Preparing for Goat Births

This is a very exciting year for me on the homestead, as it is one I have literally dreamed about for about 5 years.

We are awaiting the arrival of our first Guernsey goat kids. This will be the first animal birth on our little homestead, which is very exciting.

I’ve confirmed Luna’s pregnancy, and felt her babies moving, which brought tears to my eyes. I can’t explain it- just a deep satisfaction at the provision of God and His trust in us to steward life and His creation is emotionally overwhelming to me and makes me teary. In a good way.

Luna is due to kid May 4th (Star Wars fans get excited about that) and I’ve started checking her out now for 1) growth of babies, 2) making sure she’s healthy and not showing any signs of anemia or parasites 3) started doing palpations to be able to discern changes in her from now progressing toward delivery day.

For example: I’m checking the ligaments near the base of her tail for softening. Initially, they feel like two pencils, one on either side of the tail base. I can already notice some softening in them, and when delivery day comes, they will feel more squishy like chewed bubble gum. The angle of her rump slope will also decrease from about a 45° angle to more like 20° (not exact here, but you know what I mean) which will signify the kid(s) moving into position for delivery.

Beyond that, I’m making sure the birthing kit is stocked, and that I’m feeling movement each day.

Beginning 2 weeks out from her due date, she will begin receiving grain again at about a handful a day and increasing once she has delivered to about a cup per pound of milk produced. Goats have very delicate digestive systems, so grain has to be reintroduced gradually.

While I’m excited for all the newness, that presses our timelines for fencing and such and will increase our daily responsibilities when we are once again milking 2x daily. But that is the beauty of homesteading: you end up with seasonal tasks that are so intensive while they last, they make you sick of them. But then during the end of the winter rest period, you start to miss them and get excited for the next season’s rhythm of work.

I’ve noticed some slight personality changes in Miss Luna in the last couple days which is more indication to me that she senses delivery is getting closer. We’re trimming hooves and getting everyone in the barnyard groomed today and keeping our expectant mama very comfortable and happy in the mean time 😊

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