Start of Summer: Hurry Up and Wait
The end of school and the start of summer couldn’t have come quickly enough. It was another hurry up and wait year for us as far as kidding, our fault entirely, since Peanut and Petunia stayed for the week at their “dates”—so we had quite the window where we needed to stay close to home. Fortunately the remaining two girls went speed dating, so we have a better idea of the due dates.
So the weekend we had hoped we would at least have one of the goats kid we spent waiting. And making jams. And baking bread to go with the jam. There are worse ways to kill time, but still, no babies.
School ended Friday, but like many schools, ours dot the last week with minimum days and field trips. In an overly confident (read: dumb) move we figured Tom could chaperone the class bike ride—it’s only three hours and everyone should be done by then. Of course that was the morning it all started. Petunia wastes no time, perhaps because she hasn’t been able to lay down comfortably for weeks and just wanted it over. Her signs started at 7:30 in the morning, by 9 she had delivered her first and by 11am all four kids (three bucklings and a doeling) were delivered, taking turns for colostrum, cleaned up and rested. We felt like old pros.
The next day was Peanut’s turn, in which the universe reminded us we are anything but. She started showing signs on Tuesday, and each morning we figured today must be the day, and it wasn’t. But at 11:30am Friday she was laying down and seemed strained. By 2pm I was nervous something might be wrong, so off to the vet she went. She finally kidded around 4pm, one huge buckling. It was not easy on her, but it really was something to watch him spring to action the way he did. All goats will be up and walking shortly after their birth, but usually with a little wobbliness (understandably) at the start. This kid practically came out standing up, and within minutes not only was he walking, but trying to run out of the pen. We kept having to corral him back to mama.
This is our first summer with the llama, and she was slightly out of sorts not being invited to the party. She spent the first few days watching from the pen fence, and then we let her in to meet the little ones--she was adorable. Watching that long neck swoop down to their level is quite the sight. At first they cried and ran to their respective mothers, but with each passing day they get more and more comfortable with their giant, protective auntie. Today when they were playing in the pen area she sat blocking the entrance like a bodyguard, no one is going to get past her!
So that was the start to our summer. This week has been delightful, having these five little fresh faces on the farmette. Taking care of goats is a lot of work, breeding goats even more so. With goats to milk and babies to care for we don’t get to stray very far during the summer months, and sometimes it’s easy to get cabin fever. But it’s those springy, delightful little babies that make it all worthwhile. We just might have some more on the way tomorrow.