So on December 5th, we adopted three goats, exceeding my self-imposed limit of 20 goats by a count of one. However, I figured we would managed. All I asked was that any males in the trio be neutered, and indeed, when Oilve, Lillian and Lloyd arrived, Lloyd was completely devoid of gonads.
Lloyd, Olive and Lillian (black head) at rear.
Lillian and Olive, however, were suspiciously round. So two weeks later, the vet did ultrasounds. Olive was definitely preggars; he guessed at a due date two-to-three months hence. He though Lillian was not pregnant, but admitted that it is a lot easier to say that a goat is NOT pregnant than is!
So I was keeping an eye on them, figuring I had some time to prepare my goat birthing kit and so forth.
Then on January 5th, one of the coldest days this winter with a windchill of -38C, we had a little urprise....
The frozen tundra on January 5th. I had just gotten home from seeing the vet with a foster cat and stopped to take a pic of our front fields and the sundogs and halo.
Stephanie, one of my barn helpers, usually comes around mid-morning, but on this day, she wasn't here until mid-afternoon. Not long after I sat down at my desk, waiting for a cuppa tea to steep. The doorbell rang. It was Stephanie, with a broad grin on her face.
"You have kids!" she said.
"What? No I don't! There are no kids here today!" (We do sometimes have kids visiting the farm for various reasons.)
"No, you have KIDS!" she asserted.
"No I don't!"
"You have GOAT KIDS!" she said, laughing.
"Wha... oh MY GOD! Let me put my boots on!"
Yes, on the coldest possible day, Olive dropped twins in the goathouse! By the time I got outside, I found our farm manager Luc leading Olive up the hill, with Stephanie behind him holding two goat kids wrapped in Luc's coat.
Luc took Olive to the back of the granary and evicted poor Grace the foster kitty from her room. Olive stayed in there while Steph and I worked on warming up the kids.
Mootie, who hangs out in the granary these days, was keen to help!
The kids' ears and feet were very cold. Their ears felt stiff and I was quite worried about frostbite. We wrapped up the babies and warmed up their ears gently by holding them in our warm hands.
Stephanie and Elsa
Soon they were trying to suckle our fingers... it was time to reunite them with Maamaa.
Luckily, Olive had lots of milk and it didn't take long for the kids to start nursing, which was a relief. They weighed 4 lbs each but were surprisingly sturdy once they "thawed out!"
And it's a really good thing that Steph was late that day, otherwise I wouldn't have gone down to the goat house until evening chores a couple of hours later. At best, those babies would have lost body parts to frostbite, but more likely they would have frozen to death.
We named them Elsa and Anna (yes, from the movie Frozen) They are doing just great! Before the afternoon was over, Luc and his friend Corey built a whole new goat pen next to the cat foster rooms, so Grace was able to move back into her room once I'd cleaned and sanitized it.
Their ears were a bit swollen, but a week later the swelling seems to have gone completely, and I don't think they will be losing any parts of their ears to frostbite, which is wonderful!
Oliv is a wonderful, patient mother.
And the kids are getting more active by the day!
Olive goes outside for a while every day to get some fresh air.
And these two are growing like weeds!
They now have "flying nun" ears like their maamaa! It's hard to tear yourself away from them. They are so adorable and playful. And they were born almost to years to the day after Penny's triplets!
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go play with my goat kids! :)