Lotus: Spring Has Sprung – With Triplets!

Posted by on Mar 23, 2013 in Farm Blog, Goats | 42 comments

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.

"Pffft!  No Cameras!"

“Pffft! No Cameras!”

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.

As the barn is some distance from the house, the camera saved a LOT of running back and forth

As the barn is some distance from the house, the camera saved a LOT of running back and forth

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!

It's a girl!

It’s a girl!

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.

After a few minutes, Lotus realized the baby was hers

After a few minutes, Lotus realized the baby was hers

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!

Curbstone Valley Mariposa Lily

Curbstone Valley Mariposa Lily

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!

It's a boy!

It’s a hulking baby boy!

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!

A beautiful little buckling

A beautiful little buckling

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!?

The D3 buckling with Lotus

The D3 buckling with Lotus

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.

D3 buckling with 'Lily' crashed underneath him

D3 buckling with ‘Lily’ crashed underneath him

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.

Lotus with the D2 buck (left), D3 buck (center), and the D1 doeling (right)

Lotus with the D2 buck (left), D3 buck (center), and the D1 doeling (right)

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.

We started putting Lotus in her own stall a few days before she kidded

We started putting Lotus in her own stall a few days before she kidded

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.

Minnie

Minnie doesn’t quite seem to understand what just happened

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.

Mother and son, D2 with Lotus

Mother and son, D2 with Lotus

The boys, D2 and D3

The boys, D2 and D3

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.

Two hours old, and already hamming it up for the camera, just like her mother!

Two hours old, and already hamming it up for the camera, just like her mother!

All together Lotus was carrying nearly 11 pounds of kids. Can you imagine?

Lotus with her sweater-clad kids

Lotus with her sweater-clad kids

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!

42 Comments

  1. Clare how beautiful this new family….I was over joyed to see the kids and 3 of them, how exciting…they are adorable but Lily is the cutest. They made me feel like spring is here even with all my recent snow.
    [email protected] Eye View´s last post…Seasonal Celebrations Revealed-March 2013

    • Spring has definitely sprung, in our barn…the garden not so much 😉 I really need to get to work with some transplanting, if I can tear myself away from all the cuteness in the barn!

  2. How wonderful! Congratulations to Lotus! All three are adorable. And it sounds like you were a wonderful nurse to her, too.

    • Lotus has done so well. She had us worried for a few minutes until she accepted the first kid. Since then she’s being an awesome Mom. Keeping the kids under the heat lamp, giving everyone a chance to nurse. We’re very proud of her. 🙂

  3. I can’t believe that the young goats I saw last year are little mammas now! And doing so well. Those babies are so alert so soon; they are just all there aren’t they? Good work on the midwifing there, farmwife! You really helped that mamma to be sure!
    Country Mouse´s last post…Late Bloom Day for March!

    • They do grow up fast! I was recently watching that ‘Call the Midwife’ series on PBS. It’s not very realistic. They never show just how ragged mid-wives (or farm wives) look after being up for 36 hours straight 😉 I was glad to see everyone out on the ground though, and immediately looking for food! I love it when everything goes well.

  4. Wonderful video! They are the sweetest things! I love the little chirpy bleats, and the tails a-wagging!
    Alison´s last post…A Bright Spot

    • Lily was actually the strongest of all three when she popped out. I hadn’t had a chance to deal with her umbilical cord, and she was already trying to stand and nurse Mom! I think she’s going to be especially feisty when she grows up, and she’s quite chatty 😉

  5. Oh my goodness, they are adorable! I love how their personalities are already showing. So glad that everything went smoothly and the family is doing well. Hopefully Minnie will calm down too. I can imagine all these changes will take some getting use to. Congratulations!
    Karin/Southern Meadows´s last post…Cheeky Chipmunks

    • It was so funny, Lily hit the straw and tried to take off running, and her I-can’t-be-bothered-to-come-out big-head brother was also the last to saunter over to the food. It will be interesting if some of their personality that we see now holds up as they grow, or if it will change. I remember Minnie was very timid as a baby, and she’s still wary of new things.

      Minnie really has just had her entire world tipped on its head. I think a lot of the frantic behavior we’ve endured from her today though was compounded by her heat. She always gets feisty then, so hopefully in a day or two she’ll start to relax. I just feel bad that she seems so upset, and her behavior may affect whether or not we leave with the kids with Lotus, or bottle raise them.

  6. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I’m THRILLED for you – YOU’RE A GRANDMA!!! WOW! Triplets! I’m so glad Lotus is fine – human or goat triplets are a lot of stress to carry! They are SO cute – and Lily!! what a Chatty Cathy she is! the tails wagging are just a hoot to watch. Thanks for my daily “fuzzy fix”!

    • Ack! Grandma?! 😛 Lily is super cute (but I admit I’m tremendously biased). I just hope she grows up to be as sweet as her Mama. I’m really amazed with the look of the triplet’s Sire that we didn’t end up with darker kids. We definitely ended up with quite a splashy assortment!

  7. I am way behind on reading your blog, but I thought the goats were still babies! The new babies are adorable! It looks like Lotus is smiling in one of the pictures. 🙂

    • Many dairy goats are bred to kid in their first year. If they have a small frame, sometimes it’s good to wait until their second year though. I can’t believe Lotus is all grown up. It seems like we were just bottle feeding her. Now though, she’s a Mama, and a good one, and looking every bit the mature goat. I can’t wait to see how her udder is looking in a few weeks too!

