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  • Writer's pictureConstance Wilmoth

Self- Reliance...

It has become increasingly obvious to me that in the aspects of life, it is inherently good to be self -reliant. If 2020 taught us anything, it is that the systems that we have been utilizing to procure our groceries and other supplies can be broken down very quickly, and it is up to the individual to be able to care for themselves and their families. I have never seen so much interest in my hobbies of goat farming, artisan cheese making and growing plants than in 2020. This all being said, this sentiment rang even truer last Friday. It was obvious to me that Zoey was in labor, she does this thing where she will not leave the barn when she is about to kid, so I took the day off and spent the whole day sitting out with her. She is the type that will labor quietly all day and then lay down when you are least expecting it to start pushing. I had just given up hope that she was going to kid Friday and came in the house, I was second guessing my ability to know my goat and thought maybe, just maybe she was going to wait until Saturday. As I was sitting enjoying a hot tea (because I had gotten chilled sitting in the barn all day) and talking to Rob, I noticed on the camera she had started pushing. I ran down the hall to grab barn clothes and rushed out to be with her. I set my timer for 30 minutes, because I use this as a hard and fast rule as to when I should see progress.

So to be clear, if I do not see any progress after 30 minutes of pushing I go in to check things out. The first 30 mins had passed and she wasn't pushing actively the whole 30 minutes so I gave her another 15, and within those 15 we had a beautiful baby girl. I got her dried off and sat her in front of Zoey to allow the bonding to start. Zoey diligently licked her, but was making no more progress. I thought maybe she was distracted by the first baby, so we moved her under a heat lamp and let Zoey labor for another 30 minutes. When we did not have any additional progress, I called our vet, who was on emergency deployment, then Rob called two of the other ladies in our goat club and neither of them answered, so in a last ditch effort Rob decided to call our local vet hospital, who said they did not have a vet that would see goats on emergency. At this point I had went in and felt that all I felt was bones, no head or feet, so I realized if Zoey was going to live and her kids were going to thrive, it was in my hands.

I asked Rob for a clean set of gloves and got as much lubricant as I could and I went it. What felt like hours was probably only a few short minutes. I felt the kid and realized he was trying to come out spine first, so I re-positioned him into a breech position, without thinking, just going off of instinct and what I have learned and pulled him out. It was difficult, but he was alive. I immediately went back in to check to see if there were more and sure enough out came a second doeling. Thankfully, we got them all cleaned up and dried, and Zoey accepted them all even though it was a very stressful birth. By this time

the first kid had gotten a little cold since all the focus was on mom and the other two babies, so we were able to warm her under the heat lamp and dry her off with a blow drier and she was up and nursing.

The important lesson that this reinforced to me is, when it comes to emergency situations you must rely on yourself,because that is what will make the difference is life and death. Educate yourself, have all the tools on hand that you need to accomplish emergency tasks and trust your gut. Rob told me 10 minutes into Zoeys second session of pushing something was wrong, and he was right. She normally pushes for the first one and the rest come out with one easy push or two, if I had checked earlier I would have avoided additional stress to Zoey and her kids. Thankfully, in this situation all turned out well and momma and babies are all doing well. I hope that our next kidding goes smoother than this one did and that you have all healthy and safe kiddings out there!

Happy Goating!

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