Emery, Andrew and I were in the barn, taking care of Payton’s kids and feeding the other five, when I noticed that Hazelnut had goo. Emery is training to deliver baby goats, so I told him that I’d feed the other babies so he could check on Hazelnut.
Everyone else had gone to bed – either they had a shift to take that night, like me, or they had a shift the night before, so they were tired.
About ten minutes before, we had taken Fantasmic (Jazzy Tazzy) out of kidding pen A, and Payton was still in kidding pen B, so we had to quickly clean out out kidding pen A. I finished feeding the babies while Emery and Andrew moved Hazelnut, and went to put the bottles away. On my way back, I grabbed the last stack of clean towels. Fantasmic and Payton had pretty well wiped us out of clean towels, and I checked to make sure the washing machine was going before I went back to kidding pen A.
My phone rang and out of habit, I answered it as quickly as possible – during Kidding Season, every phone call could be someone from the barn, and even though I was in the barn, I knew that it could be something important.
“Brett, can Dad and I change out of our barn clothes, or will you need us out there again?” Mom asked.
“Funny that you ask that,” I said, popping my head over the fence. “Emery, do you need Mom and Dad?”
“Not yet,” he said, “but probably.”
“Don’t change yet,” I relayed to Mom, “Hazelnut is in labor.”
She sighed – it was almost nine o’clock and I’m sure she was ready for bed. “Okay, call me when you need me.”
Early on in Kidding Season, the kids made a pact – we were going to try to make this Kidding Season as easy as possible for Mom and Dad. They had plenty of stress with the business, and Dad’s wrist had started giving him problems – and the more time he spent delivering goats, the more pain he was in the rest of the time. After delivering Galaxy by ourselves a few years ago (totally unexpected, by the way,) we knew we could do it.
So Emery went in to check again, and the bubble hadn’t made any more progress, despite Hazelnut pushing. So Emery started feeling farther and after a little while, he looked a little scared. “This is a HUGE breech baby,” he said.
“Do you want me to call Mom and Dad?” I asked, already pulling my phone out, knowing by the look on his face that the answer would be yes. “Hey, Mom? Emery says he’s ready for you to come out.”
Mom and Dad came out and Dad took over. “This baby isn’t really that big,” he said, “she’s just stretched out.”
We always refer to unborn babies as “she”. We don’t want to say “he” and jinx it. 😉
Several minutes later, baby girl Halley (rhymes with tally) was born.
A few minutes after that, baby girl Hestia was born.
There was a third baby, also in the breech position. With breech babies, you have to go fast, because once the umbilical cord breaks, they can drown if you don’t get their heads out fast enough. Because they’re coming out backwards, the head is the last to come out, so it’s several seconds full of adrenaline.
When this one came out, I could tell right away that it was too limp. And there was something wrong with its neck.
We’re not sure what happened, but somehow History’s neck was broken. Dad never even went near the head (she came out breech) so we have no way of knowing.
We were bummed about History, but we didn’t have long to dwell on it, because something amazing happened. There was a fourth baby! We have never, in our eight+ years of goat farming, had quads. We were all hyper as our first quad ever came out. “It’s a boy!” Emery announced while I cleaned out the mouth and nose.
Normally, this is when everyone starts shouting out names. But… “We’ve never had an O baby before,” Mom said, laughing. “H-o names…”
“Yeah, what are we going to call him, Hooligan?” Emery said.
Well, that’s exactly what we called him.
We brought the three of them into the milk room to weigh them and feed them. Emery had a really big laugh when he weighed Halley. He announced, “My HUGE baby goat weighs 5 and a half pounds!” Our average size is 6-7 pounds, with some of them getting as big as ten pounds.
Mom and Dad went back to the house to go to bed, and Emery, Andrew and I stayed out to take care of the babies and Hazelnut. I was feeding the babies when they came back in from taking care of Hazelnut, and Andrew went back to the house for some snacks. He came back out with hot chocolate and graham crackers, and the three of us sat down and ate graham crackers and waited for Hazelnut to pass her placenta. We’re super fancy around here. 😉
Eventually Emery and Andrew left, and I stayed out to finish my shift. Less than two hours later, my shift was over, and I was able to go to bed!
2015 kid count: 10 doelings, 3 bucklings
2015 doe status (33 total): 4 doe kidded, 29 left to go
1 set of quads, 3 sets of triplets, 0 set of twins, 0 singles