We’re happy to report that yesterday, March 22nd, around noon, Castle Rock Lotus gave birth to her first kids, sired by Camanna GD Music Man. Does usually kid somewhere between day 145-155, and Lotus was 147 days pregnant when she kidded.
Lotus kept us up most of the night before, as she was becoming increasingly restless, and showing signs of pre-labor.
Fortunately we were able to avoid unnecessary trips to the barn as we’d installed a video monitor the week before, with audio, so we could see what was going on. This particular camera has a pan-tilt-zoom feature, so if the goat wanders out of view the camera can be adjusted remotely.
Mr. Curbstone had an appointment yesterday morning, and the more restless Lotus became, the more I was afraid he might miss it all. However, he just managed to make it back in time, so he didn’t miss a thing.
Shortly before noon, yesterday, Lotus suddenly became a lot more serious about having her babies. Two brief pushes, and the first of her kids quickly flew out. A beautiful little 3.08 lb doeling!
I was thrilled that my whispering in her ear for a little girl actually paid off. However, the celebrations would have to wait.
After checking her airways were clear, I quickly moved this brand new doeling so that Lotus could meet her, and for a couple of minutes she clearly had no idea what to do with her. In fact, at first Lotus backed up, looking almost afraid of this object squirming on the floor. This was all new to Lotus though. I reassured her that everything was alright, and gave her a few minutes to bond. It wasn’t too long and her ‘Mommy switch’ suddenly flipped on, her instincts took over, and she began to accept, and clean off, her new baby.
Here’s how the baby doeling looks all fluffed out. Meet “Curbstone Valley Mariposa Lily“. Our first doe to carry the Curbstone Valley herd name!
This brown-eyed little doe has quite interesting facial markings, and even has a few spots inside her ears.
We knew from ultrasound in December to expect at least twins, so we waited anxiously for the next arrival. And waited…and waited. Nothing. No contractions, no progress at all. After about 40 minutes I started to get concerned.
There’s a fine fuzzy grey line between waiting for things to happen, and waiting too long. I decided it had been more than long enough with no progress, so it was time to re-glove, and see what the holdup was.
No sooner did I go in to check, that Lotus started pushing again…and pushing…and PUSHING. She was straining very hard, and although I could see a foreleg in an apparently normal position, she wasn’t making much progress getting this second kid out, as easily as the first kid was born.
Running my hand past the first leg, I could tell the head was resting over the opposite hoof, some distance back, and the kid was firmly wedged. To help Lotus out I managed to unlock the kid’s elbow, and slowly get the other leg extended, which gave the head a little more room to pass. A few more gentle tugs, with help from Lotus of course, a few good pushes, and her second kid was finally born!
A lovely not-so-little medium buckskin.
Once he was on the ground, it was obvious that he was bigger than his sister. His head was almost twice the size of hers! This buck, currently referred to simply as “D2”, was 4.28 lbs!
Relieved that was over, without any major complications, I helped Lotus focus on her newborn kids to get them all cleaned up, and help guide them toward their first meal. That was until Lotus started pushing again. This time I expected to be catching the placenta. Instead, the next bubble clearly had another hoof in it! Baby number THREE!?
We were expecting twins, so the third one was a little bit of a surprise! Another pale buckskin buckling, that looks a LOT like his sister, weighing in at 3.52 lbs. I was especially happy to see this kid squiggling around as he’d been held up by his big-headed brother for so long.
It didn’t take too long though and he was up and running around with the others.
Finally with all three babies on the ground, Lotus could focus on her new family, and we could focus on helping Lotus regain her strength. After a meal, and some fresh water, it was finally time for a well-deserved family nap.
As you can see we made some little impromptu goat coats. Lily was getting a little cold, despite the heat lamp, so we sacrificed some old sweater sleeves to help keep everyone warm as they were still a little damp.
All three babies are nursing well, and Lotus is proving to be an excellent, and protective mother.
Lotus and the kids are separated from Minnie by a fence panel, which has turned out to be a good thing, as Minnie keeps charging toward the kids. She seems a bit bewildered by recent events, and more determined than ever to assert her dominance toward Lotus.
We’re trying to decide at the moment how to handle her, and waiting to see if she’ll calm down. It doesn’t help that Minnie went into heat right as Lotus kidded out, so there’s some serious angst and tension in the barn this weekend.
As for the babies, they’re just plain adorable. The lighting inside the barn isn’t great, but here’s a short video of Lotus, with her kids that are just a few hours old. Lily has a few words she wanted to say, right at the end of the video…
We’re keeping a watchful eye on the babies, and on Lotus, just to make sure everyone is eating well, and keeping warm over the next few days.
Little Mariposa Lily may be the smallest of the three, but she’s not in the least bit shy, and was smart enough to be born first. I’m probably biased, but I think she’s adorable.
All together Lotus was carrying nearly 11 pounds of kids. Can you imagine?
I will take some photos of the kids soon, without their sweaters, and post an update. It was 34 degrees last night though, and even I wanted a sweater this morning, but at least it’s finally spring, and nothing says spring like baby goats!