Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sadness and Joy

The day after Canella's babies were born, we lost one, Miss Fluffles. We're not entirely sure what went wrong. Both babies were small in comparison to Miss Cow's babies, so maybe that was part of it. I had worried about Spot as she had wobbly back legs which could either have been a selenium deficiency or possibly because she'd been born right before we arrived. We weren't there for the birth, so we don't know how things progressed. Miss Fluffles stood quite well, but that's all we ever saw her do--just stand there a little hunched and unmoving. When we arrived Saturday morning, she was on her side, already passed on. Spot however, was doing extremely well, running and playing with her half-sister/aunt, Cocoa Puff.

Sunday, I was about to leave after my chores when Canella's sister, Vanilla, started screaming. She was lying on her side in labor and looked very frightened. I grabbed some fresh straw for the goathouses and went in to help her out. She got up when I came to her side and let me lead her to a goathouse. Once there, she had another contraction and things seemed to be fine. The "bubble" appeared which usually means a baby is coming soon. I began to videotape and waited patiently on the sidelines.

Sweet Tart
Then the bubble popped. She pushed some more and two little hooves started to come out. After watching Miss Cow have her babies (who all plopped out head first with ease) I started to get worried. Vanilla tried several times to push and those hooves didn't move.

I figured she needed help. I ran off to wash my hands and get my rubber gloves on. Very carefully, I pulled on the hooves during her next contraction and pop, the baby came out. The placenta all over her was yellow-brown and nasty looking, which indicated that the baby probably pooped inside, something that often happens when they're in distress. (Miss Cow's babies all had clear placenta.)

Vanilla cleaned her up and let her suckle as soon as that little one could stand. I named her Sweet Tart. She's very pale, like her mother and has interesting markings.

Chocolate Chip aka: Yin-Yang

Quite some time later, Vanilla had another contraction. The second baby came head first. But then I guess Vanilla was tired of pushing and got up to walk around...with the head still hanging out. It was very strange looking. This one appeared to be much larger than the first baby. When her next contraction came, I helped a little with that baby, too, and out came a boy with a dark head and white body. He was very loud (got his mother's voice) and she dutifully cleaned him up and made sure he ate as well.

It's now Tuesday and both babies are still doing great. Sweet Tart has stolen some hearts already. The baby boy whose name is Yin-Yang acording to Farmer G and Chocolate Chip, according to me, has really lightened up in color.

Every time I go to the ranch, I count heads and am thankful for the babies we have. They're perky and running, climbing, skipping, and playing when they're not eating or sleeping.

Sweet Tart stealing a Heart

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