Friday, February 22, 2008
Well, apparently Bobbie Sue (the older doe) gave birth yesterday morning. Steven didn't call me at work and tell me about it because the triplets she gave birth to all died. :(
Two were stillborn, and one was barely breathing when born. He was right there and did all he could to revive it, but couldn't keep it breathing. The triplets were two males and a female.
Obviously, Steven (and I) are very discouraged by this. Probably more so for him, because it really sets him back in his plans for his herd; plus there is just the emotional letdown when you try so hard to revive a baby animal and give it mouth-to-mouth and everything, but just can't will it to live. Since this was the first of his herd to give birth, it makes it hard.
We could have had a 100% increase in our herd yesterday (we have three goats now, this would have added 3 more all at once) but instead got a zero gain.
For good news - at least the doe appears okay -- no excessive bleeding or acting like she is hurt in any way by the birthing. Theoretically, she will probably go back into heat with 30 days, and maybe the next birthing will be in the warmer months of August/September. It was so extremely cold yesterday morning, what with the sleet coming down and all -- but we don't think that was an issue. She was in the barn in the straw and Steven was there to warm them - they just weren't viable right from the start. From all appearances (of them) they seemed fully formed and full size and healthy -- nothing to indicate stress in the womb. We will never know why they didn't make it.
Although I remember having this type of thing happen back when I was a youth raising sheep -- it is very disheartening for it to happen the very FIRST time one of your new herd gives birth. I'm sure Steven is hurting (although he would never show it); I know I cried like a baby when I was a teenager if I lost a lamb.
We're not even sure if the other doe is pregnant -- we think so -- but she's not nearly as big as #20 was. Hopefully if she is, then maybe she will just have a single. I would rather have a live, health single birth that triplets or twins that don't make it.