Saturday, March 21, 2009

Layla, you've got me on my knees!

Well, last night Wendell and the kids gave me a birthday party. It was a blast and the weather was perfect. I even enjoyed my birthday song -- which is a first for me! During the party, I kept checking on Layla. Her ligaments had been gone for at least a day and that means she should be trying to kid by now. Everyone would have liked to see the miracle of birth, but fortunately she did not try any pushing. She waited until early morning to get serious about kidding. The reason this was fortunate is that it was quite a messy miracle. Wendell and Erik were working on trying to keep our dog, Luna(tic), in the fence so they were busy fixing her escape routes. I had told them that she was going to need some assistance with this delivery. She had been pushing hard for 20 minutes and nothing was coming. I couldn't wait for them so I cleaned and lubed up and went in to see what was going on. The first thing I felt were two legs. No head was there. I reached in a little farther and I could feel the head but it was turned back. I brought the head into position and then I thought to my self that this is one big head. And, then I thought ... wow, these are big legs, too. On my knees, I held on to those legs and waited for her to push. She pushed, I pulled, and we kind of were going in circles by this time. Fortunately, Aaron came over and positioned himself in front of Layla so she (and I) would quit going in circles. However, this was one very large kid and I had lots of lube on her. I could see the nose trying to come and didn't want to let go and lose the progress that she had made. Wendell and Erik had noticed the little rodeo and came over to help. Wendell had some leather gloves on and took hold of the legs. He had a great grip and we waited for another contraction. After some more struggle, and a small tear, the kid was finally born. It was limp and I handed it off to Wendell to try and stimulate while I made sure no other kid was coming. After checking Layla and finding that she was only carrying one, I went to the house to get her some warm molasses water. She drank it up and I milked her colostrum to feed to the new 11 pound 2 ounce buckling. He is bigger than the kids that are a week old! Layla gave lots of colostrum so I froze the rest for a future emergency. In the meantime, Wendell, Aaron and I had not realized this was Erik's first time watching something like this. I think he was in shock! He did real well. I hope the next kidding goes smoother. For the goat, for me, but especially for Erik :-)