Goats have personalities. That’s the plain and simple truth. In the middle of our kidding season with anywhere from 30-40 does in separate kidding stalls, you get to see quite a variety of personalities. You have the demanding does, the polite does, the I’ll be polite only just so long does, the screamers when they run out of hay, the screamers when they kid (I like those, at least you know when they are kidding), and the list goes on.
Mz Temper was a new personality for me, a Drama Queen. Mz Temper was born an impatient baby. When her mommy was trying to kid her sister, she stood in front of her mother and stomped her little foot and had a fit that her mother would not stand up to let her nurse. A very precocious kid.
Now, she was big with kid, in a kidding stall and living it up. I was there to feed her, water her, and pet her whenever she wanted. This was more like it, to her way of thinking. She was also the type that you knew immediately when she was thinking about kidding. She started talking.
Oh, goodness, I don’t mean human speech, just goat talk. It wasn’t loud or raucous, just calm goat talk, like “Hmmm, I feel a mite uncomfortable. Wonder why?” Or, “Gee, was that a slight pain? I really don’t think this is feels good at all.”
A lot of our goats do talk before they kid. Once they start talking, it can take anywhere from an hour to several hours before they actually kid. You never know, but at least you know you are somewhere in the ballpark that they are about to kid. Some even turn their heads around and talk to their bellies, as if talking to their kids.
Mz Temper was just standing in the corner and discussing things with herself. Since I had been up all night with some other does kidding and hadn’t had any sleep, and the thought of walking up and down that hill from the barn to the house to keep checking on her was more than I could bear, I opted to get my favorite bucket and just go sit in her stall and doze until she became more serious about kidding.
When I came tiredly into her stall with my kidding bucket, my sitting bucket, and my supply of low carb bars and a diet Pepsi in case I got peckish and needed a snack, Mz Temper was thrilled to death. She had an audience. She immediately came over to tell me all about what had been happening until I had finally made it to her stall.
I got settled in with all my things and got comfortable on my bucket and Mz Temper went back to her corner to continue talking, giving me a running commentary on exactly what was going on and what she was feeling at that moment. I found myself nodding off, trying to catch a little cat nap before the big event, when something jarred me awake.
There stood Mz Temper, snuffling softly on my face, making sure I was awake. After all, she wanted someone alert to appreciate what she was going through. When she saw I was awake, she went back to her corner to continue talking. Of course, she could have come over to make sure I hadn’t died on her. That would be too much of an embarrassment for her trying to explain that it was really the fall from the bucket was what killed me, not her constant droning on and on and on.
My face got snuffled on quite a bit as I repeatedly tried to doze off. Mz Temper was not having any of that sleep stuff on her watch. I was to be ready immediately, if she needed me.
After two hours I decided to make the rounds and check on the other girls. Usually the girls are use to me or Lee in or near their stall when they kid, but every now and then you have one who takes advantage of a situation and quietly kids while we are busy with someone else. They don’t want two busy bodies around when they have something important to do and if it wasn’t for their newly born kid hollering, we wouldn’t even know they had kidded. So, off I went to see what everyone else was doing in the barn.
As I started to leave Mz Temper’s stall, she turned frantically and hollered to me, like, “Where you going? You leaving me now? I still need you!” I told her I’d be back in a minute. She kept hollering to me while I checked out the barn and would not settle down until I was back in her stall and sitting on my bucket.
Then she started kidding. She whooped and bellowed and carried on something dreadful and then easily kidded out two beautiful kids. The easiest kidding I’d ever seen, but don’t tell Mz Temper. She would have gone on and on and on how dreadfully hard she’d had it.
Then, when her kids were before her, she still couldn’t quit talking. Such bragging on her own kids I’ve never heard the likes. Once again, on and on she went on their beauty. Even when she had them thoroughly cleaned, fed, and bedded down, she went on and on. There was no kid as magnificent as her kids, she told the world. In fact, she went on so much that an hour later we got concerned that just maybe she had a third kid in there that couldn’t come and she was still talking to it.
I got hold of her, Lee gloved up and went in to check her out. No kid lurking around inside, unable to get out. Whew! We just had a major Drama Queen on our hands who had got herself checked from all her carrying on.
A couple of days later another doe started kidding. She was a quiet, polite, unassuming doe who never said a word until the final push came, and then she started bellowing. I heard another doe bellowing too. Another doe was kidding! Wait. That couldn’t be, this was the last one. You guessed it. It was Mz Temper yelling every time the doe yelled, echoing her exactly as someone who was kidding. Good Grief. Once a Drama Queen, always a Drama Queen.