|Buckling left, doeling, right|
I was worried she might miscarry, but I guess that goats, particularly first time moms will do such crazy things. So we've had her in and out of a kidding stall for about a month! She had us faked out when the spring grass came in, having soft poops. We were sure she'd kid that night, but nope!
I began to realize that there was no way on God's green earth that I would ever really be able to figure out when she was going to give birth, if I couldn't figure out when I myself was in labor, even after having five children. Eva and I decided that Honey would be pregnant forever. Then, a few days later, Eva took honey out of the pen for some sunshine and spring grass. I was working on the onion bed in the garden.
Honey's udder looked like an overfilled waterballoon, ready to pop any moment, and she waddled like a woman in the last few days of pregnancy. She was extra friendly, which is another sign. We knew then that she probably would have her kids soon. The boys ran off to play with their friends, but Eva stayed, wanting to watch over her goat.
"BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!" we heard Honey loudly proclaim. Eva and Maia went running, and I flung my pitchfork and gardening gloves to the ground. "It's a baby, mom!" Eva shouted. Honey was contentedly licking off a strong little kid, which we later found was a buckling. Eva gathered all the family, and the kids all got there in time to watch the second kid be born. They all were very interested and excited to meet the new babies. Maia was a little worried, and then ended up being one of the first to pet the baby goats. The doeling tried to nurse off of her.
That evening, the skies were clear and the temperatures dropped to 37 degrees. We didn't have a heat lamp on the kids, partially because of my fears of a barn fire, and partially because I didn't think it would get that cold. When we went to check on the kids, the doeling was shivering and arching her back. Her ears and her lower back legs were cold and still a little wet. We decided to bring her in when we noticed that she wasn't nursing as well as she had earlier that evening.
Thanks to my friend Anneliese, who grew up farming and continues to do so, we had good instruction on how to keep the doeling alive. We milked Honey for her good, rich and fatty colostrum, then fed it to the baby at the rate of an ounce every hour via a small syringe because she wouldn't take the pritchard teat nipple.
Oh boy, I felt like I had a newborn again, because I guess I did. I think at the most, I got 1.5 hours of sleep that night. The doeling slept in the dog crate when we weren't feeding her. The next day, she was warm and frisky, and finally latched on to her mama. She's been nursing vigorously ever since, thank goodness. That was a big answer to prayer!
This leads us to the current quandary. The babies are now about 5 days old and are still called "girl goat" and boy goat. We can't think what to call them. At a family gathering for grandpa's 91st birthday tonight, we shot around lots of silly and goofy names, but Eva didn't seem to like any of them. Some name pairs were Fifi and Jacques, Nick and Sylvia, Nick and Sally, Aaron and Erin, Hansel and Gretl, Hahn and Huhn, Nutmeg and Pepper, Apple and Pear, various names related to the hunger games, Gladiator and some other name, Zoolander and Blue Steel, and my favorites: Yin and Yang. All of these were pretty silly, so we need some better ones to choose from.
This is where you come in. What should we name these little sweeties? The girl is a creamy sunbleached brown color, and the boy is a grayish silvery color. We'll give virtual double high fives to the people who participate!
|little buckling was first to arrive... he is brown when wet.|
|snuggling while his sister is born|
|mommy cleans off baby|
|the boys are excited|
|cleaning off doeling just after she's born|
|i think this is the girl|