By Teresa Michaud
You can see that Rosa is a fine robust angora goat, the herd queen. She has a good, solid frame and a long body. Her horns are slightly masculine. They turned out moderately and she had begun using them as a weapon to tyrannize the gentler does. Last fall I shortened her horns so now they end straight down where they should be. Although she was mortified at the time, she has since mellowed and is now quite pleasant and well mannered.
Rosa was soon due to kid. She had to be five feet wide when she was lying down. She was very heavy and had trouble getting comfortable enough to rest. I knew she would have twins and that they would certainly be a good size. I would check on my goats often. Each day, I would find Rosa lying nearest the door of the barn. I would slowly pull the tarp aside and wiggle through the small opening so as not to disturb her, as I knew that lately this was her favourite resting spot. I could tell she was due today. There was no real way of knowing. I judge by the ligaments on each side of the tail and by how lippy and loosened the hind end is. Well, Rosa’s tail looked like it would fall off. I could get my fingers completely around it where the ligaments should be. She could kid twenty minutes from now or it could be much later.
I left for my afternoon bus run and upon my return, I found Rosa at the other end of the pen near the tip tank. She had just given birth to her second doeling. She was licking her off and gently talking to her. The first doeling had crawled halfway under the water tank. She was lying on her tummy with her back legs trailing behind her. I reached underneath, pulled her out, and set her down near Rosa. They were both healthy and looking strong. Rosa had not cleaned out yet. I decided to put her in the smaller pen. From the moment they are born, kids loved to crawl into caves and holes. I knew that the tip tank would be quite a challenge.
I settled the little family. I brought a couple of clean fluffy towels from the house and I helped Rosa dry off the babies. I also gave her a nice pail of warm water. She was thirsty and I could see that she was also very tired. I gave the twins each a shot of selenium and vitamin E. I would return to the barn later to make sure that they were both drinking. Right now, I knew that Rosa wanted to rest. I exited the smaller pen carrying the towels. I was heading towards the house when suddenly I heard something. I stopped short and turned around. It was coming from under the tip tank. I reached underneath and pulled out another doeling! She was a real good size and very strong. I began drying her off. While struggling around under the tank she got some mud on herself. I brought her into the smaller pen where Rosa was. Rosa immediately stood up and began to lick her off and talk to her. It looked as if she was saying, “There you are sweetie! I thought you were lost forever!”