Marble Creek Acres

Craft wine & tasting room, farm store, and quality Kiko goats!!!

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Trust Your Gut! by Amelia

The first set

It’s been 24 hours now since our second kidding season kicked off. And if we’ve learned anything, it’s this; if you have a gut feeling, follow it. Yesterday morning, March 14, 2018, around 10:00 AM, we saw Kona, one of our pregnant does acting a little like it might have been time to deliver. She was scratching at the ground, looking like she was trying to make a nest area. We went outside and got her all set up in her own pen, but then decided to let her out because she wasn’t showing any other signs. We have heard that goats are generally very mouthy when they are ready to kid, however, Kona showed nothing of the sorts. So, she went about her business, and we went about ours.

I forgot to mention; March 14, 2018, we experienced a major snow storm, dropping almost two feet of snow. We lost power early in the morning, but eventually it came back on. While the power was off, however, our cameras, which run off the WiFi, were also down. So, while the power was out, we went out several times to make sure Kona hadn’t had her kids; she hadn’t yet. Later, the power went out again. I tried for probably 15 minutes to get on the camera just to check things out. I still couldn’t get it on, so I decided to head outside just to make sure everything was okay.

As I was on my way up the path to the goat barn, probably about halfway there, I heard a strange noise; kind of like a whining noise. I didn’t really think anything of it, so I just kept walking. Then, I heard it again. I finally realized what it was, or what I thought it to be: a baby goat! So, I raced out to the barn; sure enough, Kona had two tiny kids hobbling around at her feet in the open pen!

I was so excited! Thankfully, I had remembered to bring out my phone, so I ripped it out of my pocket and called up my dad. As soon as he answered I said, “You need to get out here right now! Kona had her babies!” In reply, he said, “Nuh uh!” He really didn’t believe me! I had been joking for weeks every time we went out there that the babies had been born. Inevitably, he didn’t believe me when it was the real deal! Eventually, I got him out there. He had actually seen me rip my phone out of my pocket as he watched from a bedroom window on our second floor; that’s what convinced him this was the real deal.

He arrived outside and we immediately got to work. One of the babies seemed very strong, while the other seemed a little wobbly on his feet. Unfortunately, none of us saw the births, but I believe the stronger one was born first, as it was also a little dryer. We took both kids into Kona’s stall and I began drying both of them. We had a hard time getting Kona to come into the stall while I was in there. We’ve had Kona now for about two years and she still is very timid around people. She won’t let you touch her and only comes up to you if she thinks you have a treat for her.

Eventually, we got her inside with me and the babies, with the help of a few more hands. Once we had the kids mostly dry, we had to work on their umbilical cords. Kona had the cords pretty short, so all we had to do was tie them off close to the belly and put iodine on them. At that point, we found out we had a boy and a girl! We were all extremely excited to have a girl, as last year we only got boys! We already had names picked out. Both were to get Hawaiian names, just like their mother. We named the boy Honu, which means turtle in Hawaiian, and the girl was named Nani, meaning beautiful in Hawaiian. All parts seemed to be in working order, so we proceeded with a very crucial part. It is extremely important that the kids get drinking mom's colostrum within the first 45 minutes after being born: the quicker, the better. We immediately started guiding the kids to Kona’s teats. Honu was already searching for his first meal from mom's teats, so he was fairly easy to get latched on. Nani was a completely different story. We probably worked with her for 20 minutes trying to get her to nurse. It was to no avail, however. We could never get her drinking. Kona did so well through all of this! It was a huge surprise to us. I was very nervous getting right down at her level at first. I wasn’t sure how she would react; would she run away from me, would she try and butt me in the head as I was touching her kids? She did great though! She was very nervous, but she never once tried to hurt me or bolt away. She even let me pull on her teats to get the milk flowing, as we thought that may been the reason why Nani wouldn’t drink.

It had been about an hour and Nani still hadn’t nursed. We were getting a little worried. Honu did so well, and we just could not figure out what was going on with Nani. We even tried sticking honey on our fingers to get her sucking: nothing. My dad was extremely prepared for something like this; he retrieved artificial colostrum paste and we attempted to shoot that down Nani’s throat. She gobbled up the first dose, but she wasn’t having the second batch. I was worried something was wrong with her stomach or throat, but I couldn’t find anything.

It was dinner time, so we got everything cleaned up and went in for dinner. We decided just to leave the kids and Kona and see how things turned out. As Mother Nature had dumped two feet of snow on us, we had to go dig the cars out. We worked at that for an hour or so and then decided to go back out to the barn. Much to our surprise, both kids were nursing when we arrived out there! A major success in our books!

Needless to say, we now have two beautiful, healthy kids, and a very healthy momma who is doing a fabulous job! We have two more pregnant does who we think will be delivering early next week! Lesson learned though; listen to whatever that gut feeling is telling you!