Between the 2am and 4am checks Elsie had triplets. There was no sign when I checked just before 2, but when James went at 4.15 there were 3 new little goats.
Three cold, little goats who couldn’t stand.
Of course James woke me up and I went into action stations. First I dipped the umbilical cords in iodine, but it was obvious the kids were really cold and far to weak to stand. In fact after dipping in iodine and checking the internet for goat advice when we returned one of the kids had disappeared – buried under some straw and kind of abandoned.
Kids need colostrum in the first hour and it was obvious they weren’t going to get it by themselves.
So I milked Elsie while James held her and all three kids suckled enthusiastically from the bottle. Two of them, with me holding them, then suckled a bit from their mum. I then made them a little creep packed around with straw and tucked them in under some towels to keep them warm.
At 8am we did it again – they seemed much warmer and stronger and started experimenting with standing up. Elsie has eaten some grain and drunk her water which has added glucose in – I reckon she needs the extra energy.
I have been checking on them every two hours and helping them feed from Elsie. We have ordered a heat lamp and heating pad that come tomorrow. The two goat coats I got for them are far too big and so far my experimenting with goat jumpers made from the sleeves of an old cardigan has’t been an unmitigated success shall we say.
They are rather adorable and just like Soda Pop are all ears!
I hope Elsie will be able to cope with three little mouths and only two teats!
She will of course be getting extra rations 🙂
She really is a super goat.
N.B. They are all girls.
N.B. And as if by magic, I also spent some of today talking to an food safety person about my micro-dairy and selling raw milk cheese – as well as the pop-up cafe/food truck – all very exciting.
N.B. eleven makes it a proper herd – doesn’t it?