We have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first second generation Sky River Meadows babies and our Cassi has finally given birth to her first kids - gorgeous twin boys! Both are blue eyed and very striking. Sadly neither of them inherited their Sire's wattles but they are still perfect even without them! It was so surreal delivering Cassi's babies in the same stall where I delivered her into the world a year ago. We have decided to retain Cosmos - the black and white buckling for future breeding purposes and Galaxy - the grey and white has been sold to Brydson Acres Nigerians. Cassi is a very attentive and dedicated mother and has the most adorable little udder!
This news is rather delayed now, but we are happy to report that Mimi delivered a single healthy baby girl to us on Mother's Day! We welcome baby Jessica into our herd! With her arrival we are at 17 babies so far this year! Our small herd of 13 now numbers 30! We are selling most of these babies of course, but for now we get to enjoy them! Mimi had a nice and easy delivery which was a relief after Carmela's recent delivery! Now all we have left to kid for us is our wee Cassiopeia. She is due June 11.
Some of you may have noticed recent pictures of Carmela and the expanse of her "baby bump" if it can rightly even be called that! The mystery has been solved though, Carmela was not pregnant with a house like we suspected. This picture was taken on May 1 - exactly one week before she kidded with triplets! I wish I could say her delivery was perfect and that there was no trauma but . . . Poor Carmela was having great difficulty which was very reminiscent for me of last year when she kidded and had difficulty which resulted in the loss of her first kid Leo. After her contractions started in earnest it quickly became apparent that although we were presented with a sac and amniotic fluid, there were no babies evident. An exploration in the birth canal confirmed what I feared - Carmela's babies were either so large she would be unable to pass them OR they were in serious distress. An emergency call was placed to our vets at Muldrew Lake Veterinary Services and we anxiously awaited the arrival of Kelli, our vet. Carmela was clearly in distress by the time Kelli arrives so we immediately jumped into action to get everything sorted out. Carmela had a kid presented across her cervix which clearly was not going to be able to come out that way. Kelli got that kid turned but they quickly realized that there were other babies all wanting to come out at the same time! After sorting out which head belonged to which legs, Carmela's first kid came into the world. Our happiness quickly turned into sadness as we all looked upon this beautiful little soul who appeared to be quite still born. To our surprise it too a breath, and another, and another! It appeared as though this baby either had no bones or every bone in it's body was broken though as it seemed like a breathing bag of skin. We quickly had to decide to focus on the other kids - ones we could hopefully save. The next kid came out much easier and was passed off to our waiting helpers to dry and clean the kid. The third kid was quite a bit larger then the previous two and took some effort to deliver but Kelli is great at what she does and managed to get the last kid safely delivered.
After the second and third babies were cleaned and returned to our poor
Carmela we decided to assess the first little one as it was still fighting to
breathe! Kelli gave it a quick examination and determined that if it
wanted to live it would find a way so we started working on the first little
one. We determined that Carmela's first baby was the only girl of the three which made the whole sad situation ever more bittersweet. Not only was this tiny little doeling a fighter, but she was letting us know loud and clear that she intended to survive! I continued to rub and worm her tiny body up while getting Carmela into a clean dry stall with her two boys. The little girl had to strength and couldn't even hold up her own head! Amazingly though, within an hour after being born she was trying to stand! Within two hours she managed to nurse directly from Carmela as opposed to the bottle I had given her colostrum from.
Carmela and all three babies were incredibly weak. I did not sleep at all that first night while I stayed as close to her as possible and be ready for anything. Carmela was unable to nurse her babies as she was so weak her legs would give out after a few seconds of trying to stand. I had frozen colostrum that I heated and fed to the babies throughout the night. All the next day all 4 continued to be extremely weak and it was getting increasingly harder to get the babies to feed. Fortunately for me some good friends came by to offer their help and allow me to get a bit of sleep while they continued to feed the babies. I was starting to fear that we would lose them all. Then about 10:30 Thursday night, Carmela was able to stand long enough to nurse her babies with me helping to keep her upright! You could almost see the difference in the babies within a few hours and a few feedings later. Being able to nurse directly from their mother seemed to make all the difference in the world! Now here it is Saturday and you would never know that these were the same little babies! They are not only standing and nursing from their Mom unassisted, they are starting to hop and play! I finally feel that we are through the worst and that all will survive. As for our dear sweet Carmela, we have decided that her days as a breeding goat are over. Two difficult kiddings tell us that she is better suited to being the therapy goat I have been wanting her to be. Once she is done raising these current kids she will get to retire from breeding and enjoy some well deserved rest until she is needed to help heal someone else in need. She is so special and loveable, we know she will be happy in her new job.
