Goat Birth Story, and our 2017 kidding experience. Kidding season is officially my favorite part of homesteading. I love birth. If I was an adrenaline junky, I think watching birth would be my thing. Watching those first hooves poke through, to the natural instincts kicking in, watching the kids fumble as they try to stand for the first time. It’s all so magical, and exciting! I watch the kids jump around for hours without getting bored. I don’t think there is anything quite as magical as new life, and I get to watch new life come into this world 6 times in less than a month this year! So blessed.
Just so we are clear kidding=goat giving birth A new farm life word for you.
My dairy goat River is our only goat that was bred this year, so she is our only goat birth this year. Our 4 ewes will start to lamb very soon.
My Goat Birth Story
River’s whole pregnancy, we whispered to her that we needed does (girls), at least one. River has great teats for hand milking, she provides lots of milk, and we need another milker just like her. If she gave us a doe, we were pretty sure that she would pass on her good traits, and we wouldn’t have to buy a doeling. That sounds nice, right?
Early this week I started wondering out to River’s pen. I was checking on her at least 4 times a day, and waking up at 2 am for another check. Birth likes to happen in the middle of the night, and I was trying my best not to miss it. When I go out, I spend a few minutes just watching her behavior, and I always look at her udder to see if it has changed in size at all. On Wednesday morning her udder was FULL, but she was eating her hay like she was starving, so no worries right away. I wondered out to see her at 2 pm, and she was walking around and I could tell instantly that she was acting very uncomfortable. I kept telling myself that I was probably overthinking her behavior, and if she was in labor she wouldn’t give birth until midnight.
“Hooves, Head, It’s out!”
Well, she proved that she really was in labor, and laid down and pushed a couple times. I knew then, that it was real, and it was happening SOON! My husband hurried up and spread out a bale of straw, and we took Fawn (our other doe who was keeping her company) out of the pen. My 5 year old daughter was so excited that she wouldn’t leave the fence. She didn’t even take her eyes off of River. River started pushing again, and I saw hooves! It took her a few minutes, but out came a colorful little buckling.
My husband asked me to let him know when the next one came, because he wanted to see. A few minutes later, I called, “Hooves!” He came running over. “Head! It’s Out!” He wasn’t very far away, but he missed it! The second buckling came quick. It took her a while to decide to push the third one out, another buckling, followed by the placenta confirming that she was done.
What are we going to do with 3 bucklings?
All 3 boys were so vigorous, which was much different than Fawn’s birth last year. They were trying to suck on River’s face while she was cleaning them, it was so adorable. The three of them were up and standing within 45 minutes after birth too. See, instincts, it’s just so crazy awesome. My daughter has picked out this buck (the second one) that she really loves. The boys still remain nameless as we had 2 girl names picked out. We are referring to them as One, Two and Three, in the order that they were born.
Their outcome is still undecided, whether we will sell them, or raise them to provide meat for our family. We need to make the decision soon, but cuddles first. Also what I have been most anticipating is a nice, big glass of fresh, raw milk!
Including My Kids in the Goat Birth
My (human) kids were able to watch the whole thing, and hold a kid as soon as they were dried off and had nursed. What an amazing experience for them that I hope they always remember. My 5 year old daughter has been fascinated about birth ever since her little brother was born over a year ago. She was so upset that she wasn’t able to watch him born (it was the middle of the night, and I had no idea she was so interested), and she talked for weeks about being a midwife when she grew up. I know without a doubt that she would be there when River was kidding, and I had planned to wake her up if it had happened in the middle of the night.
The baby, who is 15 months, met the kids this morning, and gave them a big kiss. He loves other babies, chicks, and he proved to love goat kids just as much. He has plenty of time to see birth, and feel the excitement in his own time. If he wants to.
My 3.5 year old son had no interest when I first told him there were little goats coming. He finally came over to watch River clean up the second buckling. He wanted to hold one, and then he went off on his merry way. Every time he sees those little kids though, “Those goats came out of River. She was pregnant, and now she’s not.” At 3 he knows how it works, and I enjoy that.
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