Well? We did it! We had our first live births on our homestead! Our sweet Boer/Kiko cross gave a beautiful performance and delivered twins!
The birth was “textbook”. We were so nervous when we figured out labor had started. Being new to this lifestyle, everything we’ve learned was through books or internet. We had been reading on what to do “IF” happens…so we put together a kit for the “just in case” moments. Our kit included: Iodine, Colostrum, Powdered Goats Milk Supplement, a baby bulb (the kind you would use on infants to suck boogers out of their nose), clean towel, gloves, and antibiotics (in case we had to go in and get the kid).
Fortunately, we didn’t need any of it other than the clean towels.
I noticed her rear end had a longer clear/thick mucus coming out of it and her breathing seemed to be almost like panting (except she wasn’t panting out of her mouth, just the belly seemed labored). We set up our watch and kept a close eye on her all day.
Once the sun finally set, we lit a fire in the pit and sat out back. I think we had resolved at this point that she was waiting and we were going to miss it. Not the case! We heard a loud bray and grabbed the flashlights. It was time!
**LIVE BIRTH PHOTOS BELOW. If you’re squeamish, don’t look!
7:13 PM. Twin #1 was on the way out by the time we reached the kidding pen. I let myself into the pen and proceeded to sit next to mama and lay the towel down to help with the baby. My goal wasn’t to clean it myself, just aid if necessary. Once the kid was out, I ended up breaking the bag at the nose/mouth and wiped with the towel to clear all the mucus. A couple swipes with my finger through his mouth and he started coughing while Mary (mama) started cleaning him up.
Mary was instantly showing signs that she was going to be a great mother. She was talking a bit and licking him all over. (The licking helps stimulate the kid to cough and breathe)
My husband said at this point, “I don’t think she’s done!” We could instantly see another bag coming. It looked much like the first bag coming out and had no blood to it. Yep! Looked like we were having twins!
I was elated! Both were born hooves/nose first with zero complications! Mary continued to lick #1 and finish birthing #2.
Funny. I didn’t realize they stood up so fast! #1 was standing within 5-10 minutes of being born! Another wave of relief flooded me. Healthy! That’s all we cared about.
#2 is out! This time, I was a little nervous. He didn’t cough right away and we ended up having to work on his nose/mouth a little more. We also had to hold him with his nose towards the ground to try and pat/gently shake the mucus out of his lungs. It worked. He took a little longer to stand than #1 but within 30 minutes? He was standing up.
By now, Mary was hard at work licking the boys and cleaning them up. #1 was attempting to nurse which made Mary hesitate at first. It only took a couple of tries til he was able to latch on with the assistance of us holding her back leg from kicking at him. Once the latch was solid, I think nature took over and she relaxed.
We moved the boys into the pen where it would be warmer for the night. Mary followed immediately and continued to let them nurse. It took a little extra guidance to get #2 to find the teet but, when he did? Success!
It wasn’t long (within an hour or so) that Mary expelled the afterbirth. We were told to let her eat it if she wanted since it has plenty of nutrients/etc…and that’s just what she did. This was her first pregnancy and I was so happy how well she took to new motherhood.
We decided to name them after something that related to Valentine’s Day since we were so close to the Holiday. It will help remind us their age and date of birth. (We do keep a record book of all our animals which includes their breed, date of birth, vaccinations, etc…)
The boys are now just under 48 hours old and going strong! Can’t wait to see them really active and playing!