Pasqualina & Her Doelings

As those who follow Goat Berries on Facebook know, Pasqualina gave birth to two healthy doelings on Monday:

The newest additions

The newest additions

If you’d like more deets, the sequence of events went a little like this:

** 2 p.m. – I did a normal afternoon check on her, and she was pacing around, bleating *way* more than usual, and generally starting to look nervous. Her back was more arched, the ligaments around her spine were pretty loose (I had noticed they were loosening the day before, and for not goatie people, this is a sure sign that labor is coming because those ligaments loosen to make it easier to push out a kid or two), and her sides were hollowing out (meaning the baby or babies were dropping into place).

All classic goat labor signs.

I stayed with her and called Paolo to let him know it was happening, and that he could find me at the pen.

The last time she gave birth, she started having contractions within a half hour or so of this kind of behavior, so I wasn’t about to go anywhere.

** Between 3 p.m. and 5:35 p.m – I stayed with her most of the time as she got up and laid back down, got up and laid back down, paced back and forth, looked glassy-eyed on and off and also had slightly bloodshot eyes, pawed at the ground a few times, and started talking in her mamma voice, quieter than a bleat and more like mumbling toward her belly.

Again, more classic goat labor signs, and they were intensifying, so I knew it must be getting closer, although I’m not going to lie — I did wonder how long these types of symptoms could go on before there was a problem. I know that if a goat is actively pushing and nothing is happening for 20 to 30 minutes, there could be issues, but I wasn’t able to find information on how long the signs of labor could go on before active labor began — apparently it’s at least three to four hours.

I kind of got the feeling like she didn’t want or need me there this time — a strong contrast to last time when she literally called me into the pen to sit with her. I wasn’t offended, and I took a couple breaks from the pen over the course of those hours, probably ten minutes at a time.

Paolo had come home in the meantime and sat with us both at the pen for a bit; then we decided we were hungry so he went to get some provisions at the store.

** 5:35 p.m. – Paolo brought me back a sandwich, and although normally I would have just eaten it there at the pen, something told me to go to the house.

I told Pasqualina before I left, “If you’re not going to need my help, please go ahead and do this on your own to save your ma some stress — but if you’re going to need my help, please wait until I get back.”

She didn’t need my help.

** 6:00 p.m. – I returned to the pen to this scene:

Goat birth delivery scene

Goat birth delivery scene

When they say goat birth happens fast, that’s how fast it can happen — she hadn’t even had a contraction before I left, or if she did, she disguised it well (last birth, the contraction was unmistakeable because she *screamed* out).

The second kid was probably out for a couple minutes when I showed up as she was still behind Pasqualina and hadn’t been cleaned off at all. The first placenta was already passing, and both passed within an hour.

Many of the goat sites I’ve read discuss an involved process of assisting with goat births, including “helping” the mamma clean the kids and other actions — we don’t do anything but let the mamma take care of things. We watch closely to make sure it’s all getting done, of course, but the weather was nice, so there was no fear of the babies being too cold or anything like that. The umbilical cords took care of themselves (as they have done in the previous three goat births we’ve had here), so we were just watching while the little ones got their legs.

Pasqualina laid on her side for a good long time after the births, so when she finally got up, one of the kids went for her first meal pretty quickly. The other needed some guidance, so this is an example of where we will step in if needed. She was a stubborn sucker, pun intended, but I finally got her to take the teat by opening her mouth with my hand and getting her to start sucking on my finger — from there I just transferred it to the teat, and she got her first meal in as well.

Here is Day 2, and she’s already an old pro:

This teat is mine.

This teat is mine.

They both peed to let us know they were girls and then also both passed their first sticky, tar-like poop (meconium), and we breathed a little sigh of relief. As we all know, anything can always still go wrong, but getting those babies out healthy was a *big* relief — and my sweet dam did it all herself and saved me stress in the process.

We still haven’t named them, but I joked with Paolo before they were born that if they were girls, they’d be “Gem” and “Elle” — the word in Italian for twin girls is gemelle, but I’m not sure the names really fit them, so we’re still thinking about it.

Now on Day 3, both are bouncing and running around like mad little goaties — just as it should be — except when I snatch them up for cuddles.

Me and the new babies

Me and the new babies

And of course there will be more photos and video forthcoming.

