One of these things is not like the other, and I’m not talking about color.
It is now obvious that Imogene is heavy with kids. SIL Jon says she looks like a ball with head and legs.
In fact, she is only 2 weeks away from her due date, so it is reasonable for her to look that way. If all goes well, we should have 2, or maybe 3, baby goats to enjoy soon.
And I’m a little nervous. In trying to educate myself about goat owner responsibilities, I have come across a plethora of worst case kidding scenarios and how to help mama goat when they occur.
WHAT HAVE I DONE?! I worry that I have saddled Imogene with a life-threatening situation and her only help is an ignorant novice.'
And that is all true…However, Katrina, Imogene’s former owner, has reassured me that goats are made to have babies, and most times the natural process doesn’t turn into worst case scenario.
I’m comforted; but I have put Katrina on speed dial.
The production of baby goats was always my intent when I purchased Imogene – but it almost didn’t happen because when it came to the necessary activity which begins the process, I found myself a bit squeamish. When you don’t have a buck (i.e, goat baby daddy) in your herd, you must call up a stranger and say, in essence, “Would your goat like to get together with my goat? For, you know, a…visit?”
And to add to the awkwardness, you have to be kind of demanding and say, “We need this to happen on Tuesday.” I’d been following the cycle of Imogene’s heats for weeks, and every time it came around, I just couldn’t
screw up – oops, bad word
choice there – GATHER up the courage to call someone and make the schedule.
So I procrastinated until December, and that is the last month for does (girl goats) to go into heat for the season…and I’m not talking about Christmas season. I’m talking about breeding season. However, it also was the Christmas season, and I, in the midst of the hubbub, am making a date for my goat…It just didn’t seem to fit the spirit of the season.
Yes – December 15 was the day. Five days after welcoming our sweet granddaughter, and 2 days before I got overnight guests, five days before hosting a party for 35 people, I had to load up Imogene and drive her to her date. I really had better things to do, but the kind woman who had the Baby Daddy Goat (aka buck) was expecting us. I didn’t think to ask where she lived until the day before…Lummi Shore Drive was the buck’s home…almost a full hour drive from our house.
The Farmer was out of town so I was on my own for loading Imogene in the crate, and tying it down in the pickup. The pickup itself was on a trickle charger which I had to learn to unhook, after, of course, not being able to open the hood for 15 minutes in the rain because “there is a trick to it”.
Have I mentioned that I don’t appreciate tricks? Have I mentioned that it was cold, blowing, and raining sideways? Have I mentioned that when I separated Imogene and Barnaby they both commenced scream-baaing without ceasing?
Well, that’s the way it happened. And I will spare you the details of waiting around in the cold, sideways rain for Imogene and Boots to get it on…more than once.
Let’s just say that animal husbandry is not for the bashful, or faint of heart.
Four and a half months later, I’d like to say that I’ve forgotten the trauma, but I haven’t. I suspect that in a couple of weeks, I will. If all goes well, the rewards will be great!
Hopefully great enough to erase the mercenary feeling I will have when making the arrangements again...Because BABY GOATS! Who can get enough of them?!
What HAVE I done?!
Author’s Note: Imogene’s due date could be May 8, which is 145 days gestation, or May 13, 150 days gestation. I’ve read that Nigerian Dwarf Goats will kid at 145 days, where most goats wait for 150. Either way, I’ll keep you posted!
Barnaby, you're cute -- but be prepared to upstaged, buddy!