Goat Update! Ida's First Kid
The birth went well enough for a first timer like Ida. She wasn't prepared and I was a little concerned at times. Most does eject a water sack before the kid is born, but Ida's burst. She pushed out the front hooves and nose (Brigit was I ever grateful for a normal presentation!) and I saw the little nostrils flaring and mouth open. This is not good. It means that the kid needs to come out soon since being sucked back into his mother would mean suffocation if she took her time. So I grabbed the front hooves and gently pulled. Ida wailed. Then she pushed the head through as I continued my gentle pulling and the kid popped out like dog food sliding from a can. Made the same noise too. But the buckling was breathing, healthy, all four limbs and big goofy ears.
Ida passed her afterbirth and then enjoyed a dinner of grains while I milked her for the first time. I grabbed some baling twine and tied her collar to the pen's wooden board fence and hoped she would let me milk out a pint or so of colostrum. Yesheva (my goat mentor) says that first milking should be humble, not a lot and not fast. A kid would not empty her mother's udder on first meal so why should I? Good advice and Ida munched on her grain and let me milk out that special colostrum for her baby boy, who was already inside the house on a blanket by the heater.
Later that night was Ida's first time on the stanchion. She stepped up using the cinderblock stair I set beside it dove right into her evening grain and let me milk her halfway empty. She was amazing. Bonita isn't this good! I wasn't used to her tiny teats and it took me longer to do the job because of it, but she took it like a champ and the stainless steel pail rang as it filled with the good stuff. This morning she had her first real milking and performed just as well. She let me rub some Dynamint on her udder afterward I brought the still-colustrum-thick milk into the house for straining. Milk chores are back on the docket, kids are in the house, Bonita is almost ready to pop...
Spring has truly arrived with the first of May at Cold Antler Farm!