This was our first birthing of baby goats. I read every blog post and expert opinion on what to have available at birth!
We were SO prepared!
But naturally, true to the doe code, when Petunia went into labor, it was a day I was working. My boss frowns upon people calling in with pet or livestock concerns, so I got everything set up and ready, then had to go. Luckily Emma had watched many birthing videos with me, and we had good friends who were willing to come over to be the more experienced birth coaches.
But as it turned out, Petunia didn't really need us. As a first freshener, you never really know what to expect. I white knuckled it through my work day, and snuck off every hour for updates. According to all the attendants, Petunia was doing well, but it is hard not to be there in person! Finally, it was time for me to go home, and right as I was getting ready to leave, I got the message! "She's starting to push!" I got home as fast as I could, but by the time I got there, she had delivered all three with minimal assistance! She had a girl and then a boy, then when everyone thought she was done, Emma said, "I think I see feet!" Sure enough, Petunia had one more little girl, giving us a lovely set of triplets.
She got right to work cleaning them up, but she licked their little backs clean over and over without cleaning and drying the rest of their bodies. With the cold air and their big ears giving large blood vessel exposure to the air, they chilled quickly.
When I noticed that one of them was starting to seem less active, and I put my fingers in her mouth and the inside of her mouth felt cool, I knew we had a problem. We got extra towels and the blow dryer, and then one by one we blow dried the babies the rest of the way off. After that they were spunky again.
They all started to try for the udder. Instinct is pretty stinkin amazing! Petunia was so intent on licking them, that every time they would move from under her nose to try to get to the udder, she would move so that she could lick them again. Finally by holding her in place, the babies were able to find their way to her udder to nurse. Once we were sure everyone was dry and we witnessed all the babies had eaten well, we felt comfortable leaving them. I got up twice in the night to check them and make sure everyone was staying warm and getting colostrum. They all did awesome!
It was a great first birth experience!