Monday, March 4, 2013

Surprise - It's a baby!

Yesterday morning, we were surprised with another baby girl. Surprised because we weren't even sure Miss Frankie Blue was let me step back a minute and explain...When we got Chip (the goat man-whore) - his job was to get Mabel and Flora pregnant; however, since we are such small potatoes here, we weren't sure how to keep the dairy goats separated from the angoras - so we just...let it happen. They co-existed and we thought, hey, if we get babies, great, if not, fine.
Last weekend when Josh was here, he couldn't tell if the angoras were pregnant or not, they are full of hair and it's tough to figure them out. So when Mark and I woke up yesterday, we asked if anyone had checked on the Mabel's babies or to see if Flora had any - Drake offered to check and then came running back in yelling that Itty had had a baby! We threw on our coats and hats and went running out to the barn. All of us we a ball of confusion out there...I mean...there was this tiny, cream colored baby, in the pen with two goats that we didn't know were pregnant and there were zero signs of delivery - where was the placenta? where was the blood and goo that comes along with something like this? With a little sleuthing - and a little hay moving around, we located the buried placenta and saw a bit of blood that was on a low part of the side wall. Ok, so we had the correct pen - but who is the Mama? Neither one of their whohas looked like it just gave birth - Mabel was (and still kinda is) a mess and these girls were acting and looking like nothing had even happened. Finally, I saw some gunk matted in Frankie's fiber (so it wasn't Itty's after all). So we had a baby, some gunk and a Mama WHEW (Sherlock Holmes, watch out!) - then, Frankie came over and started "talking" to her baby, ah ha! We were right.
Even though Frankie was being attentive with her baby, keeping her clean etc. she wasn't getting the whole nursing thing. I want to make sure that the baby is nursing and doing well before we just assume that everything is ok. Frankie, unfortunately, was just not getting it. Every time the baby would go toward her hind end, Frankie would get nervous and try to run away from the baby, sometimes stepping on her in the process. UGH. We held Frankie against the wall and got the baby to latch on for just a moment. Apparently the baby didn't know what she was doing either. So, we let them be for just an hour or so and figured that we'd check on them later (giving them time to try to figure things out on their own). An hour later, we went back to check and the baby was really cold - shivering over in the corner, by herself...Grr. So again, we pinned Frankie down, this time, on her side - hoping that would help things along...the baby nursed for just a bit and again - lost the latch and let go. She was seeming lethargic a bit and I decided that something just wasn't right. We brought her in the house and took her temp - it was only 93 degrees...a goat is typically around 102-105...Critical time. So we gave the baby a dose of black coffee mixed with karo syrup. We wrapped her in a plastic bag, up to her neck, and dunked her in 105 degree water, used a blow dryer on her for a bit, set her on a heating pad, tucked in with an electric blanket and finally were able to bring her temp up to 100 and some change. We saw some energy come back into her little body. After a bit, we decided to try and get her back with Frankie and try her back outside - We got her to latch a bit, Frankie seemed excited to see her and cleaned her off - but yet, when we weren't assisting, Frankie just didn't want to do the whole nursing thing. Frustrating. We left the baby in there anyway - hoping that they would just figure it out.
Josh came out to help us out and give the babies a once over. When we went back into the barn, it was obvious that the baby wasn't doing well again. I scooped her up and brought her back inside - we got her a dose of Vitamins B and E, milked Mabel and got some of her milk into the baby and put her back in her warmer area (with heating pads and electric blanket). By bedtime, she seemed to get some of her spunk back. We put her in Blue's cage for the night, we towels fresh from the dryer, the heating pad and a blanket. She ended up sleeping really well...until 6 or so in the morning. We had leftover milk from Mabel from the night before, so I was able to get between 3-4 ounces of milk in her. Her temps seemed to have maintained and now she is a spunky little thing, wandering around my living room...baaaaaing. I'm hoping to get her back out to Mama Frankie in the barn in just a few more sips of coffee (for me, not her). I'll let you know how it goes.
For now are pictures and videos of our "Sweet Pea"...

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