Never worry in public…

A month ago, I was watching two of my does deliver their kids, almost back to back. My last post was about the stress I put on myself,  with the anticipation of bouncing goat kids and the worry that comes along with anything important.

As I suspected, both does kidded without any major problems, but both of them had their boys first, and both of those boys had one leg back, so it was much harder to push them out, and Saffron in particular was quite dramatic in her screams.  I felt terrible for her as I tried to help pull that little buckling.

Saffron and her triplets

Every birth is a learning experience for me and the first 2 kiddings of 2024 were no different. With both Soji and Saffron, their boys didn’t get up to nurse right away and were weaker and shivering more than the girls. I wound up tucking each of them into my coat for at least 30 minutes while they warmed up. In the case of Saffron’s triplets, nobody was figuring out how to get that first milk, called colostrum, and were giving up. I had to do something new with this situation, so I went into the house for a small syringe and milked Saffron into it and fed all 3 babies their first meal.

Soji with her twins. The boy is in front of her.

With both does, all their kids finally figured out how to nurse and were doing well. That should have been the end of my worrying, but about ten days after Saffron kidded, I realized that her 3rd born didn’t seem to be filling out like the other 2 smaller kids. On a hunch, I milked Saffron’s dam, Sabrina, into a bottle and offered it to the kid and she drank every last drop without hesitation.

Just FYI, it is usually REALLY difficult if not impossible to get a kid to take the bottle after being on mom that long. I was stunned and grateful she had taken it so readily. I ordered an inexpensive luggage scale so I could weigh the kids to make sure they were all gaining. That’s when I discovered that none of Saffron’s kids were really gaining weight, despite the fact that their tummies looked full and they were hopping around all the time.

Saffron is just not making enough milk for triplets, so now ALL 3 of her kids are on the bottle. Since she is able to feed them some milk, I don’t have to cover all their feedings, but they are getting bottles 3 times a day.

Soji is not to be outdone…

After moving the 2 does and all their kids out of the kidding stall, I discovered Soji laying down more than she should and when she did walk, it was tenderly, like her feet or knees hurt. I looked closely at her and realized her front legs were starting to bow inward. I ran in to my computer to research what that meant and discovered it is a calcium imbalance called epiphysitis which can occur in young (less than a year old) first fresheners who have multiple kids and are heavy milkers. Soji is almost 2 and definitely not a heavy milker but it happened to her anyway. After some more research, I discovered that Vitamin D deficiency can also cause it. The best treatment is to balance calcium and phosphorus in the diet and I started giving her cod liver oil to correct the Vitamin D levels. I know it sounds odd to give an herbivore cod liver oil, but I found several sites that highly recommended it and as of today, it seems to be helping her. She is moving a little more easily.

So, as I write this, I am waiting on Alliekat to deliver her kids. The worry is building up again because she is so huge, she hasn’t been able to walk normally for a couple weeks and her udder hasn’t filled up like I expect it to. It seems like I should keep my worries to myself, in case I’m attracting misfortune by stating them here, but if no one told their tales (good or bad) I wouldn’t have learned half the things I now know! I hope by documenting my own goat stories, I might help someone else down the road.  April is almost upon us and I’m ready for kidding to be over and summer sunshine. Three does to go (unless Sabrina isn’t pregnant, which I’m starting to suspect) but that will have to wait until next time…

In the meantime, Soji’s and Saffron’s kidding videos are available to watch here and babies first day out is here!

One response to “Never Worry In Public”

  1. I get kind of excited when your kidding season comes around! I hope the remaining does have healthy kids, and there are no birthing problems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About us

We are a small homestead in the foothills of the North Cascades in Washington state. We breed goats for milk, cheese, and soap; keep chickens, ducks, and geese; and grow our own fruits and vegetables. Read more…

Latest Posts

Contact Us



There’s no content to show here yet.