After last night’s adventure saving Queen Anne’s Lace the Goat from bloat (detailed in a post this morning), it turns out that my suspicions about her engorged udder were correct: she was more than just bloated. She was also majorly pregnant!
I checked on her at lunchtime, and she was in active labor; the first kid’s amniotic sac, with fluid, was hanging out of her rear end. I ran to the house, and the children quickly came out to watch. Homeschooled Farm Girl cleared other goats out of the barn, and then helped me move QAL to the kidding pen. This took some real effort, as we had to time the move to fall between QAL’s increasingly-intense contractions.
Fortunately, we got her secured in time. Homeschooled Farm Girl and Little Brother made themselves comfortable, and we all settled in to watch. A hoof was clearly protruding and visible, and the kid’s head emerged next. Progress then slowed down; QAL struggled and pushed for several minutes, but not much more of the kid came out. HFG fretted that perhaps QAL needed help. My own private worries aside, I assured her that everything looked fine, and we just needed to leave QAL alone.
Sure enough, a few hearty pushes later, the kid emerged the rest of the way. QAL turned around and began licking it off. She looked to have another kid inside her, and we dcould have stayed to watch — but at this point I figured that what the goat needed most was some privacy so she could bond with Kid #1 and ready herself to deliver Kid #2. So, I told our children we needed to head back into the house and return to the books. But I think that the most valuable homeschooling lesson of the day had already taken place, right there in the barn.
I went back out about an hour later; both goat kids had been safely delivered, licked off, and were on their feet learning to nurse. We appear to have one male and one female.
And with three does now having delivered in the last month, we’re about to have a whole bunch of delicious goat milk.