Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Crash Course in Goat Midwifery

Chardy had her babies today! We have a boy and a girl, both healthy and spunky.

I had a feeling this morning when we did critter patrol that today was going to be that day. Chardy was very vocal, which she is not normally. She was MEEEHHing at me the whole time I was with her, and switched into MEHHH hyperdrive as I walked away from the pen. I debated about whether or not to walk back down there and sit with her for a bit, but I had planned a morning walk with my friend, and didn't want to ditch her for a baby that may or may not be happening. So I went on my walk, but I thought about my goatie girl and worried a little that I might have up and left her when she needed my comfort most. Mommy guilt to the bazillionth degree!

I hustled home from my walk, and even before I went down to the pen to check on her, just had the feeling that this was really it. So I brought my camera, my cell phone and a bath towel just in case. It was a good thing I did.

I found Chardy shifting around in the goat house, pawing at the straw. I looked her over and saw that her udder was now SUPER full, and that she had passed her mucus plug. It was go time.

She plopped down in the goat house, and I pulled up a little folding stool that I use when I'm visiting and brushing the goats. I had a ringside seat!

Thankfully having brought my cell phone with me, I started texting everybody The babies are coming! My friend and her daughter were able to make it down just in time to see baby #2 pop out. :) What a beautiful and educational experience! I only wish my girlies had been home to see it. Luckily, I have a bit of video and a few pictures of the blessed event. The video of Chardy's various stages of labor and birth are rather intermittent, as my camera batteries died right in the middle of it all and I was naturally more concerned about being able to support Chardy and the babes that I was with being a stellar documentarian. If you are curious and not particularly squeamish, check out the videos below. ;)

What a contracting goat looks like.

Her first bag of waters.

Baby Boy, just delivered.

And hot on his heels (and back), Little Girl.

Checking out her wee ones. :)

Chardy is doing great. She dealt with labor like a champ, barely making a sound as she delivered her beautiful babies. She is presently snuggled up with them and eating like a horse. I wonder if she wasn't able to eat to her fill before because her abdomen was so full of babies, because she's eaten more than a full day's worth of hay, grain and apples since just noon today. And as if she weren't spoiled rotten before, now she's getting room service so that she doesn't have to fight Blue and Fritzen for every last bite.

She passed her placenta within 2 hours of delivering, and has had minimal bleeding and discharge since, which eases my mind more than I can tell you. It sucks to fret over something that you're powerless to do anything about, so I am thanking my lucky stars that nature and instinct have seen Char and her kids through the danger of birth safely.

Everybody's looking good, but just for peace of mind, we've decided to check on them all every few hours throughout the night to ensure that no one gets too cold or wanders away from Mama. Imagine trying to mother twins who could both walk within 20 minutes of being born! No thanks!

So we've safeguarded everybody as best we can, but still, every little peep and strange sound from the vicinity of the yard makes my heart skip a beat. Fear of loss and the joy of providence are two sides of the same coin. I don't know if I'll be sleeping worth a darn for a while yet, 'til I can convince myself that they will thrive and be with us for many happy years to come.


  1. COngratultions Goat Granny :) How exciting!!! The videos were awesome, thanks for sharing Chardy & the babes with us :)

  2. I didn't think they would be that big when first born. Love the tail wiggles as the try to move around. Perfect