Beauty & Beast: The Birth Story

Meet Beauty.

And meet Beast.

Aren’t they cute?!

Beauty and Beast were born to their mother, Cammie, on Wednesday of last week, exactly one week ago. I remember that it was a Wednesday because Casey and I had Bible study later that night, and we ate a speed dinner on the way there because Cammie had just birthed her babies. Days like that make us feel like real farmers!! 🙂

If you read last week’s post about Rosie’s babies, Bolt and Biscuit, you’ll know that we missed the whole thing (our FIRST farm birth, and we missed it!). We were expecting Cammie to go into labor first because she was HUGE, so we weren’t watching Rosie as well. Well, you better believe we were watching Cammie this time. Even though 90-95% of goat births go off without a hitch, we still want to be there for those 5% of cases.. and to support our mamas!

Biscuit (one of Rosie’s kids) says hello!

Back to Wednesday…  Casey and I went up to the barn at lunch time and found that Cammie was definitely in labor. How could we tell? Her backside was glazed with a very light pink liquid. (Sorry, folks, for any TMI) We really haven’t been able to tell they’re in labor by behavioral changes yet. It’s weird– the goats act like this whole labor process is “normal,” even though they’ve never experienced it before. Maybe us humans should take a cue?

Well, the labor could have lasted any number of hours at this point (up to 12 hours) so we went back inside where we could monitor her on the “TV surveillance system” rigged up in our bedroom.

Casey had to go back to work, but I stayed within earshot of the TV and worked on a few things before I went out to the barn to sit with Cammie. I grabbed my camera, the birthing kit and jacket and went out to join her. Luckily it was one of those random 65-degree days in February, so it was quite a pleasant day for a goat birth!

When I first got out there, I tried to time her contractions. To the best of my perception, I timed them at 5 minutes apart. Did that mean she was close or still had a while? Sometimes you realize you haven’t done your research…

Then she started pushing–I knew that sign! So I called Tyler to come out. (Casey’s brother Tyler was visiting from Michigan that week, and lucky for us, he had some experience birthing calves on a dairy farm! We were counting on him if anything went wrong… just kidding… Bahhhha.)

Here is a video of the final moments of Cammie’s labor. (If you don’t like viewing goat backsides or see slippery creatures come out of them, don’t feel you have to watch!!) My favorite part is Cammie at the end of the video. This was her first birth, so she seems really confused by this new little creature who suddenly appears in her stall! It actually took Cammie about an hour to warm up to her babies–but once she did, she became a professional mama: super attentive and a super protective. Way to go, Cammie!

Cammie with her little Beauty and Beast.
Beast is our biggest goat baby, and great at nursing.

We would very much welcome visitors to the goat barn at any time. We had a bunch of people come by last weekend, and we hope to have more people out this weekend! They’re so much fun and we’d love to share them with you! But hurry… goat kids grow up incredibly fast.

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