Yesterday afternoon when I went out to feed the goats, I noticed that Dolly was talking…a lot. It was also her due date, so I figured she’d have her kids that evening.
I was a bit surprised when she went to the Back Forty with the other goats after they finished their grain, but a couple of the other girls have come back from pasture early when they were going to kid. I didn’t figure it was that big of a deal.
Still, after a little while, I went down to check on her. She was highly agitated and talking even more. Now when Dolly talks, it has a certain Nubian quality to it~loud. On many occasions I have been in the house with the windows shut and heard the raucous call of a goat with its head stuck and being ripped off only to rush out and find Dolly calming calling her kids to come nurse. Yep, it’s that loud and obnoxious. I knew she wanted to go to the barnyard. She’d take a few steps towards it, get a bite to eat, and then turn and rush back to her maa, Lily, and start yelling right in her ear, “Maa, come with me! I need you to hold my hoof while I have my kids.”
It doesn’t matter how old a girl is, she’s never too old to want her maa when she’s nervous and about to give birth. Lily ignored her. I mean, she didn’t even flinch in pain with Dolly yelling right in her ear! Finally, when Dolly was near frantic with wanting to go to the barnyard but not quite willing to leave her maa, I took pity on her. I loudly called, “Come on girls! Let’s show Dolly some goaty love and support! It’s time to go to the barnyard!” To my amazement, Lily started towards me with the very anxious Dolly. Soon a couple more moved towards me and then the entire herd was coming.
I kept calling and encouraging them as we walked the goat train up the hill and along the fence back towards the barnyard. We had almost reached the crest of the last hill before the lane when Lily stopped suddenly, looked around and turned back in the direction from which we had just come.
Dolly, screaming at the top of her lungs followed, and soon every goat had turned tail. Finally, I caught up to Dolly and told her that even if her maa wasn’t going to come, I’d be there to hold her hoof. Then I
calmly led half drug her kicking and screaming back to the barnyard and immediately locked her in a pen so she couldn’t go looking for her maa again.
Then we waited. and waited.
and waited some more.
Of course it wasn’t a quiet wait. She continued talking, although she did switch to her indoor voice, and snorting and looking very anxious. I have to admit, this did worry me because Dolly isn’t usually a drama queen about having kids. Still, we comforted and told her we were there to help and she finally got down to serious business. Then the contractions kind of stalled out and I figured I should check what was going on. She was really good for me to check, but was not thrilled with me trying to get those two legs pulled out and headed in the right direction. Another contraction did nothing. I went back in and tried to help stretch her out so the baby’s head would fit through. No luck. I tried pulling. No luck. That kid was wedged in there as tight as could be. Of course, every time I tried pulling the kid out, she’d step back. I can’t blame her because I’m sure it does hurt to have someone pulling on the kid wedged in your birth canal. Still, we had to get it out. My son wasn’t answering the phone to come hold her for me. The vet was on her way, but by the time she could get there, it would probably be too late for the baby to make it. Once they get that far into the birth canal with the bag broken, they don’t have a lot of time before they need to come out. As a last ditch effort before I just stood around praying and waiting for the vet, I tied a leash to a pole in the barn and hooked her collar to it. Then I pulled. She kept backing up until she got to the end of the lead. Then I pulled, and I pulled a bit harder, and then I pulled as hard as I could, and with a giant gasp, the kid came tumbling onto my lap as I fell to my butt and Dolly suddenly lurched forward. He had arrived!
It was just a few more minutes before she gave birth to her little doe in her normal calm and capable manner.
The vet arrived and checked to make sure I hadn’t torn half of her insides out with the baby, but all was good, and the drama had ended.
Finally, her coward of a mother poked her head into the barn just to make sure that everyone was safe.
Thanks Lily for all the help.