Friday, March 9th
Myrtle’s due date was March 8th and Nikita’s due date was March 12th. We start watching for, and are prepared for, babies 7 days before the actual due date and our herd usually has their babies about 5-4 days early. With our particular herd, we hardly ever have anyone actually hold out until the real due date and practically never have anyone pass their due date.
We put the moms-to-be up in their own stalls at night and I have an audio monitor right by the bed and I can listen for any sounds of kidding. If I hear anything out of the ordinary, I can turn on the video monitor at the foot of the bed to check on how things are going.
I am very good at telling when a doe is going to kid by knowing the doe, looking at thier rear ends and feeling their ligaments. Nonetheless, I still kept “one ear open” for Myrtle this past week. Due to this I really did not sleep too well. She had been huge for the past month and it was hard to believe she held out so long.
Friday morning when we went down to do barn chores I knew from looking at them, and feeling them, that both Myrtle and Nikita would kid sometime that day. You couldn’t know for sure when, but definitely that day. We kept them in their individual stalls and checked in on occasion via the video monitor. We put Myrtle’s 2 year old daughter Candace, in with her to keep her company (she had bee keeping her company at night as well) and their stall was adjacent to Nikit’s so she had some close company as well. At lunch time, we let them all out to get some sun, but neither were too interested. Myrtle just wanted back in her stall, so we put her back in with Candace as well, because she wanted to stay with her mother. Nikita wandered about a bit and kept calling, which she never does, so we put her back in her stall as well. She didn’t seem to mind.
I kept checking in on the girls and at 4:10 pm I saw that Myrtle had started pushing. I called Larry and headed quickly down to the barn, forgetting my camera. When I got there there was one foot out. I gathered all our kidding materials, which I had close at hand in the milkroom and entered the stall, letting Candace out as I did.
The foot was large and I was expecting large kids, since Myrtle had held out so long, so I carefully grabbed the foot and pulled when Myrtle pushed. She did seem to appreciate the extra help and together we pushed and pulled and out came a very large boy. I put Diesel in front of Myrtle on a “puppy pad” and started to help clean him off. At this point Larry showed up and he helped cleaning the kid as well. It had gone quite quickly. I “bounced” (felt) Myrtle’s belly and could tell there was another kid.
Myrtle started to bare down again and, with me pulling, delivered a second, smaller boy, Dr. Woo.
Myrtle & Dr. Woo
We helped clean and dry the babies and then helped them nurse. Nikita had watched the whole time and was quite interested. I let her smell my hand and the baby goo. It has been our experience that if a doe is really close, and another doe kids, this can set them off into beginning labor. I very much expected Nikita to kid any time now, especially after smelling the smells of birth.
Myrtle and her kids were doing great. I assisted them with nursing while Larry gave Myrtle a grain snack. We dipped their umbilical cords and cleaned up the stall. The kids were able to stand on their own and so we decided we could leave them and let the new family bond for 1/2 hour while we popped back to the house to finish up our work day.
We got back up to the house at 4:55 pm and I went into the bedroom to put on some dry pants- you always end up getting wet and gooey assisting births. I sat on the bed and turned on the monitor and saw Nikita pushing. I called Larry and headed right back down to the barn, this time, remembering my camera.
Nikita and Demetri
“I just met you mommie, and I sure do love you.”
Nikita was happy to see me. I gathered the birthing supplies and sat next to her to comfort her. She was just starting to present the bubble, which I popped, and then a foot. Larry showed up and took my place comforting and I got behind to assist. I saw one foot and pulled a bit when she pushed but could not see the other foot. I felt the head, but not another foot so I switched places with Larry so he could evaluate the situation. Pushing, comforting, pulling…. and here comes a baby. A beautiful boy: Demitri. Both feet were forward, just one had the elbow back, which is why I could not see it right away.
We helped with cleaning and drying and then comes a second kid: a doeling- Natasha. Nikita is a great mom and loves her kids.
Nikita and her newborn kids, Demitri & Natasha
All the kids born were nice and strong from the get go and were standing 10 minutes or less after being born. Natasha caught on to nursing really fast…. girls seem to be smarter than boys when it comes to first finding the teat for some reason. Everyone was doing great, so we dipped their cords and cleaned up the stall and headed to the house for a couple of martinis.
We got back to the house at 5:35 pm. Wow, what an eventful hour and a half that was!
We checked in on the new families via the monitor and at about 9 pm I went down to check on them in person and make absolute sure everyone got a good suck.
Dr. Woo having a good suck
Myrtle kidded at 4:20 pm, 3/9/07
twin boys: Diesel (9.5 pounds) & Dr. Woo (6.75 pound)
Their father is Hemingway
Nikita kidded at 5:10 pm, 3/9/07
boy: Demitri (8.5 pounds)
girl: Natasha (7.5 pounds)
Their father is Hemingway
For more photos see here.