It has been over seven years since this has happened to us, so I guess we were due. Ah, first time kidders. Donít you love them? You never know what stunt they might pull. They may be as perfect as an old doe who has kidded many times or just plain ignorant about everything that is happening during and after kidding.
Muffinette started out a treat, a real treat. She calmly went through the pains of kidding and when the kids arrive, she thought them totally wonderful. The most glorious things she had ever seen. She couldnít get enough of them.
She never thought a thing about licking and cleaning the slimy little things. And, she had three wonderful slimy little things to lick. Oh, how she talked to them. Telling them that they were fine big boys. The best looking boys any goat has ever produced, and that they were all hers. How wonderful, how ecstatic, how fantastically wonderful, well, you get my drift. She dearly loved them.
Then, when they got up to nurse and those cold, wet, slimy little bodies crawled under her for a good slurp of colostrum ÖÖ Well, I didnít know if I was going to be able to peel her down from out of the barn rafters.
Some first timers arenít sure what is happening when their kids want to go and nurse, but with a little bit of encouragement and holding them steady so they canít keep walking away or keep stepping on the babies heads, you get them over. Then there are the others.
Rosebud was our first experience of a first timer who was quite adamant that she was not going to have those cold slimy things near her udder. It took Lee and I both to hold her still to let her two daughters nurse. She wanted nothing to do with this part of kid raising. So, every two hours you found Lee and I holding Rosebud still so the kids could nurse. By the end of the day she had partially learned that this was one of her responsibilities in being a parent, feeding her young, and she would stand still if one person got a firm grip on her collar. Eventually it became a simple laying a hand on her head and she would hold still.
And, you always knew when it was time to go feed her kids because they would stand there and yell up a storm for someone to come and help hold their mommy down so they could eat. Youíd walk into the stall and there would be two little cute girls, with their mommy cornered, standing back screaming bloody murder at her.
Rosebud always had this frantic look to her that these little short copies of goats could actually keep her in a corner. As soon as I walked into the stall, she would bolt to me for help and as soon as I put a hand on her collar or on her head, she stopped and held still for the kids to nurse. So, several times a day you heard quite a racket, saw me go in a stall where a mother goat ran frantically to me with two kids in tow, and me just simply laying a hand on her head and she became instantly calm and the kids would nurse. Weird, but it worked. After a week, the little family cut out the middle man (me) and Rosebud cared for her own kids. The next kidding, Rosebud was a perfect mother, with no problems about letting the little ones nurse.
So, here we now have Muffinette, needing two pairs of strong steady hands to hold her still. When she attempted to step on a kidís head for trying to nurse, one of us would have a hand on the opposite hip and push her slightly to force her to stand on that leg she was wanting to lift and step on a kidís head.
We werenít able to let both kids nurse at the same time, but took them one at a time. Now, we did make the mistake of using one teat that day. So, when Muffinette was allowing the boys to nurse all on their own, without our help, she only allowed them to use that one teat. *Sigh* That was our fault. So back we went to training her to allow either teat to be used. And, the training sessions werenít over. Next, was to allow both boys to nurse at the same time. It took all of a day and a half to work out all the little kinks involved with nursing for Muffinette, so she wasnít near as bad as Rosebud who took a week.
Ah, first time kidders, donít you just love them? Oh, and donít forget to keep a ladder handy in case you have to peel one down out of the barn rafters.