Let me introduce you to the “New Kids on the Block”… (Bleeeat!)
The day after we brought the “motley crew” of mixed breed goats home, Smith was working out in the goat pasture and heard a loud bleat, where Marilynn-our new Toggenburg cross- was standing. He went over to see what Marilynn was in distress over and there was a baby kid with a blood tinged head, covered in a wet glistening membrane. Smith shouted out about the good news and I quickly headed into the house, picking up my camera and a towel. I then headed to the pasture to check on Marilynn and the new arrival.
Marilynn and her newborn kid
Marilynn’s first baby was a pure white little girl, whom we named “Maxine” in remembrance of my grandmother.
Marilynn and Maxine
Forty five minutes later, Marilynn gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. I felt blessed to be there to witness his birth. (Thank you Abba Father for the two beautiful babies you bestowed upon us on that beautiful sunny afternoon!)
Marilynn and her baby boy
The next morning, Smith and I went out to milk the girls who were giving milk, then to check on everyone else. I followed after Smith into the goat shelter and there was Thelma-our Nubian cross- with a brand new baby sitting before her.
“Uh…. Smith didn’t you see the baby sitting right there….?????” I queried. ( And to answer the question posed, no, he did not see the new kid. I still do not know how he missed that one, my guess he was preoccupied about his empty stomach and was dreaming what he was going to eat for breakfast…)
So as he went inside to get me a towel, I gently cleaned the little kid’s mouth out of a bit of wet slimy goo and made sure it was breathing without any problems. I then did a quick check of the baby’s bottom and sure enough we had been given another firstborn snowy white little girl!
Thelma cleaning her newborn daughter
Thirty minutes later Thelma, not to be outdone by Marilynn, had one more uncomplicated delivery and gave birth to a son.
Thelma cleaning her newborn baby boy
Both Mama’s did remarkably well with the birthing process and are taking good care of their babies. (Good job girls and welcome little “new kids on the block”-we are so happy to have you here with us on the farm! And thank you again, Abba Father for all of our healthy baby goats! )
Life is getting more exciting here!
Hope everyone is doing well this evening.
With warm regards my dears, Rose
P.S. Here are some basic pointers for caring for a newborn baby goat (if there are any other experienced goat keepers, please feel free to add comments if I have missed anything… I write this from all the information I have studied and my limited experience thus far…):
- The first priority is to make sure the baby goat is breathing without any difficulty. Sometimes the placenta adheres to the kids nose and/or in its mouth or throat area, causing the baby to not be able to take any breaths or to have a noisy wet sounding breathing. If this is the case, quickly and gently take your hand or a towel and wipe off its nose and inside its mouth. If this does not work, you may use a syringe to try to suck the wet goo out of the baby’s mouth or in a worst case scenario, take the baby up by its hind legs and hang it upside down to drain fluids from its lungs.
- Wrap the baby goat in a clean towel and gently rub him for a few minutes; this will stimulate his breathing and circulation (plus get him nice and warm!).
- Dip the baby goats umbilical cord in 7% iodine solution to prevent infection.
- It is my belief Mama and baby should then have time to bond together; lay the baby goat before its Mama and she will instinctively lick and clean him. (After all the babies are born, I took the Mama and babies away to the “maternity ward”, so they would have time away from the rest of the herd to continue to bond and to protect the babies until they can gain a little more strength and not get trampled by the other does or get “lost” in the herd.)
- It is also very important to make sure the baby goat latches on to its Mama teat as soon as possible after birth. Help the baby latch on to her teat if he is having any problems finding it. You may also want to give the Mama’s teats a couple good squeezes first to get the milk moving and to purge out any blockages; does generally form a wax plug at the end of each teat. It is essential the baby goat receive the first milk which is called colostrum to protect it from various disease and pathogens (just like human babies). Here is an excellent online article about the importance of colostrum: http://www.sheepandgoat.com/articles/colostrum.html.
- I also vaccinated the baby goats shortly after birth per our veterinary instructions. Living in tropical Central America, I wanted to make sure the babies were protected in every way possible.