Our Second Kidding!

This one was easier and harder than Sissy's. When the vet came back out to check the goats' TB tests, we opened up the barn to find Pippy on the floor with a very swollen hind end. We both said, "oh, she's about to kid!" This was on Thursday.

Well, the vet started checking her, and Pippy got a bit upset and started running away. The vet was a little concerned about Pippy's test site. It was reacting like a positive would, but then again Pippy was extremely swollen with the labor. She decided we'd have to retest, in order to be sure, and in the meantime to act as if the test was positive. Ugh.

With a positive or suspect TB test, we'd have to be very careful. Most likely, she doesn't have TB. Sissy's test was negative, NC is credited free of TB, etc, etc. But we still need to proceed with caution, just in case.

Since it appeared that Pippy was about to deliver on Thursday, I started checking on her every hour. I had given up on her and started thinking her pregnancy didn't take the same date as Sissy's and consequently, Pippy wouldn't be due for another three weeks. Hourly checks revealed, nothing was happening.

Once again, I gave up on her. I was sick too. Terribly sick, so I was pretty relieved I wasn't also having to deliver some more goat kids.

Saturday morning, the stomach virus seemed to finally be ending. Jeremy had a meeting but was not at work. So he left me and the kids to take care of the goats. So around 9 that morning, I headed outside with the kids to do the chores.

When I opened the barn door, Pippy turned around in surprise with two little, wet babies standing next to her. Oh, my.

Well, now I had to keep my kids out, get some gloves and long sleeves, (not that these actually protect from TB because if she coughs, she'll contaminate the air, so you know) and avoid all contact with any fluids. If Pippy is positive, so are the babies.

This was not fun, I tell you. Everyone was sad that we couldn't bond with the babies like we did with the first three. But I'm not sure that Pippy would like that anyway.

Anyway, Jeremy came home as soon as we called, and Mom came over too, to keep the littles for us. I helped Pippy with the babies, cleaning them up and dipping their cords in iodine. Then I tried to make sure they were nursing. One chased Pippy around the room trying to nurse, but Pippy was not having any of it. She wasn't rejecting them exactly, just not letting them nurse. Jeremy came in and pinned her down a bit to milk out a small bottle for the babies to share.

Pippy's teats and udders looked very painful, so I think that's why she didn't want anyone touching her.

The babies went on to sleep then, and we cleaned up the birthing mess and went ahead and cleaned out Sissy's room too. The flys were getting bad, with all the poop and the heat. Sissy and her babies went outside to play for a bit while their room was cleaned up. Pippy was not keen on being cleaned up herself, so we mostly left her alone.

After we finished, everyone was fed, put up, and resting. We went in the house to do the same.

Later, I went out to make sure she had started nursing the babies, but I heard them yelling on the way out there. Not a good sign. Sure enough, they were chasing her around, and she was dodging as gently as she could. Here we go Pip.

I was alone with my kids again, so I got Gideon to help me drag the milk stand into Pippy's room. I was able to get a good amount of milk out of her, and bottle fed the babies. It was a wrestling match, though! I finished up and left them alone again.

A few hours later, I went out to check again, and sure enough, they were yelling again. Ugh! So I told Pippy she was going to nurse those babies, and she told me she was not.

She didn't, so once again I had to milk her out and bottle feed those babies. I got Pippy up on the milk stand, but I couldn't find the locking mechanism to hold her head in the stand. So I had to hold that thing closed and milk her at the same time. I was sweating by the end of that wrestling match. I bottle fed the babies again, and went inside. I checked them again around midnight, and they were sleeping peacefully, so I didn't try to get them to nurse.

And then, the next morning Jeremy was home. (He could do the wrestling!) I think they had been nursing before we got out there, though, because they weren't crying, and were acting fine. We got Pippy in the stand anyway and made them nurse a bit. She was much calmer, although still didn't like being touched on one side. Jeremy did milk her out a bit more too, to help with the pain. I think it was a touch of mastitis on the one side. She's looking much better now, and the babies are nursing both sides.

So in one week's time, we went from having two goats to having a herd of 7. Although, we aren't keeping the babies. I told Jeremy I don't think I'll ever be able to have more than two goats kidding at a time. It was an emotional roller coaster. I'm so glad it's over now!

And it really is over, we got the second TB test results, and it was definitely negative. Yay! So now life can calm down a bit....

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