What a busy weekend! We knew going into the weekend that the next batch of girls would begin having their babies but I never thought that we would be having two girls giving birth at the same time! Saturday was a beautiful and sunny day. Both Dixie and Donna were very restless and acting suspiciously like they were planning to have their babies but neither of them were showing signs of imminent delivery, so I just stayed close and kept an eye on them both. I was enjoying some shade and having a chat with a friend that was over when suddenly Donna began to push! I immediately jumped into action and helped her to deliver our first set of triplets! Donna blessed us with two beautiful girls and a gorgeous little boy! All 3 are healthy and so tiny!
No sooner had I delivered the third kid, Dixie immediately started pushing!! Before I knew it, Dixie had delivered a huge buckling followed very quickly by a doeling! Both are the spitting image of their Mom and are also very healthy and strong. I am so thankful that all babies and both Mom's are doing well. It was an eventful afternoon, one that our good friend Kevin may never forget as he was quickly thrust into the role of Doula to assist me with the deliveries. I am happy and proud to say that Kevin did awesome and was not the least bit squeamish! With all the excitement over and all the new Mom's and babies tucked into their nice clean pens, we enjoyed a fabulous steak BBQ! It was a perfect end to a wonderful day! We still have Carmela and Mimi due to kid this week to ensure I continue to get no rest! We are at 13 babies and counting! 3 more Mom's to kid and I can't wait to see how many babies we end up with!
This post has been one of the most difficult for me to write. With my heart in my throat though, life must go on. Carmela finally gave birth Monday afternoon! It was a very long day of waiting for both her and I as she began contractions around 5:30 am and didn't give birth until 5:30 pm. She gave birth to two beautiful little boys. Heartbreak struck though when her first born, who we named Leo, showed obvious signs of being under developed. He was unable to stand and had no suck reflex. Sadly after 6 hours of struggling to keep him alive, he passed away. Carmela's second born son, who we have named Draco, is strong and healthy and doing fantastic! With the death of Leo, it has been very difficult to celebrate the safe arrival of Draco, but we are finally managing. Although sometimes it doesn't make much sense as to why a beautiful creature is born into this world, only to be unfairly taken away hours later, we do have to try to learn the lessons laid out for us. For me, I think Leo was sent to help teach me about letting go. I am not used to losing the battle for an animals life! I save animals. It is what I do! Being completely helpless is not something that I a used to and I am far to stubborn to ever give up. With Leo, there was no choice for me. He wasn't going to make it and that's all there was to it. Bittersweet indeed. I don't think my heart ever forgets. I still cry thinking about Toby and we lost him several years ago! Leo was a beautiful soul who wasn't given a fair shot at life. He will never be forgotten by me though.
On a much needed and happier note. Carmela is doing wonderfully as a new mother! She is very protective and attentive to her surviving son. Draco is vibrant and active and just the most devilishly handsome little man! He looks so much like his Mom and was fortunate enough to have inherited her beautiful ice blue eyes and white and gold colouring!
Draco seems to be endlessly hungry and even when he isn't eating he is walking around with his tongue out, sucking away as if he is forever in search if another teat to try out! He is too precious for words and will definately make someone a wonderful breeding herd sire.
Dixie has given birth to two healthy little girls!!! They are both just over 5 pounds and arrived when I wasn't even here to greet them! Daniel was home but Geordon and I were 45 minutes away delivering a horse to its new home and had visit his parents
when we got the call. A stressful drive home saw us getting home to two little bundles of wet fluff and a very eager new Mom. Dixie is doing really well and has taken to being a Mom without any issues. Both little girls have the same Alpine markings that Dixie has but one is white and black and the other is brown and black. They are both just so precious!
The Stisted Fair is a favorite of mine in Muskoka as it is exactly the same today as it was when it began 126 years ago. I am on the Board of Directors for this fair currently as the secretary and take a great deal of pride in the people that come out to exhibit and take part in this fair every year. This year we did not bring any horses or donkeys, but instead brought some goats and I entered into the photography class for the first time. Our goats did very well, but of course they would! There really wasn't any goaty competition except for another yearling doe that placed 3rd in the dry doe class. Billie looked very cute sporting his ribbon for Best Kid though! I entered into 16 different photography classes and placed with 8 firsts, 4 seconds and 4 thirds! I think I did really well! I didn't have the time or luxury of taking too many photos this year at the fair sadly as I was working it and Dixie started to show signs of going into labour. We did not stay late, that's for
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened.”
- Anatole France