Sitting in the barn on my favorite bucket at 5:30 a.m. with the temperature at 8 degrees
Fahrenheit outside and Iím sure much colder inside. Iím waiting for a doe to kid and I start
thinking about all the different does Iíve known and how some kidded in very special ways.
Basically, Iím trying to keep my mind off of my feet, that I have lost the feeling to a half
hour ago, and wondering what the doctor is going to say about my frostbit behind. I let my
mind wonder over some of my most impressive kidders in the past, trying to forget the cold
of the now.
The first one that comes to mind is Trigger, a big, rawboned, blonde Nubian doe. I was
trying to breed for a meatier meat goat before I ever heard of the Boer or the Kiko. Trigger
was big and husky. From her first kid on, she was a true professional kidder. I sat with her
during her first time and watched her as she carefully placed herself under the hay feeder.
In between contractions and moans, she stops and revives herself with a bite of hay and
would thoughtfully chew it before the next pain hit. After the first kid half appeared, she
lifted her leg, reached back, and carefully broke the bag and cleaned the kidís face. When
that was done, she gave a mighty push and got him out, cleaned him up while lying there,
and then started the push for the next one. She never lost a kid with her method.
Then there was Daisy, a black, big-boned, Nubian doe. I had to watch this tough nut. She
would lay down, efficiently pop one out, jump up, clean the kid, and then start pawing the
kid, saying, "Up and at um, son. Time to eat. Right now!" And umbilical cords really
bugged her. If they were too long, she would worry and worry over them, picking the kid
up by his cord. I learned quickly to grab scissors and snip the cord close so she would
ignore it. Back when people were saying to use a specially prepared string to tie the cord
off and use sanitized scissors to cut it, I was quickly shredding it with fingernails or
snatching up a pair of barn scissors to quickly cut the cord before Daisy noticed it. I figured
dipping the cord in iodine afterwards, what did it matter what you cut it with. It sure saved
a lot of Daisyís kids from getting belly button hernias the way I did it.
Then there was Sally, a big Angora doe. She had a set of horns on her that was most
impressive. Thank goodness she didnít mind me hanging around while she kidded. I never
knew the age of this old doe, but she never let age slow her down. She was boss and
everyone knew it and she definitely knew how to kid.
She would efficiently have her kid, clean him up, and then with her nose, push the kid back
to a teat and then squat so the teat could reach the kidís mouth. I watched her year after
year do this. She lined that kid up, pushed him back under her and never missed her aim,
had a teat in his mouth before he knew what was going on. She was the best.
She was also super protective over her kids. Once, in mid labor, she stopped and stood up
and solemnly eyed something on the wall. She focused on it so intently I started getting
nervous. Was she going loco? Should I be getting out of here? Then I spotted it. A spider
slowly climbing down the wall. When it got within range, she whacked it with her horns,
and then settled down to finish kidding. Lord help the spider that happened along after the
Then thereís some of the first timers who either start out as professionals or act like a
goose, blinking their eyes and itís a whole new world. I was sitting in a stall with one young
girl and she started hollering like something was eating her. She hurried over to me, laid her
head in my lap, looked in my eyes, and yelled all through labor, standing there dropping the
kids on their heads. Then she would turn around in complete surprise and ask where did
that come from?
One Angora, that we named Runt, complained bitterly about kidding and when I put her
new kid under her nose to clean up and bond with, she said, "You want me to do what?
Lick this slimy mess? Youíve got to be kidding!" From then on I had to clean the kids up
and then she would allow it to nurse.
We were down at the barn working this year and Lee heard a doe screaming up at the ridge
barn and he hurried up to see what was going on. A young doe was running around her
kidding stall with a kidís head sticking out of her. She was doing speed circles, whacking
the kidís head on corners, and screaming, "Iíve got an alien being in me!" Lee stopped her,
calmed her down, and started easing the kid out. She felt that and shot forwards, collapsing
in the corner. The kid popped out of there like a cork in a bottle. When she saw it was a
kid, she said, "Oh, is that all it was. Baby, my baby." And, with great dignity, kidded his
Then there wasÖÖ..Ooops. The action is starting on this girl, a head and one foot has just
appeared. Wonder if sheíll be a memorable kidder?