After the dramatic birth of the triplets, then the real worrying began. I was just sure that Xcel would be a good mom. You know, because she’s such an easy going goat. Hmmmm. One does not define the other apparently. I guess that’s life, huh?
When the little guys were up and moving around, which happens in just minutes, the next move was to get them to nurse. You want them to get that immunity packed colostrum right away. Xcel was not interested in standing still for this activity. She would immediately move to the other corner of the barn and stare off into nothingness. As if to say, “What babies? That’s not my problem. You got me into this fix. You deal with it.”
At least that was the case until a babe got a bit too close to her, of which she responded by either kicking or biting it’s tail. Oh, and a few times that bite concluded in a little toss into the air. Yes, I was frustrated to say the least.
This made the whole nursing bit tricky. And then to add to the misery, the kids had no idea how to suckle. I had visions of me bottle feeding these babes for the next two months. Frustration and anxiety raged inside my head. It’s no wonder I fell into a sleep stupor that night. I was so exhausted.
But bottle feed I did. At least it calmed my nerves for a bit. Then later that evening with Renaissance Man and Soccer Boy’s help, we managed to get everyone to nurse. Renaissance Man would hold Xcel so she couldn’t run to the other side of the barn and Soccer Boy and I led the little darlings to the teats. Not only did we lead them, we held the teat out for them so they could find it.
I went to bed nervous that Xcel would kick a little too hard in the night and kill one. Much to my relief, I found the three all snuggled up together and her off to the side. Well, at least no one is dead.
We spent the next 24 hours helping the kids nurse. Soccer Boy made it his mission to care for those little beings. By darn, he was going to make sure they got enough to eat. We were amazed that next night, as we commenced around the barn, of the knowledge Soccer Boy held of the different behaviors of each kid. He knew what each cry, yawn, and dazed look meant. He was our baby goat interpreter. And then Soccer Boy informed Renaissance Man that he would be waking him in the morning to come help with the feeding. Who is this kid?
By the next day, it seemed Xcel had conceded to the fact she was a momma. She no longer kicked when they suckled and most of the time she didn’t run away. It even seemed the kiddos had eaten before we hit the barn that morning. We got them to nurse, but not for long. They just laid down minutes after and fell asleep. Whew! Maybe her mother instincts kicked in. No pun intended. Hee. Hee.
Since then, let’s just say, I’ve been devouring the Fiasco Farm website for information. Gary isn’t nursing on one side of Sadie, so she now has a very swollen teat with a hard lump in her utter. So now I get to worry about Mastitis, as well as milk her out 3 times a day. At least she gets an utter massage out of the deal. By the way, she doesn’t see this as a luxury. Just picture hoof in milk bucket. Enough said.
And little Barry is having trouble pooping. What do you do with a constipated baby goat? I haven’t the foggiest. Back to researching.
Monday we disbudded Gary and Barry. Goat people say that is the worst part of raising goats. And I would agree. Little Gary cried for a good hour after his. So, yes, I worried about him too. Isn’t this fun? Lesson learned? As soon as you feel those little buds, do the job. Barry was only 3 days younger, but he had no issues. Mary is getting hers today. Yippee.
Well, I’m off to buy the California Mastitis Test.
See. You’re life isn’t that bad. You’ve got it good. Goat constipation isn’t even in your vocabulary.