Friday, March 6, 2009


The time was coming for those babies to start to arrive.

The nights were frigid, and we didn't want to be cozy inside while baby goats were getting chilled. Nor did we want to sit in the barn all night. So John set up an intercom in the barn. One receiver stood on the shelf in the milkroom, the other on a desk in our bedroom. Every evening we went to sleep to the munching of goats, but no new little voices.

As it happened, though, Monique's babies were born during the day. I knew she was ready. Her bag had filled, she had some discharge, she was being very affectionate with me.

So I put her in the milkroom where there was no danger of interference from the other goats. I laid down an extra layer of straw. And I sat on the milkstand and waited.

The days were now sunny and above freezing, and a few flies were waking up and flying around. Monique lay on the straw looking calm, giving an air that nothing special was going on. And she caught flies by snapping at them with her mouth, and swallowing them.

Goats are vegetarians. I didn't know if this was part of the nonchalance she was affecting...?

The hours went by. Unfortunately I had a doctor's appointment around the middle of the afternoon, and I just had to leave. I really didn't know what was taking her so long, but at the rate she was going, I'd be back before the kids were born. I just didn't want it to go until sunset when the temperature would drop again.

So I left at the last possible moment, and hurried home and ran to the barn.

There was Monique, in the milkroom, with two tiny, perfectly dried off, standing, nursing, baby goats. Kids.


I was of course delighted that all was well. But I had missed our first birth!

I did strongly suspect that Monique had waited for me to leave before she had her babies. Later I checked with my goat-people friends and they all could tell stories from their own experience of such things.

Sigh. I had to wait another week before I actually saw a birth.

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