San Francisco and Serenade

I rolled out of bed to turn my alarm off, stiff and sore and still exhausted.  I picked up my phone and stared at it blankly – it wasn’t my alarm, it was my phone.

“Brett? Siren’s kidding and no one else is answering their phones and I need help!” Emery said when I answered, practically yelling into the phone.

“On my way,” I mumbled, glancing at my watch. 1:45 in the morning.  No wonder I felt so tired.

I pulled on my jeans and a t-shirt, stuck my feet in my shoes and grabbed my jacket, tip-toeing out of my room and down the hall.  Early on, the kids had decided that if Mom and Dad could sleep through the night, Kidding Season was going to be so much easier, and I didn’t want to wake them up.

I closed the front door quietly and jumped down the porch steps.  I began to run to the barn, praying that my feet wouldn’t slip out of my un-tied shoes, and that I wouldn’t twist my ankle on the gravel.  “It’s just me, boys,” I called to the dogs, who were wondering who on earth was racing towards the barn at two in the morning.

I tried to get my breath back as I threw open the door for the milkroom and grabbed my pile of barn clothes, which I’d left out there for a situation like this.  I discarded my shoes, pulled my coveralls on, stuck my feet in my boots, and grabbed my jacket and a pile of towels.  A chorus of goats greeted me as I opened the door and staggered out, trying to see over the huge stack of towels I’d grabbed.

Emery and Siren were in kidding pen B.  I set the stack of towels on a chair outside the pen and began to climb over, jumping the rest of the way when Emery said, “I’ve got hooves!”

Armed with a towel, I lined myself up to catch the baby, and less than thirty seconds later, it slid out onto the waiting towel.  I almost dropped it carefully set it down and began clearing out the nose and mouth, rubbing its ribs to encourage it to breathe.

When it finally started gasping and snorting snot out of its lungs, I took a second to check if it was a boy or girl.

It was a boy.

Of course.

I groaned and asked Emery, “Is there another one?” If there wasn’t, and I’d gone through all that for a boy, I wasn’t going to be happy.

“Yeah, there is,” he said.

We tossed around a couple of names, and the first one that stuck was San Francisco.  I moved ‘Cisco out of the way when Siren got ready  to push again – normally there are other kids around to move babies, but it was just me and Emery, and I needed to catch.

“If this is a girl, we’re naming her Serenade,” Emery said as he manipulated the baby into the correct position.

“I like it,” I said, rushing to grab another couple of towels from my pile.

“Here she comes,” he warned as I dropped to my knees and lined the towel up.  Within two seconds I had a baby goat in my arms, and I lowered it carefully to the ground.  Clearing the sack away from the nose and mouth was the first priority, and as soon as it was sneezing snot all over me, I checked.

“It’s a girl!” I said victoriously, and Emery cheered.

“Hi Serenade,” he said, rubbing her head. “You’re a pretty girl.”

I started rubbing her off, trying to dry her, and Emery checked Siren to see if there were any more babies.  “That’s it,” he said, using a towel to clean his arm off.  “Lets get these two into the milk room.”

He hopped the fence and I handed the babies over, climbing over myself afterwards.  There is a gate, but most of the time it’s easier to just climb the fence.

By this time, it was almost the end of Emery’s shift, and his relief was going to be coming out soon.  Emery and I were both itching to get back to bed, so we were hurrying as much as we could.  Emery milked Siren and brought her molasses water, I got the babies their collars and did their paperwork, and we settled down to feed them after that.

Then we put them down on the towels for a minute while we gathered all of the other dirty towels to get a load of laundry going.  When I came back, San Francisco was underneath his little sister, lifting her back legs into the air.  She wasn’t very happy with him.

baby goat_1

Fletcher came out to relieve Emery, and before we left, I told Emery I wanted to get a picture of him and our 2 am babies.

baby goat

After that, I went back to bed, until someone woke me up around 8:00 by banging on my door and shouting, “Hummingbird’s kidding!”




2015 kid count: 14 doelings, 7 bucklings
2015 doe status (33 total): 8 doe kidded, 25 left to go
1 set of quads, 4 sets of triplets, 2 sets of twins, 1 singles

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