Monday, September 19, 2011

Newsletter: A Packed Mother

Is it time? Will we be there when she has them? These are some of the questions that are starting to build up in my mind, as Opal baas repeatedly and picks at her food. This is unusual for her because Opal is usually starving. I don't blame her, Opal will soon be the proud mother of three or four kids.

I spoke to Opal today about what she thought about her soon-to-come babies. She had no comment.

Because Opal didn't say anything, I thought that you might be left hanging [like I am at the end of a Harry Potter book]. You are probably wanting to know: How long is the gestation period?, and many other questions. So I did some research. A goat's gestation period is 150 days. Also they can have from 1 to 7 babies, but I think it is more comen to have 2 or 3. If there are more questions, then you are welcome to write me a comment.

Opal is one of our very pregnant goats (pictured) who is going to kid very soon. We all expect she will have mostly, if not all bucklings. Lately she's been aggressive towards her sister and mounting her pasture mates. She is daughter to Magic and Kentucky, and wife to Buddy (a male goat up the street).

Buddy's house is where we board the Goaty Girls when we are away. Lately we've been holding back because the birth of her soon to come babies. We first met our neighbors Russ and Karen when all 3 goats disappeared one morning. Apparently Buddy has a potent odor. When Magic went into heat, she trailed him up the hill by his smell alone. Luckily, the girls had tags on their collars, and were traceable. We were worried about the goats until Russ called.

The last birth was the birth of Frida and Opal, but we weren't there, so we don't know what it looks like.


Opal is baaing, not eating, and contracting. 1 kid, 2 kids, 3 kids, 4 kids. Opal just had 4 adorable kids.

What we did to assist the birth:
Opal went into her hut. We knew she was hurting because she was grinding her teeth, baaing, and pushing against the wall. She was laying down and getting up. She couldn't get comfortable. We went in with her. Magic, her mother came galloping across the pasture to be with her also when she started to scream. Then, out popped a baby. It was in a fluid filled sac. I cleared the mouth (Mama helped because I thought I might kill it!) We rubbed it down with straw to wake it up. Then we moved it up to Opal's face. By then another had come out. Papa helped with the 3rd, and Grace the last baby. We helped the babies each to the teat to get their first colostrum, which gives them immunity to diseases their mama has exposure to. Magic and Opal were both licking the kids and knickering sweetly in mama baby talk. The babies dried quickly and started walking around within the first 5 minutes. We held them. They are kitten sized. We tied the umbilical cord with dental floss and clipped them.
2 girls and 2 boys! One girl is named Jubilee, the other girl's name is Naomi, one boy is Bambi, and the other Bolt. They play, drink, nap, and cuddle with you.

At left: Photo of author and one of the babies.

Now if you visit the Stewyurt, you can see them in person.


  1. Hi Sophia I am so impressed with your writing. You tell such an interesting and informative story. Thank you, I feel like I am so much more a part of that incredible experience you all had with the births. Sending you my love, Mamo

  2. You look like me when Opal was born