Kidlet Update

First, the sad news. Despite all Barb's efforts to bottle-feed him every few hours, Alba's littlest guy was just not thriving.
He grew weaker and weaker and died four days after birth.
The good news is that Alba is taking care of the bigger guy;
Heldig ("Lucky" in Norwegian) is stronger, active and a pound and a half heavier than he was five days ago.
His cousins Artful and Tammy Waynette are flourishing. Here they are out running four days after their birth.
Artie now weighs 15 pounds
and Tammy 10.5 pounds.
They owe most of the gain to Mom's good milk
but they've also begun to eat hay and grain
and the occasional pine cone.
Dehorning was not much fun for anyone concerned, but they survived nicely.
They would much rather be exploring outside
checking out weeds
chewing on the welcome mat
getting groomed
and climbing all over Barb.
They spend much of their time in mid-air
and gallop wherever they go.
They've even got Dodger capering along with them.
Like their Mom's generation, they enjoy hanging out at the hammock
eventually getting around to nibbling on it and Barb
just like their aptly named brother, Niblet.
Soon they'll be eating the trees, too.
Then it's back to the barn
where they collapse for a nap in their fort. They've gotten so big and wild, though, that they'd been stoving in the plastic tote when they climb on it
so it had to be replaced by a solid tablebut there's still room to hide away under it
and Mom can stand (or lie) guard.
We're delighted that the twins will be staying together; come July, they'll be moving to a pastoral setting in Lakewood (north of Duluth) as pets for a nice family.
What milk the hungry kids leave behind
Barb is collecting for her customers and for soap making.
Meanwhile, ice on the pond finally vanished
bringing in pairs of geese
who battle to see who gets to stay.
Swallows and bluebirds are looking for apartments
and the Minnesota state rodent has returned in force.
Dream awaits her turn to contribute to the spring excitement; she is due on Flag Day and Majority insists that no blog entry is complete without a closeup of his handsome physiognomy.


Buckling Surprise

Alba was due on Saturday, April 18, but gave no indication that she was imminent -- or even pregnant --
until Tuesday the 21st, when she just couldn't get comfortable all day.
She started groaning in the late afternoon
and then at 5:30 pm delivered a buckling, with the substantial help of the midwife, who tugged away heartily as Alba pushed.
The routine has become familiar by now: first a toweling off and a blow-dry to warm up
then grooming by Mom
and a first meal.
The boy weighed in at 6 pounds, a bit under the ideal.
As the midwife waited for Alba's placenta to emerge, she got another surprise around 6:15 pm:
another buckling!
This one weighed a measly 4 pounds.
As the midwife dried and warmed the runtlet and tried to get him to feed
his brother fell sound asleep.
Eventually he woke up and checked out the newbie
and Grandma Dream in the next pen.
While Alba is the world's best goat in many ways
motherhood is not one of them. On a scale from June Cleaver to Joan Crawford, Alba is toward
the "Mommie Dearest" end.She occasionally grooms the bigger guy,but leaves the little one to fend for himself.
We've never seen Alba feed either boy on her own
so every four hours, Barb holds the babies up to nurse.
Because the little can't grab on very well, Barb has to give him most of his milk by bottle.Both boys are smaller and weaker thantheir flourishing cousins across the barn
but they seem to be getting stronger
and we hope that soon they will be joining Artie and Tammy
for romps outside in the sunshine.