For our followers I'm sorry we've not been able to entertain you with a new blog for a while.... we've been interrupted with several events. First Grebe and her sister arrived.
I woke, began my normal morning routine, waited till just after dawn and headed out to the goat paddock to give them breakfast. On opening the door I saw a face, lying on the straw, it was smaller than what I was used to seeing. It took my brain a good few seconds to process that it was a goat, only it was a baby goat!
Then I spotted Grebe, neither of them looked very well, both babies were cold, Grebe had her head up at least. I grabbed both tucked them into my coat. It wasn't a cold morning, just a slight chill in the air, the air inside the shed was warm enough though. I was confused as both babies were clean so mum, I was thinking Heidi who was due, had just not looked after them beyond cleaning them up.
I rushed them into the kitchen putting my coat on top of the aga, putting both babies on top rubbing them both, trying to revive Grebes sister. I think I knew she was dead but I tried anyway. I rushed Grebe back down to the goat shed knowing that she was hungry and she'd obviously not fed. On getting there I noticed that it wasn't Heidi who'd given birth.... It was Hettie, a goat who showed no signs of being pregnant! and she'd developed no udder!!!
I took Grebe back into the house and tried to call Steve, he was on his way home I I knew that our friends nearby milked their goats and they had the highly important colostrum frozen ready for emergencies just like this.
I tried again with Grebes sister, but her eyes had that grey glassed over look and I knew she'd probably died long before I'd got to her. She was bigger than Grebe, highly likely first born, and whilst mum cleaned them she did nothing further, she couldn't she had nothing to feed them with. Grebe was probably only alive as she'd been born later.
Steve arrived home to the words 'We have a problem!' I wish you could have seen his face! He shot straight back out to visit our friends, bursting in during milking time and managed to put the right words together just about. Classic panicked new dad type of situation I think. He came rushing back home and ran over the field confusing the hell out of our neighbours who thought he must be desperate for a brew clutching all those bottles of milk and desperate to have a wee at the pace he was moving!.
We fed Grebe, it took hours to warm her up, but we got there. Our assessment is that a new baby goat cannot sustain both body heat and life without food for very long, they'd been too long since birth, and we suspect that both were premature. We've been bottle feeding Grebe ever since, which has been very hard work.
We then have been expecting others to arrive, proudly stating that Heidi was close...... Apparently not, it took nearly 3 1/2 weeks for her to give birth.
So finally on Friday 7th April we have visitors staying. Steve went to put more hay out and shouted from the goat paddock 'Her waters have broken!'.
I rushed down to the shed to find mum was straining. This is where I say thank you to everyone to posts videos on YouTube!. I had a nose (she was starting to breath) and no feet. That was a problem. Goats should present two feet and their nose tucked nicely between them.
Needless to say she was pushing both out at the same time, and one was reversing out. After some assistance I helped deliver two healthy babies.
One girl named Willow and a smaller boy called Idris. Idris was within 12hours rejected by mum, it happens, not always obvious reasons. He now hangs around with Grebe.
During all this both Steve and I have fought through a viral thing, it gave us a cold, headaches and zapped all our energy. I'm just recovering but still take more breaks than normal.
On another positive note the weather has dried up and our land is drying out, and when I'm fully recovered I'm lining myself up for a whole list of jobs to do.