. If not so then a bit early. You did good and so did Anna. Why is it the goats always know better? lol

Beautiful looking forward to seeing more!

Frank and Fern said...

I have never had to use a bottle on chilled babies, but I have used a syringe without a needle. Milk out some colostrum from the mom, pull it up in the syringe and dribble it in their mouths until they could suck.

Are they on their feet now? You need a nap! It's a lot of work getting little ones like this going. Hope they have a good, attentive mom, that seems to make a big difference in their survival and progression.

Fern

Leigh said...

Phil, the heat lamp is a lifesaver! I have some kid sweaters that I knit, but they are for regular size kids and too big for the baby Kinders!

Goatldi, I can feel teeth but can't see them yet, so yes, premature. With my dates off I don't know how much but they can suck, which is good. They have to work to breathe, but it's not as bad as I've experienced in the past.

Fern, I thought about doing that too, but since they could suck went that route. The little buck got on his feet yesterday but the little doe couldn't manage. I just updated that she didn't make it, which I kinda had a feeling. She just wasn't nearly as strong as her brother. :(

wyomingheart said...

I'm sure that their Momma appreciates you saving one of her kids. Sorry you lost the doe... so it goes, life can be harsh on a farm. :(

Leigh said...

Wyomingheart, yes, real life is harsh but it's just the way it is. I'm both bottle feeding little boy and getting him on his mom when I can. She's so happy about that.

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

Sorry about the doe, you could't have done any more.
Every spring you do this to me Leigh.. make me want to keep goats again!
Gillx

Lyra said...

While the loss of that lovely little doe must have been difficult, kudos for all you did to save her and her brother. Thank you for sharing, as ever!

Tanza Erlambang said...

so cute

Quinn said...

Sorry you lost the doe, Leigh, but you know you did everything you could. And now hopefully the buck will get strong quickly as the sole customer at the Milk Bar. On we go!

Leigh said...

Gill, thanks. I don't feel badly about it, even though I wish she would have lived.

Lyra, thanks! The little buck is getting stronger, which is a relief. )

Tanza, agreed!

Quinn, he's catching on!

Susan said...

That's a shame about the doe, Leigh. But I'm glad the little buck has pulled through. This time of year is so chancy for newborns.

The Wykeham Observer said...

Poor little doe. But I'm sure you did everything you could do. I'm sure there's never a sure thing with newborn or premature animals. Phil

Leigh said...

Susan, yeah, but it's just the way things are. Unfortunately. Little buck is getting around now and nursing without any help for me, so that's hopeful!

Phil, I just have to keep reminding myself how fortunate I've been. I've had a few problems but most of my kids have made it and thrived.

Sam I Am...... said...

Oh, so sad about the little one but that's how life goes...you did your best for sure and so did their mom. Such cuties.

Frank and Fern said...

Nature knows better, even when we disagree.

Fern

Leigh said...

Sam, all we can do is our best. The never all make it.

Fern, it's always a good idea to accept the wisdom of nature.