Saturday, April 27, 2013

Penny's Babies

After a long labor Penny finally delivered triplets. When I checked her at 6:30 am she had "lost" her ligaments (which means delivery in 12-24 hours). I kept an eye on her throughout the day and late afternoon I noticed contractions. But, they were not hard contractions. She was still in stage 1 labor. After several hours of this I pulled out my book and read that stage 1 can last up to 36 hours. So, I called it a night and headed inside.

I set my alarm for midnight and got a couple of hours of sleep. When I checked her at midnight she was in stage 2 labor, but nothing actually coming out. I watched her for a little bit and saw what looked like feet of a kid coming out backwards. I wasn't worried because breech is fairly normal for goats. But the feet kept coming out and then would disappear back inside. So I gloved up and checked. I pulled with one of her contractions and got a head to the side of the feet. I figured it was one of two things, either two babies were coming out together or the baby was upside down. With further exploration I found that the baby was upside down and twisted. I nudged the head so that the kid was totally upside down but in a more normal position and then pulled with each contraction.

It took a while, but eventually we got the first buckling. (pictures are from today, 16 hours after delivery)

 I cut the cord and got him cleaned up and to Penny for her to continue to clean.

A few minutes later she started to deliver another, but all I could see was a head. The kid was in the same position as Finley, one front leg straight back and one front leg bent. At least I knew what to do. So I gently pulled the bent leg forward and then slid my hand in and dislodged the shoulder. The next buckling slid out.

After cutting the cord and cleaning him up I gave him to Penny. She was a bit confused, but at least she knew to clean them up.

Before I could change the towels another was born, but she was half the size of either of the boys. Teeny tiny! She came out not moving or breathing. I suctioned her mouth and got her breathing. Cleaned her up and gave her to Penny. 

Here is a picture of the doeling next to her brother (the second born), it really shows the size difference. They are standing directly next to each other.

 All three babies have already been sold. They will stay with Penny until Sunday afternoon to get tanked up on colostrum, then go as bottle babies. The boys are going together. The doeling, who has been named Natasha, will go to a family that has also purchased Clara. I'm glad to see the doeling go as a bottle baby because I think that I would have ended up pulling her and bottle feeding her anyway due to her size.

Kidding season is done for the year here at Hiraeth Farm. I'm sure I will be ready for kids again next year, but for now I'm ready for a break and get down to business learning how to make cheese and yogurt!


After a very long labor, Penny had triplets. 2 boys, 1 girl. At about 12:45 am. It was rough and I had to pull both boys. 

They are now doing great and Penny is learning how to be a mom.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

T - 5 Days

Well we are getting closer. Penny is due this coming Wednesday and is getting HUGE. Pictures don't really show how big she is. Poor thing. She has dropped, well, as dropped as she can get being soooo big, her udder is developing, and her ligaments are starting to get squishy. She is on track for a mid week kidding. We will see if she delivers on time.

The babies are moving inside, but they are smaller than the movement I felt with Felicity. That makes me think that there are more. I'm still guessing 3 or 4. I already have homes for 3 of them, so hopefully she gives us at least that many!

Some updated photos of the girls...



 Clara, who is sold and will go home with one of Penny's babies. She is super sweet and I've enjoyed having her around. I am going to try to find a slightly bigger goat with a higher production. Plus, it really helps with the weaning to be able to completely separate her from Pippa.

Monday, April 1, 2013


We have had several busy weeks around here. Spring is certainly more work on a farm!

Our seedlings are started in the greenhouse.

For the last 3 or 4 years we have done a CSA through a local farm. This year we are going to try to grow most of our veggies. I'm anticipating that we will have a fairly steep learning curve this summer and I may have to go back to the CSA farm for some things.

Goats, goats everywhere! The boys are getting big. They are 7 weeks old this week and doing great. And, acting like the bucks that they are. Oh. My. Word. I have a sneaking suspicion that, since we have goats, I won't have to have "the talk" with my kids.

I am currently locking the babies into a large dog kennel located in the shed at night so I can milk in the mornings. I like that solution because they can still be in the shed with their moms, but they can't nurse. I milk both Felicity and Clara each morning and then let the babies nurse all day. It seems to work well.

The boys have names!

Snuggle has been registered as Hiraeth Farm Rorschach (as in the inkblot test). His new family will be calling him Rory.

Trouble has been registered as Hiraeth Farm Mischief Managed. It seems to fit him.

We have decided for the time being to retain Pippa, but Kate went to be with her new family as a bottle baby. She is doing well with her new family and is being raised with a pygmy doeling. She too has gotten a new name. She will be registered as Blackberry Acres Delilah. Since she was not born here to a doe that I owned, she will have the farm name of the place that I bought her from. Pippa continues to become sweeter and sweeter (and cuter). Meradith schleps her around and snuggles her.

Penny is getting huge. We have made the tough decision to sell her after she kids (most likely - how's that for decisive). We decided on that because it makes more sense for us to have registered stock. We can get more for the kids and upkeep costs the same. Though, there is still room to change my mind if she is an awesome milker. Time will tell. I have been feeding her on the milking stand to get her prepared. She in turn has learned how to sit like a dog. I am slowly winning, though.

Here she is in all her pregnancy stink-eye glory. She does NOT enjoy being pregnant, and she lets me know often. I hope the sweet Penny comes back after kidding. 3 weeks and counting.

What is next on the crazy farming list of projects?

Here it is...

More info to come soon.