Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pebbles' Secret

You may recall a close-up of this picture, which I posted on Wednesday, 3/24. Our girl Pebbles, with much vocalization and gnashing of teeth, delivered this healthy baby boy. Remember? When she was finished, we cleaned up, got the kid nursing, and went off to our various lives. Then there was Thursday. After school, I visited my mother and helped her out a little; I'll discuss that later. On Friday evening, I milked Pebbles because she only had the one kid. Her teats were plugged with some odd material that felt like cheese, so I removed it, and she gave almost a quart of beautiful, creamy milk. Hold that thought; it's more relevant than you know.
I attended a class with the master gardeners at the farm this morning, then hauled my good friend El and myself to the farmers' market in Gilbertsville, about an hour away. We make occasional pilgrimages there, for local meat and produce (in season), herbs, antiques, etc. We ended up spending the entire afternoon together. There were eggs to be bought, yard sales, thrift stores...I was in search of an old crib to repurpose as vine supports in my garden. El was looking for a certain piece of furniture for her sparsely furnished spare bedroom. We found lots of treasures, good food, and enjoyed an extended afternoon in the country. Upon our return, I dropped her at her car, then went back to Flint Hill to feed the goats. Miss "M", below, was there. She's a budding goat whisperer.
As I fed the goats, they clamored for my attention, as usual. Pebbles was particularly vocal, and I told her to calm down, that I'd get to her in a minute. Miss M asked me about Pebbles' baby, and asked me if she was going to have any more. I told her no, as the kid had been delivered several days before. M said that she thought Pebbles was going to have more babies. I kept feeding and watering the goats. M found something else to do outside.
Then all hell broke loose.
Pebbles started yelling again, and I glanced over at her; there were two little feet poking out! She had her baby on Wednesday! Today was Saturday! Was I confusing her with someone else? No...Pebbles has a very distinct voice, and she was using it. She was delivering AGAIN! I hollered for Kathy, and checked the position of the baby, who was lined up for the big dive. Pebbles started to push. Kathy came running. The human kids came running. Adult helpers came running. Miss "M", the budding goat whisperer, said "I TOLD YOU!" We delivered the first of THIS day's kids, another big boy, and Kathy checked deep inside and found another one! The final kid, a girl (HOORAY!) was born seconds later. Pebbles held out for three days!
Here's the happy family. Triplets. Baby buck #1, born 3/24. Baby buck #2 and his little sister, born 3/27. WOW.
Now, back to those teats. Do you suppose Pebbles might have been holding back her colostrum for her remaining kids? Although she nursed #1, she wasn't particularly interested in doing so, and he actually nursed from surrogate mommas in the pen with them. When I unplugged her and took that quart, I was amazed he had been getting anything from her; perhaps he hadn't. He's as healthy and vital a kid as they come, and is beating the two newborns to her udder now, BUT WE HAVE THAT QUART OF COLOSTRUM SAVED. Do you think she, in her infinite goaty wisdom, knew what she was doing? Nature is amazing. What a great day! And, Miss M...we grownups will listen more closely from now on. GOOD JOB!

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