When we decided to buy a goat, I started looking for a pregnant goat so we could have the experience of watching little kid(s) being born and raising them. I found a lady on kijiji who assured me that the goat she was selling was pregnant and so we bought Mabel, a skittish sort of goat but we had high hopes she would make a great mother.
The goat- lady told me Mabel was probably due during the first week of July, the week we would be up north. My sister and her family kindly moved into our home while we were away to help when the goat went into labour. ( Helping, as in calling my dad and asking for his help with the birth!)
I spent hours watching youtube videos on goats giving birth, I consulted and marked up my go-to book, "Barnyard In Your Backyard", I even kept my fingernails short on the advice of the goat-lady in case I would have to "go in."
A birthing kit was thoughtfully put together and now it would just be a matter of waiting until the labour started.
Mabel continued to grow larger and larger and we wondered how large a goat could get. We came home from the cottage and still no babies.
Every morning I would peer through our windows, hoping to see a little kid.
Summer plans were tentative in case the goat went into labour.
I carefully watched for any signs of labour... louder bleating, rubbing along the fence, and noted the physical changes in the goat even though I had no idea what I was looking for.
I was obsessed with this goat, distressed with how long the pregnancy was taking, and defending the fact that she was indeed pregnant because some suggested that it probably wasn't so.
Finally I contacted the goat- lady and she told me that the first buck probably didn't work so it must of been the second buck.
The goat-lady gave me new due dates. I was disheartened to see we would be up north again during the new due date. Because my whole family would be away with us at the cottage, this time I found a wonderful teenage girl to take care of our animals and felt encouraged by her confidence.
Every day while we were away, I waited for the text sharing the exciting news. As the week went on and we passed the goat's due date by ten days, I started wondering if this could be a phantom pregnancy. I read that this is not uncommon among goats so I thought we should consider this.
We came home at the end of the week to a goat that was bigger than ever. Was this a phantom pregnancy? Were there twins in there? How big does a goat get anyways? These were all questions with no answers. Frustrating.
On Saturday I kept a careful eye on Mabel and near the end of the afternoon I decided to go for some groceries.(Six starving males in a household is no fun!)
I took a look at the goat before leaving, (no signs of labour) and headed off to the grocery store taking my jolly old time because I was by myself. Groceries can be fun and relaxing with no kids around.
Meanwhile at home, our kids were watching kids be born!
I wasn't even at the end of the road when Liam noticed something happening. He ran and got Adam and the rest of the boys and within minutes they all watched the first kid being born. The second kid was born 15 minutes later.
I came home a little while later to excitement and flurry. I had missed the whole thing. The birthing kit wasn't used - the birth was a text book birth, much to Adam's relief, and there was no need for me to do anything.
Meet Mandy and Miller
Minutes after Miller was born.
Within 15 minutes this little guy was standing. Doesn't he look just like his mom?
Liam takes care of the animals at our home. This picture suits him perfectly!
This experience of having baby goats is better than I thought it could be. They are adorable. Within days they were climbing, leaping, and when they run it looks like a prance. You could spend hours watching them in action.