Sometime around 2:30 she started the licking routine. Imminent mamas like to warm their tongues up and get in some licking practice just before the kids arrive. Phil’s hands provided a good workout routine.
After the birth everyone stepped outside for a little fresh air and clean grass while I cleaned the shed. Mama’s still working that tongue. She’s always sure she missed a spot. Did you ever see such a fuzzy brown baby?
This kidding was not as easy for Petunia as her last couple. Her contractions were weak and we had to help pull the kids even though they were presented correctly. We weren’t sure what was wrong except that earlier in the week Petunia had been hit really hard and was bowled over on her back. I thought maybe that affected her delivery but I was wrong.
Next morning Petunia was so sick she couldn’t stand and her lungs were full of fluid. She spent all day looking like each breath might be her last. She was too sick to take to a vet and the mobile vet in our area doesn’t work Thursdays so I had to wait until my neighbor Kathy, the vet at the Pueblo Zoo, got home from work. Kathy came around 6:30 pm and said that Petunia was hypocalcemia, which is a fancy word for a sudden, severe calcium deficiency that can happen after giving birth. Kathy and I spent two hours in the shed with Petunia while Kathy hooked Petunia to an IV drip to administer fluids and the life-saving calcium. This condition can be caused by too much or too little calcium in the diet prior to kidding. The weak contractions should have clued me in, but I was distracted by her accident earlier in the week and didn’t think to give her some calcium paste. I’ll have to think about my feeding regimen because I don’t want to have another scare like this again! I was afraid we would loose our “Pretty Pet”!
As of this morning, Petunia is weak but recovering. Her babies are thriving. I had to feed them bottles while their mama was sick, but they are both good eaters and had no trouble taking milk from a bottle.