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34 Responses to “Pasqualina & Her Doelings”
  1. Deb South
    04.26.2012

    My doe, Sara, did the same thing to me. Being a first timer I wanted to make sure things went well. I noticed her starting labor and sat down in her stall. Which turned into laying in her stall. I stayed in that stall with her all night untill about 3:30 A.M. when I couldn’t take the cold any longer. When I had come up to check her the night before I wasn’t planning on camping out so I had no provisions (coat, blanket, pillow) and it started raining as soon as I got there so I had to wait for the rain to stop if I wanted to return to the house. Like I said, about 3:30 I ran back to the house, actually walked fast running is really out of the question. I grabbed a cup of coffee and a warm coat and returned to find Sara had things well under control. A boy and a girl both delivered and in the process of being cleaned. I guess those looks she kept giving me were actually “Will you hurry up and get out of here so I can do my thing” looks. You’d think I would learn my lesson and realize that they don’t need me to do what they have been doing for all time, but I still like to make myself available at that time “just in case”.

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    Yes, I think that’s all we really can do, Deb — be vigilant but know that nature has been taking care of this forever…I’m *so* relieved she didn’t need me!

    [Reply]

  2. 04.26.2012

    Mazel tov! They are both SO sweet! I had a wonderful little goat when I was younger, and every six months she had two kids. It was always so exciting, and she always delivered independently (with me watching.) It is such an amazing moment two watch them stand up on their little wobbly legs and do all the things they’re supposed to do. So glad it all went well.

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    It really is amazing to see how natural the whole process is, that even the kids, just minutes old, know what they’re supposed to do. Thx for the good wishes!

    [Reply]

  3. Rita
    04.26.2012

    They are beautiful!!

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    Thx Rita!

    [Reply]

  4. Joanna
    04.26.2012

    Auguri!!!

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    Grazie!

    [Reply]

  5. 04.26.2012

    What a good girl you have! The babies are little beauties.

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    She really is such a sweetheart; thanks :)

    [Reply]

  6. Samantha
    04.26.2012

    They are beautiful little girls! You are a lucky goat mama. I’m glad they and Pasqualina and the babies are doing well. :)

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    Thank you — we are all lucky indeed!

    [Reply]

  7. Samantha
    04.26.2012

    **I meant Pasqualina and the babies. I don’t know where “they” came from! Lol.
    It’s early still. O.o

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    I got it 😉 And I understand early haha 😉

    [Reply]

  8. AmyEmilia
    04.26.2012

    Beautiful! Your face is full of wonder. And those little kids are so cute!

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks AmyEmilia; they have a way of making everything seem wonderful :)

    [Reply]

  9. 04.26.2012

    oooh I love their color!!! So pretty :-)

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Janet!

    [Reply]

  10. 04.26.2012

    Couple of sweeties for sure! Happy all went and is well! Love the photo
    of you and the sweeties! xx <3

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    Thx Pam! It’s so great to have kids around again :)

    [Reply]

  11. Gil
    04.27.2012

    Look so nice and sweet.

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    They are lovely little girls, thanks Gil!

    [Reply]

  12. Beth
    04.27.2012

    Still grinning like an idiot here. Sooooo happy for you all!

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    Hee hee…me too…hard not to smile when thinking of these little ones!

    [Reply]

  13. 04.27.2012

    Auguri all the best. They’re so cute!

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Lucy!

    [Reply]

  14. Teresa
    04.27.2012

    They are beautiful! So glad things went well. I like to let the mom clean them off and take care of the cords too, unless it’s freezing. Congratulations!

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    I had a feeling we were of the same kidding school, Teresa :) Thx for your support, as always :)

    [Reply]

  15. 04.27.2012

    I love reading your goat stories Michelle. It prepares me for doing this all one day! Lucky you to be a part of this magical process.

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Jeni! You’re going to love goatie-dom :)

    [Reply]

  16. 04.28.2012

    Congratulations and thanks for posting lovely goat baby pictures!

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Jess! My pleasure on the pics :)

    [Reply]

  17. Great pictures!! Cute little ones…and I love the names. Also, your eyebrows are perfect…love the shape! :)

    [Reply]

    michelle Reply:

    Hahaha thanks Salena :)

    [Reply]


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