We are rolling in does!

Kidding season started here February 4th with a labor watch for Tadaah. She gave us two bucks (Wharton and Wyatt) finally on February 6th. Three days later Parsnip kidded with a doe and a buck (Boots and Crockett), followed later that day with quadruplets (3 does: Mrytle, Ellie and Charlotte; and 1 buck: Wilbur)from Leibshen. Leibshen was the fastest to kid this year and delivered in the middle of the day, greatly appreciated by all of us who like to sleep at night. Francine followed on February 16th with 2 does, and Beatrice surprised us with quadruplet does on February 18th. Our count is now at 10 does and 4 bucks. We are on pins and needles waiting for Raven to kid. She gave us 5 bucks last year, so we are hoping she has at least one doe for us this year.

Myrtle

Nigerian dwarf goats are big on the cuteness factor, but Myrtle seemed to have more than her share of cuteness. She was the smallest of a set of quads born to Leibshen this year. While supporting another goat in labor overnight we heard Mrytle crying intermittently. She appeared to be nursing on mom just fine, but the cry was concerning so I decided to lie on the ground and really see if she was getting any milk from mom. She could find the teat, bump her head up on mom to help the fatty milk fall into the teat, but her suck was not impressive and she was not doing the wonderful tail wag typically seen by a happy goat when they are filling their mouth with yummy mom’s milk. My suspicion is that with 3 other larger siblings she was in a competition for milk and not getting her fair share she was hungry and getting weaker. I decided to try a system that worked with newborn babies I had cared for in the hospital. I took one of our small nipples and syringed milk into it. Mrytle was smart and had a good suck. She mastered the nipple immediately! I kept her on mom but supplemented her several times a day. She quickly got stronger and then decided that she had both a goat and human mom. She would come over to us requesting milk whenever she saw us and got strong enough to beat her siblings to the teat for her fair share of milk. Now she is thriving both on milk and love.