Labor of Love 1


I just LOVE that my birthday month coincides with kidding season!  I’ve been helping Pam at Hard Earth Farm every week.  I help out with whatever she needs, and in return I get to play with all the animals and learn first hand how to care for them.  Sort of a farm apprenticeship.  She has been a fantastic mentor for this farm newbie, and has quickly become a great friend!  🙂   I adore all the animals, but I was thrilled when Sassy had her kids and I had baby goats to play with!!  She had triplets on February 20th – 2 boys and 1 girl.

Sassy and her kids

Sassy and her kids

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Sassy & Kids at about 3 weeks old

The remaining three mamas held out for a few more weeks.  They were all bred at the same time, so we waited; thinking every day would be “the day” and were on pins and needles awaiting the next birth.   As I continued to help out working on the farm, and play with the sweet babies, I told Pam I really wanted to have some of my own.  In true farmer fashion, we bartered.  I will work for goats!   A true labor of love!

Then Sunday the 13th, Holly had triplets!!  Unfortunately, I was out in my garden and my phone was dead, so I missed Pam’s text and therefore missed participating in their delivery.  I was so bummed.  Holly had 2 boys & 1 girl.  And you bet I was there bright and early the next morning to see them!!  I instantly bonded with these babies, and the 2 boys became the beginnings of the Happy Wife Farm tribe!!  These cuties are Lamancha dairy goats.  I love their cute little elf ears.

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Holly with boys (Mohan & Luke)

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Luke, Leia & Mohan

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Luke (sister Leia in background)

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Mama Holly kissing Mo

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Happy Husband holding Mo

Me and Luke

Me and Luke

Finally, Wednesday (the 16th) night I was there for one of the births.  When I got the text saying that Isabelle was in labor Wednesday afternoon, I rushed over!  Of the 4 mamas, she was the smallest in terms of how big her belly was.  We figured she would have twins even though Sassy & Holly both had triplets – all the same buck!  Here’s a photo of her taken the day before she delivered!  She is a gorgeous alpine dairy goat.

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Isabelle day before giving birth

Poor Isabelle had a long labor. We could tell she was very uncomfortable, and tried everything we could to help her.  I’ve learned that when goats go into labor, most of them want your company and your help.  We sat with her for hours, talking to her and petting her.

Isabelle in labor

Isabelle in labor

After hours of labor, Isabelle’s first baby was breech and she needed our assistance delivering.  The 2nd one was born head first.  We thought she was done after the second, but as she cleaned them up and we worked to clear the mucus from their noses, she started to push again.  We couldn’t believe she was having triplets too!  The 3rd baby was also breech.    The entire night was stressful for everyone – Isabelle and us.  Thankfully everyone was healthy, and Isabelle did a great job mothering them.  I was so grateful to be part of the process and be able to help out.

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Isabelle & newborns

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Isabelle & newborns

The next morning, she had them all cleaned up and was nursing.

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Isabelle & her kids

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Isabelle’s Kids

Thursday afternoon (the 17th – day before my birthday!), Moo finally started having contractions.   We brought her into a birthing stall and sat with her for a couple of hours.  We thought her labor would be quick – she was VERY pregnant!  Moo did not seem to want our company though.  After a few hours, her contractions seemed to slow down a lot.  She was getting restless and wanted out of the stall.  We thought we were in for another long night.  So, around 7:30 we decided to let her out to walk around the pasture while we went home to grab a quick bite to eat.  Less than an hour later when we returned to the farm, Moo had her babies in the pasture without us!!  She had two beautiful girls!  We helped her clean them up and took them back to a stall where she could care for them through the night.  These two girls will round out the Happy Wife Farm tribe.  I cannot even tell you how exciting this is for me, and how much I adore these babies.

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Moo and her newborns

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Me holding newborn Darcy

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Darcy & Heidi

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Darcy

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Heidi & Me

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Moo with Heidi

4 mamas and 11 babies later…this entire experience has been absolutely amazing!  I am beyond thankful for my friendship with Pam, and I’m looking forward to many years of farm adventures together!  Happy Husband and I are excitedly searching for goat shelter/barn plans so we can be ready for our new kids to come live with us.  It’s going to be an extremely busy few months!!  Need to get the goat barn built, fence put up, and chicken coop/run built!  I guess I can relax in Winter a little.  Maybe.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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One thought on “Labor of Love

  • Pam

    What a wonderfully well written account of my week of stress. So glad you have been around for physics nd moral support. Your lessons in milking start tomorrow a.m. and much more! Rest up this adventure is an endurance event.