By Jennifer Ashawasegai
ALBAN –We have twiiiiinnnnnnns!!!!!! Both goats are girls, and both are healthy and cuter than words can say! Their names are Seraphina and Benita. The adorable pure white doelings are the first animals to be born on our little hobby farm after a much-anticipated wait.
Seraphina and Benita came into this world quietly and without much ado, and no human interference at all. Ken and I were about four to six weeks off the estimated date of birth. However, I think we can be excused for that, since we didn’t know the date of conception, nor do we have any experience in helping animals birth their young. We did keep a close eye on mom Willow throughout her pregnancy.
I wasn’t that worried. Ken, on the other hand, was quite anxious and didn’t know what to make of my seeming apathy about the big event. I read much about goat births and Ken and I spoke with another couple who also have a hobby farm with goats, so we were as prepared as we were going to get.
According to our research, the worst possible scenario, other than a stillborn kid, included wrong birthing positions. Friends advised to just gently pull on the kid being born to assist the mother in birthing her kid. After the kid is born, another possibility with a first-time mom includes outright rejection of her kid. We would have had to hold her down so the kid can feed, or I could have simply bottle-fed the kid from my store of goat-kid formula from the previous bottle babies (Willow and Lily). I had also prepared a birthing box with all necessary equipment; latex gloves, scissors to cut the umbilical cord, strong string to tie off the cord, plus towels, iodine and various other supplies.
After the dates Ken and I had bet on had long passed, Willow continued to get larger and larger every day. I was sure she was going to pop! We were both hoping for a girl. About a week before Willow kidded, my mom noticed how much her belly was moving, and thought Willow would have twins. I didn’t think Willow’s belly was big enough to accommodate two little goats.
The big event actually happened while I was away, but thank goodness Ken was home.
“Early in the evening, I went out to check on Willow,” he says, “and there she was, with two beautiful pure white little babies. I was amazed, they were already cleaned up and walking around!!”
Ken said the babies were a little wobbly on their tiny hooves. When he gently petted them they would fall over.
As I write this, the twins are just under a week old and such a pleasure to watch as they try to run around and learn to use their legs to jump. They really love to explore and mom Willow keeps a close eye on them. She doesn’t let the other goats too close to her kids (plus we have them in a separate stall), and like any mom, Willow doesn’t like strangers around her kids.
My next adventure will be learning to milk a goat! Stay tuned