At long last, Barbara finally had her kids. Anne told me during morning chores that she thinks Barbara is either in labor or else her tail is broken. I checked her myself. Her tail was surprisingly floppy, and her stomach had noticeably sunken in. I decided that she must be in labor.
We staked her just outside the front porch so we could keep an eye on her. She wasn’t making any noise, and she was still eating grass, so I figured it would be a late night. The corn up at Lamar’s garden needed to be harvested, so we began on that.
Steph went up to pick some while I oversaw chores and cleanup. She came down red-faced with a wheelbarrow of corn from only two rows. We all went up with her after that. She and the girls kept picking while I hauled wheelbarrows down. We stopped with five wheelbarrows. There are still three more rows to pick. We’re thinking to leave those standing to dry, as the neighbors are recommending.
We all needed a break for lunch. We were ravenous. Steph went in to make lunch while the children worked on husking. I was overseeing Merry, the buck.
I’ve been feeling concerned about a few of the does that are not fattening up. It was seeming like they must not be pregnant, but they weren’t coming into heat, either. Had they come into heat, I wasn’t sure our six-month old buck would be much help. So I decided we should pray about it as a family. Tuesday morning we asked God to please bring any does into heat that needed bred and to help Merry do his work because we cannot buy an older buck.
Maybe that seems like an odd thing to pray about, but these goats are our only hope of income at this point. It was a bit surprising to see Merry chasing a couple of the does already Tuesday afternoon. By yesterday, both Doris and Hazel were in standing heat. Merry was just too short for Doris, but with backing her up to the bank in the front yard, we managed.
I felt blessed that God answered our family prayer so quickly. It isn’t always that way. This was special. These does haven’t shown any signs of anything for months. The very day we prayed, things changed. God is kind.
We sat down to a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Thank you, dear friends from the States! Suddenly, Steph shouted a string of unintelligible syllables. It was something like, “Honey! You need to! Oh, look! Doris!” All the children went into an uproar. I calmed everyone down before dashing outside.
There on the ground lay a kid, still in the sac. I quickly pulled the goop off its nose and called for a rag, which magically appeared. I wiped the mucus away, and the kid began breathing. I had barely finished when Barbara lay down to push out another kid.
I knew from experience that the feet presented a breach. I quickly pulled the kid and held it upside down while wiping the mucus away. Handling breached kids is far easier than breached calves! In a moment, the kid was breathing clearly.
That was an exciting five minutes. Barbara took to the kids right away, which I was relieved about. She had almost no colostrum, so I thawed out a little from Estrella (I’m glad I saved it!) and fed both kids. They didn’t like that.
The first kid born was a doeling, the second a buckling. Both have blue eyes, which I’m partial to in goats. I think they may both be naturally polled (hornless). Barbara doesn’t have horns, either. I’m planning to keep both kids, Lord willing.
I have adopted out the two kids to a couple of my Patrons. These people have chosen to give their dollars to help us make ends meets. We’re very grateful for their help.
We named the doeling Pauline in honor of Patron James M. We adopted out the buckling to Patron Glenda who asked us to name him; we are calling him Bilbo. We made one other recent adoption to Patron Ruth H; she has claimed Mildred as her sponsor goat. Thanks to each of our Patron supporters! You’re making life here more feasible.
And thanks to each of you readers who support us through messages of encouragement and through your prayers. We couldn’t do this alone.
We didn’t finish the corn. That will be part of today’s work.
I have a Patreon page.