Tuesday, February 14, 2012

She IS! (I think....)

After checking on Nettie no less than sixty-four times yesterday (in the snow, yes, it finally snowed....figures), I have decided that she is, in fact, pregnant.

I have the kidding stall all fixed up so figured I could put her in there a little early.  I normally try to put off bringing the does in there until I'm positive they are in labor in order to keep it as poop-and pee-free as possible.  Because you know, as soon as they go in there they have to go to the bathroom.  

Bucket full of warm water.  Bunch of hay for munching.  Kidding kit all ready and in the barn.  Baby monitor hooked up (which didn't end up working anyhow because of interference from the power inverter) and my flashlights and handy-dandy headlamp all ready to go.  

Several days ago our spring-like weather finally gave up and made way for the "normal" winter weather.  Teens at night and only 30's during the day, but today is supposed to be near 50 degrees and above freezing at night thank goodness.  

One thing I didn't think about with such an early kidding (I usually plan on a late March or early April kidding) is that it's still going to be cold at night, and there's no way I'm going to keep a heat lamp out there with a curious goat in there!  I'm not really concerned about Nettie, but her babies could get cold.  So I scoured the internet for some quick and easy baby goat coats and sewed three of them up just in case.  They are pathetic looking examples, but I promise to get pictures once they are on the kid(s).

Oh, back to how I decided that Nettie IS pregnant:

While sitting with her in the kidding stall, waiting for a contraction or an arched back or straining or pawing or
something, I saw what was absolutely, definitely without a doubt a kid pushing on the side of her stomach.  I thought I felt a kid earlier yesterday, but told myself it could be her rumen or other goat-gut kind'a stuff going on, although it really did feel harder than intestines.  Now I was almost positive.  

Now I just have to worry about her milk supply.  And if her milk doesn't come in within a day of her kidding, what I'm going to do with any male kids.  As much as I don't want to, I would bottle feed a doeling, but since the male kids are just going into the freezer anyhow, I can't see spending too much additional time or money for milk replacer to "fatten" up a dairy goat for the freezer.  A few people suggested putting him up for a freebe on the local trading post and I think that may be a good idea.

In the meantime, I'm off (again) to check on Nettie.  Hopefully she'll at least wait until daylight hours and until Grandma can get here to help me with Rhiannon.


  1. Good news! Hopefully, her milk will come in once she has the kid(s)! Can't wait to see pictures! :)

  2. OMG OMG OMG! I can't wait to see the pictures! Nettie will do great, and all will go well (I am thinking positive here, sending good mantra your way). Good luck!

  3. That's great news! :) Being from northern MN, our spring kidding time is often as cold as you're probably going to have. Here, many people will make a little hut for the kids to go into. Even a dog crate with straw in it will keep their body heat in a bit, and be warmer. They really will use their little huts if they need them, and they really seem to appreciate having them. I wonder if that would work for you?
    Hopefully Nettie's just an experienced mom who'se going to bag up at the last minute? Best wishes! Can't wait to hear the good news and see pics! :)

  4. I can't wait to see pictures of babies in goat coats! LOL, I love that phrase. Maybe you'll get lucky and she'll have two does. I sure wish I lived closer cause I would love to try my hand at raising a baby. (even if it was a boy- and yes I know they are called "bucks" but- its a baby!! ) :D
    Above all I hope that Nettie has an easy birth and has lots and lots of milk!

  5. How exciting!!! I remember when we finally realized that our Gertie was definitely pregnant, we checked on her so many times it would've been easier to just stay out in the goat pen with her!

    Goat coats? Hmmm....am I seeing an Etsy shop in your future? lol :)

  6. A dog crate or even a box makes a good shelter for babies. I use old socks or sweat shirt sleeves for goat coats, no sewing required. On really small babies, use the top of the sock for the neck, hold sock up near baby and cut slit on either side of the heel for front legs, slit down middle for belly and then cut slits for back legs or just cut from middle of belly to toe. For sweat shirts I use cuff for neck, then cut slits for front and rear legs, and slit for belly. Socks work for pygmy or angora babies, sweat shirt sleeves for large breeds.

  7. Oh, I'll probably be checking your blog as much as you check on Nettie!! I hope you plan to update often... :)

  8. Yippeee Nettie! As for coats for the babies.... I bought up the doggie sweaters when they went on clearance at walmart last summer. I got several different sizes and they work wonderful and can throw them in the laundry. The past few nights has our temps in the 20's with wind chill around 12F so the two baby goats we have so far have done really well in the sweaters. Today the temp is back up to 58 so took them off for the day and will put them back on tonight. Can't wait to see baby pics!!

  9. Okay, now you've got all of us just waiting to hear the good news. Waiting for any birth (human or animal) can be so nerve-wracking!! Don't forget to take pictures in the midst of everything else going on.

  10. I will be mailing you a lamb sweater tomorrow. Since there will be no lambs Chez Me, I have four of them that I whipped up last spring. Love, your pal.