On Thursday, May 4th we went out to the barn and to our surprise Becky had one huge buckling and Charity had one little doeling. I knew that Becky was all done kidding. Her buckling was licked dry and looked well fed. Charity on the other hand, her doeling still looked wet. Charity looked like she was still in labor so we got busy with our chores hoping that we would catch the end of her delivery.
After finishing chores, we sat and waited. Charity would slowly take a few steps, paw the ground, lay down and push. This went on for hours. In the past, I would come out to the barn and there would magically be baby goats. As if the stork delivered them through the night. Not this time. After a couple hours of waiting, I was ready for lunch. While inside I started wondering how long should it take the second kid to be born. After searching the internet I realized that something was wrong. Everyone said that the second goat should arrive fairly quickly. Uh oh. Here we go. In the past, I read stories about folks assisting with kids that were stuck and couldn’t come out. Now it was my turn. I had to woman up and try to save the kid and Charity.
Charity with the kid who was born first. We call her Charlotte.
I had to get out my gloves that reach to my armpits and lube up. I had my 10 and 8 year old hold Charity by the collar while I first inserted my fingers into her vagina. I felt hooves but I didn’t feel a head. (When goats give birth, their kids come out head and front feet first. Their front hooves are tucked under their head and their back legs come out last). Since I felt hooves but no head, I inserted my hand further up. I thought maybe the kid’s head was turned to the side. By this time, I was in to the middle of my forearm. Still I couldn’t feel a head. All the while Charity is screaming and grunting but thankfully she doesn’t move much. My children where doing a great job holding her still. I just kept saying over and over again, “Lord help me. Lord help me.” I had no clue what to do but I kept at it. Poking and prodding around hoping for a clue. Then I finally realized that I felt hocks. Hocks are on the back legs of a goat and since I still felt no head, I realized that the kid was breech. Great. I gently pulled the kid by the feet until the kid fell out on the ground. He was breathing!! He’s alive!! My 8 year screamed, “I can’t believe I saw my first birth!!” I helped rubbed the kid dry, while Charity licked off the fluids.
The kid, who I now call Charlie, had a tough first few days. I didn’t know if he would survive. It didn’t look like Charity was feeding him because he had a hard time holding his head up to reach her udder. Charlie is the kid on the left with his head down even though he standing.
After watching for a few hours, I figured I better take care of him myself. We took him everywhere with us the first two days. After two days of spending a lot of time away from Charlie, Charity disowned him kinda. She still cleaned him and protected him but she wouldn’t nurse him even though he tried so we continued to bottle feed him.
This past week I had the idea to put Charity in the milking stand day and let him nurse there. I do this 3-4 times a day. If there’s not enough milk from Charity, I let him nurse from one of the other does while they’re on the milking stand too. Most of the time they are so engrossed in their food that they don’t notice that the kid nursing is not their own. It’s working out well and I don’t need to clean bottles anymore.
What I learned from all this is that life is hard. Sometimes you don’t know what to do. Sometimes you can’t hold your head up but you keep going anyhow. With God first, adapt to each situation and eventually you’ll get where you want to be.