Why I Sleep In the Barn

Ammi and Her Baby

Ammi and Her Baby

Its kidding time. Udders are bulging, stuff is coming out of behinds, mommas are fighting trying to gain a better position in the herd for their coming babies. As the farmer this means long nights in the barn, sometimes days as well. Nerves run high and tight; we have a lot of hopes riding on the babies born. We hope everything goes well and we have to do nothing at all, yet we are there waiting because sometimes something does go wrong. In the meantime, we are getting hit verbally from people that think in nature everything is good and humans should butt out and all will be fine. Those people anger me, they generally don’t have any livestock or major investment in animals. They have not experienced a doe that is so exhausted she lays down to die because her babies are tangled or twisted and no one is helping her. They have not gone out on a cold morning to find dead babies scattered on the ground half cleaned and a doe shaking from shock or ketosis. They have not seen the doe that knows she needs help and walks up to the farmer and ask, “please, help me! I can’t do any more!”. They have not seen a doe with a retained kid getting sick from infection from that decaying kid inside her body. Nature is not kind. It is survival of the fittest and chance. We try to breed for the best chance of health and vigor and survival in our domestic livestock, but we also can’t risk unnecessary loss. So, here we are freezing our fingers and toes, worrying and hoping all goes well. And when it doesn’t… we are there to help.

About nigerianmeadows

I am a homeschooling mother of 2 autistic children and cook gluten-free, I homestead on 2.5 acre and raise goats and chickens for dairy and eggs, I garden, cook, quilt, and take photographs. I build, paint, scrub, and dance on tables. I am the ultimate WOMAN!!! Oh, yeah, and I like my husband a whole lot (he is the one that makes all this possible, and he loves me like no other!)
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9 Responses to Why I Sleep In the Barn

  1. I agree with you whole heartedly! You have a major investment in these goats, both monetarial and emotional. It makes perfect sense that you would want to be there to keep an eye on things. I’m sure you know when to intervene and when to stand back. 🙂

    • Yes, I do and so do many others 🙂 I watched a beautiful birth just a couple of weeks ago, the babies came perfectly and quickly. I cleaned faces since they were coming so quickly, but let momma do the rest. I loved it!

  2. I am preparing for my first kidding season and I am so glad I was directed to your blog by a friend on FB.


    • Welcome, Heidi! I hope you find answers here. If you ever need to bounce ideas, go ahead. How many goats do you have ready to kid? I remember being so nervous for our first few kiddings!

  3. mel todhunter says:

    How True I had one doe That always waited for me. The only time she lost her babies I wasn,t. There.

    • That is so sad Mel 😦 They really do count on us. If I leave my girls call incessantly until I come back, except for one or two that are not as bonded to people. We are part of their herd and they trust us.

  4. Danielle says:

    Yes, they do trust us! I have saved babies just by being there. How can a doe clean kid #2 and #3 when she is pushing to deliver #4? In “nature” they might not be as healthy from the herbs, minerals and balanced feed that we provide for them so they might not have as many kids. I don’t plan to lessen their care so that they have fewer kids. I just wish my does wouldn’t start telling me that they plan to kid in the next 48 hours. One days notice would be fine 🙂

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