Sweet Pea was showing signs of early labour last night. i waited for a long time and nothing was happening, so I went to be for a few hours. When I was up at 6, she was still pacing, but later at 9 she was lying down and in full labour. Things were not progressing though. I left her and went in for coffee after doing the necessary morning chores. When I returned to see her 45 minutes later, nothing had happened. She was getting tired and there were only two feeet showing. I slipped on my surgical gloves and moved the feet apart a bit. That was all she needed it seems, because she gave two more pushes and the little one was born. Mom was tired and just lay there so I cleaned the baby's mouth and then toweled her head off so she was mucous free and layed her in front of her mother. The mother, Sweet Pea immediately began to lick her and talk to her. It was precious. I watched for a few moments longer and then left them to get to know one another, confident that all would be well. And it is.
Later today, the Angora goat, Thirteen, was huddled in the shelter. She had separated herself and I suspected she was getting ready to deliver, but she has so much fibre, it was hard to tell if she was even pregnant. The buck that bred her was a tiny Nigerian Dwarf, less than half her size, so I was not sure he could get up there to do the job. He did. The little baby is a female and the mother is exceptional. Finding a good Angora mother is rare. They have been so bred for more and more fibre that the mother instincts have given way. Thirteen has very good mother instincts, and she is to remain on the farm as the mohair goat. Her baby is a Nigora, a Nigerian Dwarf and Angora cross. She will have either grade A, B or C fibre, all of which are useful and loved by spinners. Some Angora crosses will shed their coats and others need to be shorn. The little doeling will remain on the farm.
So, after several visitors to the farm, and the babies this morning, I finally got to the chores around 3 pm. Finally at 9 I came in and had my supper, a farm chicken that was in the slow cooker since morning and was delicious and the last Kobocha squash from the garden last year. Now, I must go and lock the ducks and chickens up for the night and do one last check on the sheep and goats. Then I am going to bed. Still I would not trade this time of year for anything. It is a gift to see the new life and to be a steward of the animals that allow me glimpses of their souls. Truly it is.