Yet more snow on April Fool’s Day, but that melted by the morning of April 3
leaving us a clear driveway and some patches of bare grass.
But then that joker Mother Nature dropped another 8 inches of heavy wet stuff starting mid-day April 3 and ending the afternoon of April 4, which proved to be an eventful day. No mail delivery because we weren’t plowed out until late in the day, and then the plow guy dug up more of our asphalt driveway than our snow.
With the additional blanket, we are now enjoying the 7th snowiest winter on record – and we may just be getting started; last year April was our snowiest month.
Geisha wasn’t due until April 6, but she was becoming increasingly lame during her pregnancy, and Barb feared that she was too petite to handle late babies well. Under the direction of Dr. Angela Urban and goat-mentor Casey Prochniak, she induced an early delivery medically.
Geisha started to show signs of labor at 5:30 on the morning of April 4, so the Farmers trudged out to the barn through the heavy snow to assist.
As it turned out, Geisha didn’t need any help. The doeling Gracia popped right out
followed shortly by the buckling Gentza.
Here they are minutes after birth:
A day later, the kids are looking great
and are up and about
except when they're smooshed together for a nap.
Geisha is relieved to be rid of the extra weight, but her front legs aren’t yet back to normal – if they’ll ever be. To keep her weight off them while still making herself available to the hungry kids, she likes to rest her tummy on a hay bale.
Viva was due on April 2 but didn’t show signs of labor until late afternoon on April 4.
If Eclipse, Cheeky and Geisha treated Barb to easy deliveries, Viva joined her half-sister Momo in making things “interesting” –
as in the Chinese curse.
Around 6 pm she was growing more and more uncomfortable, but nothing was coming out.
We couldn’t help but remember last spring, when sweet Juju died the day after a vet had to go in and pull out Viva and her stillborn sister.
The bottom of a hoof began to protrude from Viva, but the rest of the very large breech baby was stuck, with its hocks up and blocking the delivery.
Fearless Barb reached in and tugged with all her might as Viva struggled to push the baby out. After several minutes of intense effort and terror, Barb finally got the buckling out. We feared that he was stillborn; he was as limp as the proverbial wet noodle and showed no signs of life.
Barb cleared the goo away from his face, dangled him upside down to stimulate his lungs, and performed mouth-to-muzzle resuscitation. He started to breathe, but only shallowly, and he remained limp and otherwise still. We assumed that he wouldn’t last long, so Barb placed him besides Viva, who was totally wiped out by the ordeal and just lay there panting heavily. But seeing her boy, she revived a bit and started licking him. Viva’s attentions in turn got him wiggling and squealing:
Gradually he gained the strength to stand up on very wobbly legs.
After letting mom and boy bond for awhile, Barb milked Viva and bottle-fed her as yet unnamed boy so that he would get the colostrum he needed, hoping that during the night he would figure out how to feed himself.
He looked considerably better the next morning, 12 hours after his birth, and seems to be eating on his own. (At least he refused a bottle when Barb offered it.)
Neither mom nor son is out of the woods yet, and the damage could be irreversible after such a traumatic delivery. But Barb is treating them with medications and close attention and care, so we’re hoping for the best.
Across the barn, the other newbies are doing just fine --
palling around with their moms
hanging out in the Bat Cave
but more often crowding on top to tap-dance away
sometimes less than gracefully
climbing on their moms
and stepping on each other.
After an exhausting delivery season, Barb takes a well deserved short rest – with the assistance of her Designated Co-Napper, Dustin.