  8. Hello,

    Now we can all start breathing again. Congratulations to you and Lotus on the new kids. I bet that third one was a real surprise. i know that work on a farm of whatever size is never ending and always exhausting, but moments like these must make it all worthwhile. Congratulations and good luck with the kids.

    Ed Morrow
    Carmel Valley CA

    • Thank you, Ed 🙂 It does seem that the chore list on the farm always grows, and never shrinks, but you’re right, moments like this make all of it worth it!

  9. Adored the photos and video – am going to send it to some of my friends.

    • Glad you enjoyed them, Emily. I had fun making them 😀

  10. Congratulations all around!! What a great story. There are hardly words to describe these beyond-cute babies!! I’m really impressed with your skills and courage!!!
    Bonnie Story´s last post…Frosty Almost-Spring Morning

    • I was impressed with Lotus. She did all the hard work, and you never know with any animal experiencing birth for the first time how things will go. I couldn’t have asked for it to have gone better…except maybe for D2 to have had a slightly smaller head 😛

  11. I cannot get enough cute baby goat pics and videos. Yours are so sweet! I love their little coats. Thanks for sharing with us!
    Joan @ The Chicken Mama´s last post…Imagining Summer

    • That big buckling is getting fitted for a new jacket this evening. The one I gave him was already snug, and he’s growing like a weed! He almost looks like he’s ready to burst out of that little sweater already 🙂

  12. Oh, congratulations! I’m so happy all went well and can’t wait to see more pictures!
    Town Mouse´s last post…Late Bloom Day for March!

    • There’ll be a lot more pictures. My poor garden is being a little neglected this week, as the goats seem to have my undivided attention!:D

  13. Congratulations to everyone! What a great surprise to have 3 babies. You’ll have a large herd of goats in no time.
    Marguerite´s last post…Making Hay While the Sun Shines

    • And therein lies the problem! It’s very easy to grow the herd…so we’re still keeping one eye open for a slightly larger, flatter property, so we have room in a couple of years for everyone 😉

  14. Congratulations on the birth of triplets! How exciting! I am so glad the delivery went well and that the midwife knew just what to do. The kids are so cute. I can see how Minnie is going to be a bit jealous. Any chance she will have kids of her own in the future?
    debsgarden´s last post…Burkwood Viburnum in the Scented Garden

    • We will breed Minnie, in the fall. Probably around September or October. Her reaction to these kids is not out of the norm for goats. I do wonder if once she’s had kids of her own if she’ll mellow out a little.

      In her defense though, she has been much better today. Her heat is waning, and last night we rigged up a sheet of plywood, and attached it to the gate partition at the end of the stall where the kids are, so she can’t see them. It also puts Lotus further along the fence if her and Minnie do fight, so Lotus won’t accidentally step on her kids. It’s been much MUCH calmer in the barn since we did that. However, we are probably going to pull her kids tomorrow, or Tuesday, and bottle raise them, as I’m not sure I trust Minnie at the moment.

  15. Clare, They are adorable. Congratulations!
    Jean at Jean’s Garden´s last post…The Sound of Spring Arriving

    • Thanks, Jean! 🙂

  16. That’s fantastic news Clare, and an excellent job on Lotus’ behalf to give birth to 3 kids! A great start for the herd name.

    • Lotus did do a great job. We really didn’t expect triplets from a first freshener. It does happen, it’s just not as common as a single, or twins, the first time out.

  17. Claire, You made my day with this awesome posting! Congratulations on the new additions to your family! I can’t wait to show my husband who loves goats even more than I do. Well done! P. x
    Pam’s English Garden´s last post…Sleeping Snowdrops and The Flowers I Left Behind

    • Thanks, Pam! I hope your hubby enjoys it too 🙂

  18. Oh my! So, so, so cute! I’m in love! And such great work you did, helping her out!
    Colleen´s last post…Guest Post: Lasagna Gardening

    • It is one thing that baby animals know how to do well…work that cute! 😉

  19. Congratulations Grandma! I love the waggling little tails.
    Reed Pugh´s last post…Grelen Nursery – Finest Tree and Shrub Nursery in Virginia

    • Thanks, Reed. Those wiggly tails are very endearing, aren’t they?

  20. Clare, you know I think your super-woman as it stands, but I may have to find a more worthy moniker. I am so amazed at how easy you make it look, and I share in your joy of farm life. Your little kids here are the poster children for cute. Congratulations!
    Tom | Tall Clover Farm´s last post…Remains of the Day and Seasons Past

    • I really need to do a ‘come clean’ post, then you can just call me “slacker”. A post that shows all the half-done projects in spring, while my attention is diverted toward events like this. The half seeded pasture, the half-built buck pen, the half fenced meadow, the bolted kale and mustard in the garden, the foot-high tomato plants in the greenhouse desperate to be transplanted 😉 We only have so many half-finished projects, though, because our animals always get first priority here. Hopefully soon we’ll get some of these other things finished though. Today…it’s the buck pen!

  21. Clare, I stopped by just to see what is happening at CVF and what a lovely surprise. Husbandry also part of your skills – what a woman! Seems no time at all that Lotus was a kid herself and now she’s a mother. Ahhh! Happy Easter to all the folk and flocks 🙂
    Laura Bloomsbury´s last post…Photoart Friday: Easter Graffiti

  22. How precious, Clare. You are so lucky to be a part of this, and I am so glad you share it with us. Young life is so innocent and beautiful. The video was a gift. They are absolutely adorable.
    The Sage Butterfly´s last post…My Garden Notebook – April 2013