My mini goat mama, Pixie, had twin buckling kids today and it has quite possibly been our best day on the farm yet. Hope you enjoy all the cuteness! I believe in no unnecessary intervention with the mother baby experience, so this post will not have any kind of intervention instructions, but I will share some of my observations and preparation for our new baby goats.
Well, this has been one of the best days on the farm since we moved here in 2017. I got my first goats in the fall of 2018 – triplet Mini Saanens, two does and a wether.
They were just a few months old when I got them so I knew it would be a while before I could breed the does and have kids and fresh milk. I ended up adding a fresh mama Nubian and her doe kid to my little herd in 2019 and was able to milk her for about six months, leaving her kid on the whole time and just separating at night. I hope to be able to kid share with all the mamas on the farm because it’s really nice to let nature take its course and also be able to get fresh milk at the same time.
Sophie is the big moon-spotted Nubian. She’s my favorite goat!
Having fresh, raw goat milk is the best! Although we aren’t plain milk drinkers, I use it in cooking, fermenting, making smoothies, and other things.
In the fall of 2019 I bred my then full grown Mini Saanen does, Pixie and Jennie to a full Nigerian Dwarf buck that I rented. Mini Saanens are half ND, half Saanen. So the babies are 3/4 ND and 1/4 Saanen.
Here’s a picture of Pixie pre-pregnancy.
Goats gestational period is about 150 days.
Or 21 weeks…or 5 months, whichever way you want to look at it. I knew exactly when Pixie was bred so I calculated her due date to be March 17th. (tomorrow)
She’s been showing all the signs of impending labor for a few weeks now
Goat Labor Signs
- Being bagged up – milk bag looks full and tight
- Swollen vulva
- Tail ligaments gone
- Acting differently or staying away from the herd
When I felt her ligaments in her tail last night, they were completely gone so I knew she was close! I had laid fresh straw in the stalls in anticipation of the new babes so all was ready…
And when I went to feed and check this morning, I found her with two perfectly healthy buckling kids. She must have had them in the early hours of the morning because they were dry and fluffy, up running around. They’re bigger than I thought they’d be and just so so cute!
Meet Victor & Elvis
This is Victor
& this is Elvis
they are so adorable I can’t even take it! I love both of their markings so much.
You can see the umbilical cord hanging down. Although I know it’s almost unheard of to do no intervention, that’s exactly what I did since all went well and mama took to her babies.
It’s really easy to get excited and just want to help, but I have to remember God designed women and animals to have babies and care for them. So I’m just be an observer and caretaker and only step in if there is a problem, at which point I would of course intervene here at home or call the vet.
I did have a little tote ready with some things in case I needed them, but I didn’t end up needing to do anything which is the best case scenario
Goat Kidding Tote:
- Disposable gloves, which I always have (cute pink ones ;P) anyway for lactation consults
- Sterile Scissors (just in case mama didn’t chew the cord)
- Baby wipes – I just threw some lavender wipes in, in case I need them for myself after helping
- Towel – in case mama rejects babies and doesn’t clean them
Now, there are MUCH more detailed lists and methods for kidding out there, so I’m not making recommendations and definitely no expert (I mean, this is our first time) – just sharing my experience. I’m so thankful our first time kidding went smoothly. And I am in no way naive! I know, that if I stay at this homesteading thing long enough it won’t be all sunshine and rainbows. Animals get sick, they get hurt, they die. Such is life on the farm. But its worth it, and I’ll always intervene and step in when I am needed.
Just a moment after I got out to the stall I saw the whole placenta on the ground by Pixie so I knew she was finished kidding. She looked great and didn’t show signs of any retained placenta or needing help.
I made sure she had hay, fresh water, and even a little bit of grain for a treat to help her recover. I’ll be giving her an herbal mix as well. I’ve heard of situations where the herd will be rough on new moms and kids and not let them eat, but so far the other goats have been just fine with her.
Separating from the herd
I’ll be separating Pixie and her kids, and probably Jennie too, in a few days anyway though because I don’t want Sylvester breeding her for a few reasons:
- He’s way too big and she’d probably die kidding (if you want to mix breeds, the doe has to be the bigger breed)
- It’s not healthy for any mammal to be bred immediately after birthing
She’s such a good mama so far, cleaning her babies, staying close, nursing them, and watching over them – she’s really gentle and attentive.
The little ones seem to be doing well and are full of energy. I’ll keep an eye on them to make sure they continue nursing well and don’t need any help.
I won’t be milking for at least a week or so. But when I do, I’ll just separate the babies at night and do one daily milking session in the morning. That’s what works best for us. Kid sharing like that is also really convenient for when we go out of town for a weekend. I don’t have to have anyone milk for me, I just leave kids and momma together.
When I was milking Sophie before she dried up, I just kneeled and milked her because she’s so calm and I could milk her in like 3 minutes and be finished. However, Pixie is way smaller so I’m having Big John build me a milk stand this weekend.
Pixie’s sister Jennie is due to kid this spring as well, but she won’t be staying here on the farm. She’s going to the cutest little homestead right across town to a wonderful family! Although I love my goats, the goal was never to keep a huge herd. Just a handful.
Once again I feel very blessed that we had an easy, uncomplicated kidding with Pixie and know that’s not how it always goes.
Hope you enjoyed all the baby goat pics! We absolutely love them already. I’ll be posting our milk stand DIY project soon and lots of baby goat videos on Insta Stories every day when I do chores.
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