We have been expecting Violet's kids for a week now. Juniper kidded early and suddenly, catching us by surprise, so we have been watching Violet very closely. Last Saturday, we were convinced that she was about to pop. Since then, we have been checking up on her every couple of hours, including once or twice in the night. Finally we became convinced that she was waiting for spring to return to the Helderberg hills before she would bring her kids into the cruel, cold, damp, windy world. Last night we just stayed in bed.
This morning when we went up the hill with water and hay, we noticed Violet was acting pretty strange. I checked her again a little later, and then we knew it was time. We grabbed the Goat-Go bucket with all our supplies, and a couple of magazines (just in case it was going to be a while).
I was super excited because I missed half of Juniper's kidding; Farmer Fin was nervous because he didn't miss any of Juniper's kidding, especially the part where he had to adjust the unborn kid's legs while on the phone with our wonderful & helpful vet.
We hunkered down in the barn. The rain was cold and the wind was trying to pry the roof right off the barn. It was when Farmer Fin had run to the house to grab a clamp for the roof that Violet let out a powerful yell and I saw a pink balloon emerge from her hindquarters, and inside the ballon...a teeny tiny hoof! F.F. had heard her cry, and he sprinted into the barn a moment later, while I was donning my shoulder-length plastic gloves. No need for them, though; the first kid slipped out smoothly, perfect little head between the teensy white hooves, and Violet, a natural for a first-time mother, started to clean the baby off right away. The second kid slid out just as easily, and Mama Vi seemed to have no problem multi-tasking.
Within fifteen minutes, both kids were
clean and on their feet
It took them a while to figure out how to nurse, and unlike Juniper's kids, these two really resented our efforts to help, as evidenced by amazingly loud and angry cries of protest. They tried to nurse their mama's neck, each other's noses, and the folds in our jeans, complete with head bumps (they do that to stimulate the flow of milk from their mom's udder) to our knees.
That is just not going to work.
Finally they figured it out.
The whole thing is just amazing to me: their little voices and the way their mom talks to them, how they stand up within minutes of entering the world, their playfulness and curiosity and determination...and did I mention they are really, really cute? I feel very lucky today.