It’s a boy … and a beautiful girl. Their mom, Shadow, has always given us a single buck kid, for years. So when I went out to feed this morning I noticed she’d dug a few “nests” in the straw. I finished up and grabbed the camera and a few birthing supplies and went quickly back to the goat barn. She was then starting serious labor. Unfortunately, as she pushed, only the head and one front foot were visible. Oh oh. I hollered for Will to come help me but then the kid started breathing, a sign the umbilical cord had broken inside the doe. So I couldn’t push him back enough to reach for the front leg. I quickly slid my hand in and, luckily, I was able to reach a knee with a finger and popped it up and straightened the leg in the birth canal.

The kid then slid out nicely and both Mom and I cleaned him (yes, HIM) up. But after awhile, Shadow started pawing a nest. Another kid??? Shadow?? I went into the house to wash up and when I got back, a simply gorgeous black kid with a white snowflake pattern had just hit the straw. Luckily I still had a dry towel so I hurried and toweled off her head so she could breathe. Shadow cleaned her up and by then, the buckling was on his feet.

Shadow cleaning off her second kid; I’ve named her Miracle, as she is one.

Shadow is a huge milker and has a huge bag, unfortunately this makes it hard for newborn kids to find the teats so we had to put her on the milking stand. I milked out a quart or so into a bucket (just in case), then brought the kids, one at a time, up to help them drink. Both sucked well. We’ll repeat again this evening and hopefully after a few days the kids will have figured out where to look for milk. (If you’d like more information on goat birthing, check out my article, Goat birthing and raising kids in the Nineteenth Year Anthology.)

See how big Shadow’s bag is? No wonder it takes her kids awhile to find the “lunch wagon.”

Our weather’s been absolutely wonderful so we’ve gotten a lot done outside, starting with the discovery that our house water line had thawed! Yea! No more dragging hoses for us. We’ll do more work on that line this summer.

We bought some pipe gates and stock panels, so yesterday I got busy and hung a 12-foot gate in the opening to our backyard and the garden. Before we had this temporary 2×4″, 6-foot-high welded wire fence kind of twisted together in the middle to keep animals out. What a pain; temporary lasted four years! Now we have a nice gate which swings wide and also chains shut so no more deer or cows shoving their way into the backyard and garden.

We’ve been working daily in the garden, pulling T-posts, stakes, and bean trellises as the posts quit being held in the ground by frost. Slowly, the garden is getting cleared for spreading composted manure and tilling. Will brought the riding lawnmower up from the barn where it was stored for winter. I need to go out into the garden and berry patch and mow the dead stalks in the asparagus beds so they are clean for regrowth.

Will and Hondo are pulling more T-posts in the main garden.

I checked the orchard yesterday and all the trees look to be in nice shape with very little, or no, winter damage. I hope this year we don’t have that late spring frost which kills the fruit blossoms. — Jackie


  1. Hi you all! So fun to see the “kids!” Miracle is sure pretty, reminds me of our little Annie years ago…and milking before heading off to work! Good to keep caught up with you! Things are about the same here, just keepin’ on….

  2. This may be a dumb question but do goats have the same infertility problem with girls born twin to a buck as cattle have with a heffer twin to a bull. Glad spring stuck for you finally. Our snow is melting and we have ponded water all over. Hopefully the heavy snow cover kept the frost from going too deep and the water will go down soon.

    • Not a dumb question Howard. No, with goats and sheep, having different sexed twins does not result in infertility as it does with cattle. In fact, cattle are the only species I’m aware of with infertility of a heifer born twin to a bull.
      Our frost is going fast. Yea!!

    • Hey, he’s a “watch” dog! He protects Will from predators such as bunnies and ground squirrels.

  3. Ah, yes, how often I have had the same one-leg-back delivery with our sheep. Finding the leg that’s back is such a relief compared to the tangle of legs you get with twins or triplets. Our ewes just finished lambing, all successfully. It’s an exciting time on the farm, and keeps you on your toes. I hope all the rest of your deliveries go as well.

    • Glad to hear your ewes all lambed fine. I know what you mean about tangled legs. Not much room in there to figure it all out, is there???

  4. Wow, twins!Miracle’s snowflake pattern is quite striking.

    Spring hit this week and I took Tuesday off to work in the garden part of the day. And it turned into all day. T-posts pulled, rototilled both raised beds, planted onions. Bought some more t-posts with a coupon for future projects – always have a use for them. Figuring out how I want to trellis our grapes and hardy kiwi. Want to get some peas and lettuce in. It’s such a busy time of the year!

    • It is a busy time. Especially for us this year as winter came so soon and stayed so long. We’re getting a lot of frozen-in T posts out of the ground but are still quite a way from tilling; got to haul manure first and wait till the frost’s out. We are trellising our grapes by using steel T posts on parallel rows with welded cattle panels on them horizontally then bending more panels up over the top in an arch, anchoring both ends to the top of the horizontal panels and T posts. We did 12′ last year and want to do more this year as it is working very well.

    • Me too. I always worry about something going wrong and am so relieved when everything turns out great.

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