As I was walking through the barnyard the other day, one of our bred does, went, “Bub-bub-bub.” I stopped, surprised, and asked her, “Did you just say, ‘Bub-bub-bub? She ignored me and went on saying, “Bub-bub-bub” some more.
There are many ways a doe will let you know that it’s their time to kid. One of ways is talking to themselves. I’ve even had a couple to actually turn their head and look at their stomach and talk to the kids inside right before they kidded. Most the time the talkers just look up in the air or stare at the wall and talk. Sometimes it’s a low continuous talk and sometimes it’s a regular monotonous holler that can last an hour or all day. One girl didn’t talk, she just ground her teeth. Drove me to distraction. It was like listening to someone raking their nails across the chalkboard. It’s a wonder she had a tooth in her head after she kidded.
Now what exactly the talkers are saying, I don’t know. It could be, “Oh, my, that doesn’t feel good at all” or “Owwwwwww, ow, owwww, ow.” Something of that nature. But, when they are due and they start talking to themselves, then watch out. Sometime soon, they are going to kid.
But, this doe wasn’t due for another month. I looked at her behind and there was stringy stuff starting to appear. Oh My. Lee and I hurriedly got her into her kidding stall. Sure, there are run-in sheds in the barnyard for the heavily expecting girls to wait until it’s time to go into the kidding stalls. But, it was twenty degrees and it was sleeting and snowing and I wasn’t going to take a chance.
After putting her in the stall, I went to the house to check my records. I write down in a notebook when girls are put in with the buck, when taken out, and when I see them get bred, if I see them get bred, and when it is just a good educated guess. Then I go and mark it down on a calendar that we walk by every day so we can see who is due shots & worming, when 145 days hits, when 150 days hits, etc. That way I’ll know what girls need what done to them before the big event of kidding.
Low and behold, I had the notebook wrote down that she was due now, but the calendar had it down a month from now! I had copied it wrong on the calendar! I checked to see what other girls had been with her at the time with the buck, and one other had been in heat the same day. Lee and I hurried and put that girl into a kidding stall too, even though she wasn’t talking to anyone yet.
It was the first time I ever heard a doe say “Bub-bub-bub.” Usually it’s little goat talk or plain ol’ hollering, like “I’m hurting here! Doesn’t anyone care? What’s going on?” But, Sugar was definitely saying, “Bub-bub-bub,” muttering to herself, probably saying, “That darn ol’ Connie has forgot about me. I’m suppose to be in a luxury stall with my own water, my own hay, my own grain, and not having all these other irritating girls bugging me. And, all I got is a barnyard, twenty degrees, snow and sleet, and no place to call my own to rest my weary really big body. That darn ol’ Connie. Bub-bub-bub”.
So, she really had good reason to be muttering around. Forty minutes later she kidded out three big kids, one big boy and two girls. The boy got named “Bub”. What about the other girl that was put in the stall, Sugar’s pal that had been in the buck pen with her?
Early the next morning, right after breakfast, Boo kidded out three girls. She never said a word. Kept it all to herself. I just happened to come back in to give her fresh water when she popped the first one out, while standing, on its head. What a way to come into the world, but it sure breaks them out of the sack fast and no one suffocates or drowns that way. Just possibly a major headache for the kid for a while.
I’m always thankful to have a talker in my pregnant does. They give you fair warning that something eventful is about to happen, even if they just say, “Bub-bub-bub.”