Well, Phil and I must know our goats pretty well. Just as we predicted, Lilly needed someone to hold her hand through kidding, giving us ample warning for several days beforehand, then going into mild labor for most of the afternoon until I sat down with her. Then as soon as she knew I was going to stay, she started hard labor within 15 minutes.
Nibbles, on the other hand, was just the opposite, exactly as we foresaw. She dropped an enormous doe-ling today, and she did it all by her lonesome, two days early, with no warning and no fuss. She’d been spending a lot of time under our front deck, and yesterday we heard her pawing and nesting and talking to herself down there. So I attempted to block the area off, but a rainstorm prevented me from finishing the job. I thought I still had time to do it today because Nibbles just didn’t look ready yet. Still, she was spending an awful lot of time under that porch and I heard her chuckling to herself again this afternoon. I couldn’t get her to come out, though, so I figured I’d wait and block the entrance after she came out for evening feed.
I left Nibbles alone and went out to mow grass, and when I went back to check on her a couple of hours later I saw something that wasn’t Nibbles squirming around in the gloom! I crawled back there and was met with what I thought was an enormous buckling already the size of week-old Petunia that was dried off, standing, and nursing vigorously. I grabbed a towel, wrapped him in it, and had to crawl almost forty feet through the dirt to get out of that cave, trying the whole time not to fall and crush baby, who was bawling and struggling furiously. I looked down at the chunky body with the heavy legs and broad forehead and hollered to Phil that we had a bouncing baby boy! Then I went to dunk that filthy, dust-covered navel in iodine, looked at the belly and under the tail and realized he was actually a she! (Sorry girl–my bad.)
I hope her hind legs straighten out. Right now she’s pretty weak in the hind end and her pasterns are knuckled over the front. Especially the left one, which, as you can see in the photos, she can’t properly walk on at all. But she’s strong enough to stand up and nurse in spite of the crooked legs. Do any of ya’ll have experience with crooked-legged kids? Do they usually straighten out ok? I know that foals can have ridiculously crooked legs that they can hardly walk on when born, but that straighten out beautifully within a few days. Are goats the same way? I sure hope so!