Tina has been looking as though she was very ready, and lost her mucous plug a few days ago. Her vagina is soft like jelley too. Her mother Christina, showed no signs of birthing, but it was the mother that segregated herself around 7 pm while the others were feeding. I continued feeding and moved on to the sheep, but heard the telltale cry of a doe in labour. I try to be as hands off as possible, so stood back to watch. Joe, one of the livestock guardian dogs came in and so did Robbie. I told Robbie to go out and he positioned himself where he could see but not really be seen. Joe, the perfect guardian, kept his distance and listened and smelled. Guardian dogs should not be too near mothers in labour and never help with the clean up. When the baby was delivered and all was well, Joe moved back to the sheep pen. Good dog Joe!
Mom was doing a lot of air licking and screaming. The kid presented correctly, with the front feet and nose first, but her amniotic sac did not break. The little fellow was very big actually. Christina is a smaller Nigerian Dwarf and this is her second kidding. She was a daughter of a very prolific healthy herd boss and obviously did not inherit the tendency to multiples as last year she had just Tina.
I let the mother scream and push without intervention, but then she sort of petered out, so I broke the sac to give her a little relief and brought the second foot through for her. It was a beautiful little buck!
The surprise is that is is sired by the Nubian. I put the goats in with the Nubian buckling first, but saw no breeding or interest from him at all, so brought in Stevie Wonder about 2 weeks later than the Nubian. All the does that are going to kid for the next couple of weeks should be Nubian/Nigerian or mini Nubians. This is a relatively new cross and is fast becoming popular. Both breeds are dairy, but the Nubians are not cold hardy, whereas the Nigerians are tough little ones. I have two of these crosses and they are as hardy as the Nigerians. My original plan was to breed the Nigerians and Angoras to the Nubian and begin the first generation cross. I have a mini Nubian buck coming for this fall to do this again and then the first generation can be bred to the second generation the following year for an F2 cross, bringing the cross more into stability.
The lambs should not start coming until April 25th, so that will give me a little reprieve. I helped towel off the new arrival and held him so mamma could see to lead her to the barn. She has fresh water and some hay there and the barn will be nice and warm for the little buckling tonight. Before coming in, I made sure he was nursing and all was well.
It was a good evening! Tomorrow I will take some real photos of the buckling and hopefully of Tina's kids as well. She is larger than her mother, so I suspect twins at least. Til then....