When we got Cindy the Solo Doe back in early April, she was already pregnant. We were told to expect her to kid the first week in June. Goats can be like clockwork when it comes to kidding. If you know the exact date of conception, you can safely assume the kid(s) will be born 150 days later, give or take a few days either way. Because we don’t know when Cindy got knocked up, we have to simply wait and see.
Tom Petty was totally right. The waiting IS the hardest part.
Cindy has looked big and pregnant and uncomfortable for several weeks now. She’s been waddling around looking like all she’s missing is a floral mumu. She has been alternately pleasant and aggressive, without any indication to us what is governing the mood of the moment. The other night, I was walking with her and brushing her and all was right with the world. Within a second, she reared back and came at me in Full Speed Ramming mode. We “wrestled” for almost ten minutes before I managed to get her back into her fenced area and breathe a sigh of relief. I am anxiously awaiting the “affectionate phase” goats are known for just prior to birthing.
Yesterday, we were walking her from her grassy field back to her shed and Dave noticed that her mucous plug had started to come out. This is usually the first sign that the kidding process has begun. The problem is that there is no definitive (or even common) rule for how soon after the plug appears, birth begins. So, now my anxiety is just a little more acute.
In this less-than-flattering angle of Cindy, you can also get a good look at how large her udders have become. From everything we’ve read and learned, she’s got great udders (“hey baby, nice udders”) and should have no issues with her kids latching on.
That being said, we have also read enough to know that problems do arise from time to time and the remote possibilities exist that a) she will need assistance during the birth or b) she may reject one of her kids and that baby will need to be bottle fed. Prepping for either or both of those eventualities is stressful, to say the least. Having never done this before, we obviously are crossing our fingers and toes and eyes* that we will walk down to check on her only to find her sitting there with two healthy baby goats nursing efficiently at her teats.
Today has been a day of waiting and hoping the birth will come before the deluge predicted by the National Weather Service for tonight. We are forecast to receive up to two inches of rain and, while Cindy’s shed is water tight, it just seems like less-than-ideal circumstances under which to be birthing. I wish for her a sunny day with dry hay and easy babies.
In the meantime, we’ve been peeking in on her every hour or so and she invariably just looks like this:
At least someone around here is calm and restful.
*Please feel free to cross your own body parts in solidarity.