It was no April Fool’s joke when I walked down to feed the goats around 7am last Friday, and saw four new little legs in the goat shelter. It could only mean one thing….
I felt like it was a fire drill, but this was the real deal!
The first baby was up on his feet, looking strong.
Peeking around the corner, I saw another caramel colored guy laying on the ground, looking limp and pushed to the side. Once I saw them both and my mind began processing what was in front of me, my awe-struck words poured out.
I whispered softly at first…
and with increasing enthusiasm squealed…
“baby goats, BABY GOATS!”
With this, I took off running up the hill to the farmhouse as fast as I could, arms flailing. Quickly I scanned my memory for what to do next, trying to mentally sort through the oodles and oodles of information we had gathered for months from both books and the internet. I dialed my partner Adam’s phone, who had left for work just minutes before.
No answer. So, the next best thing….I texted. And can you guess what I texted?
It seems that was the only phrase I could muster.
When I arrived to the house, legs shaking and lungs working hard, my roommate Pat was already up at the stove and eggs were sizzling in the cast-iron pan.
“Baby goats!” I exclaimed.
Pat, being the very helpful friend, helped me grab the bucket of goat baby supplies we had prepared, and ran down to the pen.
When we arrived back down there, it hit me.
Gidget had done this all on her own, without our assistance at all. She had managed this amazing feat in the early morning hours, and the babies came out fine; both were dry already, and the caramel baby was stirring a bit. I became teary eyed looking down at the furry four-legged family that was bonding before my very eyes.
I scooped the brown baby up to check him out, all the while softly telling Gidget what a good job she had done. The black one was already at mom, trying to nurse by poking his his mouth at Gidget’s underside trying to find a teat. As we had learned from our trusty “goat books” (Storey’s Guide to Raising Dairy Goats and City Goats proved to be our favorites), the cords need to be cleaned quickly to prevent infection, so I dipped them carefully in iodine we had poured into a film canister.
After the dip, I gently set them down in the soft straw of the shelter stood up, looked at Pat and smiled. We did it!
Adam was able to drop by a few minutes later to check out the new babies before heading back to work. Together we had planner, prepared, researched, and anticipated this moment, and it was humbling to see the incredible knowledge of nature and instinct at work. Gidget is a really attentive and sweet mother.
With two babies born already without our help four short days ago, we are focusing our attentions on Mickey, the other pregnant doe. We are here to assist in the kidding (goats giving birth) if needed, but the goats are really teaching us how it is done.
How fun to see something happen that you have planned for for so long. This really is a dream come true for both of us, and we look forward to raising the baby goats, and eventually making soap, cheese and salted caramels! Delicious!
Happy Tuesday, folks!