I have been waiting for this birth for a couple years now.
❤️ Hazelnut is our very first home-grown goat to kid on our homestead. I've been breeding goats for 9 years now but she is the very first retained goat!
Hazelnut is the daughter of Willow, whom I absolutely adored and who is a milking POWERHOUSE but was a pain in the royal butt to milk, so I (very sadly) sold her. I decided to retain her daughter, Hazelnut (aka: Hazel) in hopes that she inherited her superb milking lines. We will see if I got my wish!
Yesterday I had a sneaking suspicion that she may be in early labor. She was laying in the barn while the others were out enjoying the sun. I gently shooed her out so that I could clean the barn for the current (and upcoming) babies. Plus, earlier in the day I noticed she had some intense green stuff coming out of her nose, so even though we just cleaned the barn the week before, I wanted to clean it again. She quickly went back into her spot in the barn so I continued watching her while I cleaned up the yard.
By this time her udder had filled up a little more- but nothing jaw-dropping. Then she lost her mucous plug, and that definitely caught my attention.
But I was hesitant to get excited because Millie lost hers weeks ago and has had me feeling like a first-time homesteader watching her like a hawk. I keep thinking Millie's babies are coming and it has been a false alarm every single time. But we had cold weather moving in and I didn't want to risk an outside birth, especially for Hazel who is at the bottom of the pecking order and at risk of getting booted out of the barn. So, I brought her into the kidding pen in my milking room before I went to bed so that I could watch her on the camera and not worry about the cold.
I woke up a few times throughout the night to check her but nothing was happening. When my alarm went off at 8:30am I decided to check the cam once more before hitting snooze (we are all sick with influenza A and I wanted more sleep) and saw that she was pushing! So I grabbed my robe, threw on my slippers, and ran to the milking room (where the kidding pen is). Sure enough, she was definitely pushing! I called to my daughters so they knew it was happening and then I jumped to work.
Her fluids were tinged that certain shade of yellow, which told me she had probably been at this for a while. When the baby is in a state of distress they will often poop in the womb, making the fluids yellow. Since I didn't know how long she had been pushing, I grabbed some lube and went in to check. My daughters decided to leave at this point, it was loud and they don't like to watch when things are uncertain. (Real talk: I also tend to get crabby when my stress level goes up, so I don't blame them. Annnnd they both have the flu, so things are just upside down and backward over here.)
When I checked inside of Hazel, all I could feel was a very bulgy sac. Things were so compressed that I couldn't even feel anything inside of the sac, so I decided to break it so I could figure out what was going on. While all of this was going on, she was pushing with all of her might but just couldn't get the baby out.
Once the sac was broken, I could feel that the baby was in the right position (diving) but one leg needed a little help coming forward. So I found both legs and pulled with each one of her pushes. I could tell that this baby was BIG. And Hazel isn't a big doe, so this was going to be a tough one for her. It took about 5 push/pull combos (I think but I could be totally off) and a humungous baby spilled out onto the blanket!
I was floored! I knew right away it was a buckling. You never want a single buckling for a first-time mama. They get so big in there! But it's not uncommon and she did it!
I brought him up to mama and she went right to work cleaning him. He needed some suctioning from that difficult entry into the world but he is healthy as can be! He was up and walking within 10 minutes of being born. He has sharp little teeth and horn buds ready to be disbudded! He latched right onto her teat and didn't need help at all!
I'm so happy with this labor and delivery. Hazelnut is a champ! I will be sending hair samples off to get conformation on who the proud papa is. I had paired her up with Burlap but Phantom broke the fence while I was at work so a test is in order.
Welcome to the world, sweet boy! A name will be given soon. ❤️