Mergansers on the front pond are getting ready for babies
as is the resident pair of Canada Geese
floating gracefully back and forth
(when they aren't pooping on the front lawn and driveway).
Lassi was supposed to deliver her babies on March 28
so the Farmers were surprised when they went to the barn before dawn on March 27th and discovered that Lassi had gone ahead without them
and sometime during the night had unloosed two doelings -- Raita
and Tzatziki (both named for yogurt sauces, like their mother).
Not knowing how much milk they had slurped during the night,
Barb made sure they got plenty of colostrum during the crucial early hours.
Mother and kids have been doing great from the start.
Poor Dream was not so fortunate. Two days later she went into a long labor and delivered a stillborn kid; Barb had to go in and remove the second baby, which also was stillborn. Fortunately Dr. Dolores soon arrived on an emergency call to treat Dream for hypocalcemia and high risk pregnancy toxemia.
She's doing fine now and is almost completely back to her usual self -- joining everyone else in the back pasture and nipping at those obnoxious youngsters when they get too near.
Because they are so close in age, Kona's and Lassi's kids hang out together.
At first they spent a lot of time snoozing in the Bat Cave
but they've been growing so quickly that they no longer all fit in.
They loved exploring every inch of the big pen
and were especially delighted to get outside
to nibble on fresh salad
and play in and on the truck topper.
Barb constructed a play-set for them
to climb on
and rest on.
But they mostly like to eat it
and will soon have all the bark stripped off the stumps.
Of course, there are more nourishing options available, too.
Proud papa Mr T keeps on eye out on his progeny
when he isn't tormenting Niblet.
At two weeks old the kids were getting so big, wild, and hard to grab that it was time for collars. Macchiato sports a handsome orange number.
The kids have only two speeds: 90 mph
Alba was supposed to deliver on April 14 but went into labor on April 11, without being able to push the babies out. Remembering her difficult delivery last year, and fearing a situation similar to Alba's mom Dream, Barb -- with much trepidation -- went in after the kids.
Sure enough, the first buckling was positioned backwards, preventing him -- or anyone else -- from moving. Barb reached in and tugged away heroically until the reluctant guy came out -- much the worse for wear. She suspended him head down to get him breathing
and then turned him over to Mom's attentions.
A short while later, she helped Alba deliver a doe -- properly head-first this time --
and then another buckling.
Kids, Mom and midwife were understandably exhausted by this time
but Alba went about cleaning the babies up;
Just a few minutes old, they take a licking and keep on ticking.
Eventually they went in search of a good meal
even if they were too tired to sit up straight at the table.
Once again, Barb made sure everyone was well fed from the start.
By the time the Farmers retired, the kids were looking a lot dryer, stronger and happier than they had earlier in the evening.
And the next morning they were up and about
still being attended to by Mom.
Alba proved to be a trooper during the whole ordeal -- and is justifiably grateful to the midwife who saved her life and her kids.
Juju is the remaining expectant mother, with a due date of April 20. We're eager to see what she will contribute to the current herd of eight kids. In light of the population explosion
Barb sold the RAV Goatmobile and bought a vehicle more suited to hauling hay, feed and goats.
Soon we'll fill the back end with cute babies and see which of our neighbors leave their porches unlocked. What could be a more welcome day-brightener than finding a gift goat tapping at your door?