Our nigerian dwarf goat, Cornerstone Adina, kid late last night. Or, should I say early this morning? What a story it makes, too! Buckle up for the ride, and I’ll tell you all!
The adventure began around lunch-time, April 27th. I had Adina, a first timer, in the kidding stall. We had her in there since milking time that morning, but she didn’t appear to be making much progress. The air was heavy and humid, with temps pushing 90 degrees or more, and very little wind. With all the moisture of recent storms and the occasional thunderstorms we were having all day, the barn was rather unpleasant. I put a fan up for Adina to make her more comfortable and keep flys away. It was so miserable to be out there! You could see flies everywhere since they didn’t want to be out in the rain any more than me or the goats, and when I would sit down I would be covered with 20 or more in seconds. Disgusting!
Spending time waiting for kidding to occur, I was going back and forth from house to barn and back again. The whole family was deep-cleaning the upstairs for something to do. After lunch I went to the barn to check on Adina, and what I found struck fear to my core! Adina was reared up in the corner of her stall, while a snake that was easily 3 or more feet in length was curled up in the hay and striking at her! It’s head was flattened like that of a cobra, and it’s markings were not clear in the semi-dark of the barn. I frantiaclly opened the stall door to allow Adina to escape and the snake struck at me. Grabbing the garden rake I used the blunt side to pin the snakes head, but it was trying to slither out backwards and into a mole-hole in the floor. Not knowing for sure whether I had a viper or rat snake, and knowing I couldn’t leave it, I grasped it behind the head and pulled it out of the hole. It was almost as long as I was tall, and thick. I thought I might check with my husband on what it was before releasing the head, so leaving Adina loose in the milk parlor I took the snake to my hubby (who used to go by the nick-name of “Snake-man” for a reason!).
James thankfully identified the snake as a black rat snake, and helped me release it away from our property and all the yummy chicks that were recently hatched. I just hoped it ate the mole first! Next, I ran back to the barn to force Adina back into the dreaded stall. She watched that corner in terror, and it took some sweet-talking to get her calmed down. She still isn’t very trusting of that corner of the stall!
I went back inside to tell the world of this only to find the internet and phone down, and no cell service. Not the end of the world, but a bit frustrating. Talking to the neighbor revealed it would not be fixed until at least the next day. Okay, no biggie, but I had a bad feeling.
Supper came and went, and still no sign of babies. Adina was acting like Cindy who had kids in a bad position and gave birth to a dead kid. I was getting worried as we put the children to bed. I finally saw some fluid draining and decided to stay in the barn until Adina had the babies. Hours went by. She would stand, arch her back, act like she wanted to push, then lay back and rest for 20 minutes. Over, and over. Around mid-night she finally started really pushing, at last! I saw a foot, but she was having trouble getting it out. Not a very good sign. I took a closer look and my soul got very heavy. It was upside down.
Now, a perfect birth is the two front feet in front of the nose, called a diving position. Breach, with the butt first is pretty bad, but I have dealt with that. This kid looked like it was going to be breach. I got another foot, and it was positioned opposite of the first. No! This was not right!! The legs were all twisted, and I thought maybe I had 2 kids presenting. I donned my gloves and felt around, found a mouth. The kid was in an upside-down diving position! With legs twisted up!!! Ohhh, no, not good. Adina couldn’t get the head any further. I waited about 30 minutes, then decided to try pushing the kid back in and re-postitioning it. Adina was so small and tight I couldn’t get more than 3 fingers in, not enough to turn the kid. She pushed the legs out again, and I tried to help pull the kid, but it wasn’t working. Adina couldn’t stand, but was thrashing from side to side like she was hurt in her back.
Time for the vet, but still no phone! I called for my husbands help, but he couldn’t rouse the neighbors to see if their cell phone would work. We went back to the barn, but things were still bad. I went over to the neighbors house and started yelling and the kid came out and let us use his cell phone to call the mobile vet. She was not very optomistic, and said we were most likely going to have to take her to the vet university for a c-section, but was willing to come out. By this time my husband was yelling for me at the barn, and Ben and I ran back, cell phone in hand. Adina was still trying to get the head out, but making no progress. We had decided that the kid was most likely dead after more than an hour of legs sticking out and me pushing and pulling on it, so I decided I was going to try one last time to pull it out. With my huband holding Adina so I didn’t drag her across the floor, I braced myself and grabbed the legs. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose trying to use the legs to turn the kid, so before pulling again I twisted the legs over, then pulled with all my might. It had turned the kid into a normal diving position, and out it came with Adina yelling like we were killing her. In shock I watched the kid shake it’s head and try to breath!!!!
We quickly cleared the airways and got the kid to Adina, who was one worn out doe. No sign of shock, and she immediately started bonding with her kid, a big, jet black buckling with a small white star on his head. We got Adina on her feet and milked her a bit to feed the very hungry kid since she was having trouble standing. He ate greedily, and about an hour later Adina passed the after-birth. One single kid. Both are doing well, and a day later we finally have phones and internet again. And thus the buckling is dubbed “Nigerian Meadows Lucky Star”.