Sunday, May 22, 2011

Vi's Baby

We knew Violette was expecting when we bought her, and her prior owner had calculated a due date of May 29th, give or take. The other day we got an email from her warning us that the other two does she had had kidded, so we needed to keep a closer eye on Vi because she was likely to have her baby sooner than later.

We spent the night near the goats after that email and nothing. Vi continued to wander around acting the same as she had since we got her. There were a few small changes, like she whacked anyone who got in her way of the alfalfa. She talked to us a little more, but no definite baby signs.

This morning though, it was obvious. Her baby had "dropped" leaving two dips in her sides which are evident in this picture:
She talked to me a lot throughout my morning chores. She didn't seem to want to eat much at all, unless I gave her some grain, of course, and she would sneak into her manger and lie down, still talking to me.

I figured it was time.

Since Vi is really small in comparison to the other goats we have, I wanted her and her new little one in a safe space where they could still be with the herd but also be clear from any wandering horns or headbutts.

Milk Jail has now become the Baby Nursery. I cleared out the stanchion and cleaned the floor in there. Fresh bedding, water, and an alfalfa feeder were added into the space to make it mommy friendly.

Vi seemed to know what I was up to, because she hurried in there and talked to me some more. She quieted when I rubbed her belly for her and eventually settled down on her nest. I rubbed her face and belly some more. She kindly repaid me by licking my knee for a while.

Around 4PM today she had a little baby. She cleaned him all up herself and I cleaned up the nasty bits of leftovers from having a baby. She is a sweet mother, patient with him and talking to him to be sure he's all right.

He's really small. About the size of a mini-dachshund to be exact. He looks a bit like his mother, but doesn't have the full facial stripes. He has the same speckles on his ears. We counted ears and hooves and bits to be sure everything came out fine, and it did. He has his mother's eyes, and he's already entertaining us with his antics.
Baby Gabe is walking and jumping around. He's even tried to climb up on the milk crate in his designated area. He's playful and perky. Vi watches over him, licking him whenever he gets close and patiently waiting while he figures out how to work the built in Mommy food delivery device. She lifts her right leg while he searches around.

It's a boy!
Resting after a lot of skipping around.

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