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.