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We Have Triplets!!!

We Have Triplets!!!

1-wk-old Posie is the friendliest little thing

Exactly one week after our goat Rosie gave birth to Posie, we witnessed another more dramatic birth.  Jody, our four-year-old Nubian milk goat, had triplets!  She was in labor and heading for the woods.  The new-born pen/milking parlor still had Rosie’s and Posie’s bedding in it, so we quickly cleaned it out and put down fresh hay.  Then we walked laboring Jody from the woods to the pen.

During lunch I sent our 12-year-old daughter out to check on her again, and she came hollering back that Jody was delivering.  Lunch was abandoned as we all scampered out to watch.  The first kid had already made its entrance, and it came backwards, according to our daughter who witnessed it.  Fortunately it was very tiny, so the position didn’t cause trouble.  I wiped mucous from its nose so it could breathe better, and was amazed at how tiny it was.

We Have Triplets!!!

Jody paws (or I guess "hooves") the ground preparing to kid. Notice her swollen tummy and bulging udder!

Kid number two presented itself correctly and slipped out with no problem.  But the sack was still mostly intact over the kid’s head and it struggled, unable to breathe.  I pulled back the sack and wiped mucous off the little nose (a few of our younger kiddos thought this was gross) and saw it take its first breath!  It was a pretty little thing, all black, brown, and white, but definitely bigger than the first kid.

We Have Triplets!!!

Number two is being licked

We wondered if Jody was done, or if there were more.  Soon another contraction hit and it was obvious another was coming.  But after a few contractions it still wasn’t coming out.  Oh dear!  I looked at my fingernails and realized that if I needed to help things along I wasn’t really prepared.  I have rarely needed to do anything invasive, so it hadn’t crossed my mind.

I asked some of the children to run for a fingernail clipper and a clean rag towel.  By the time I had two fingernails off the kid was half way out but the contraction was ending and the kid started retracting back into Jody.  She was obviously in distress, so I dropped the fingernail clipper and carefully helped pull that kid out while Jody pushed as best she could (the same few younger kiddos thought this was REALLY gross).  That wasn’t terribly invasive, but more than what is usually necessary.

Kid number three seemed twice as big as the first!  No wonder Jody had trouble, after pushing out two, and then a giant!  And the sack was still unbroken and the kid wasn’t moving much.  Again I gently tore open the sack and cleared mucous from the nose so it could breath.  Jody was faithfully licking away at her kids, but it may have taken several minutes before she got to the big one.  I’m thankful we were there to help.

We Have Triplets!!!

The audience

We have memories years ago of finding a perfectly formed newborn kid, dead.  We weren’t present at the birth, but felt that probably with multiple kids the mama may not have been able to clear mucous away on time and it suffocated.  So sad.

Of course everyone wanted to know how many girls and how many boys.  Jody appeared to be done so I checked and announced that the first two were girls (yay, because it’s more likely that they’re keepers) and the “giant” was a boy!

It seemed the whole barnyard had turned out for the event (poor Jody).  Tess, our Arabian mare, hung her head over the gate.   Laddie, our Australian Shepherd, kept trying to reach under the gate to help with the licking.  A chicken even broke in and was immediately ushered back out.  Rosie, our other mama goat, stood on the other side of the chicken coop answering the cries of the newborns.  And of course our six kiddos and I were present.  What a party!

I was concerned about the first tiny kid.  In fifteen years of raising goats I have never seen such a tiny one born to a larger breed like Nubians (we used to have Pygmy goats and their kids are super tiny).  It had protruding ribs and looked nothing but skin and bones.  I held it up to Mama and helped her latch on as quickly as possible.  She was quite spunky and took to nursing quickly.  She ended up being the first to stand on her own, and the first to find the teats and nurse independently.  What a little cutie she is!

We Have Triplets!!!

The kids struggle to get up and nurse. The tiny one (Evenstar) just latched on.

Our oldest daughter is the name queen around here, and after a general discussion it was agreed the triplets would be named Evenstar (the tiny one), Luthien (the colorful one), and Baran (the “giant”).  If you recognize those names it’s because you also have been reading too much Tolkien.  We Have Triplets!!!

By bedtime the two little girls, Evenstar and Luthien, were nursing fairly well on their own, but Baran could still barely stand up.  I am thinking these kids are a bit premature (Jody was bred “accidentally” by our young buck and we didn’t find out when).  That would explain the extra help they have needed to nurse.  By yesterday Baran (one day old) was finally standing on his own but still couldn’t latch on without help.  I told him if he wants to be a good billy goat he will have to get a little more spunk!

We Have Triplets!!!

The triplets one day old: Beren, then Evenstar scratching herself, and Luthien

We Have Triplets!!!

Our three youngest loving on the kids at one day old

We Have Triplets!!!

Jody and her little family. Tiny Evenstar is under her, nursing again.

This morning Evenstar is filled out and Baran is doing great, latching on and not letting his legs buckle anymore.  Up till now his left hind leg kept bending the wrong way at the knee, but now he holds it properly.  It is very unusual for a kid to need this much help, and I keep wondering if I made it worse by pulling him out.  But I really think they were preemies, because Luthien was slower to stand up and nurse on her own as well.  And Baran took long enough coming out that he may have been a bit oxygen deprived.

For the record, Baran WAS twice as big as Evenstar!  He weighed in at 7 lbs, but Evenstar was barely 3.5 lbs!  And that was after she had a good drink!  Luthien was 5 lbs, so their weights were quite varied.  It’s a good thing Evenstar was the one who came out backwards.  If it had been Baran and he would have gotten stuck I’m afraid it would have been beyond my skill.  And we could easily have lost all four goats by the time a vet got here (don’t think about it).  So we thank the Lord for again blessing us with a smooth delivery.

We Have Triplets!!!

Posie climbs the mountain (of dead palmettos) with our two youngest


We Have Triplets!!!

Linked w/Natural Living Mama, Chicken Chick, Growing Home, Backyard Farming Connection, Homestead Abundance, Frugally SustainableSeasonal Celebration, My Simple Country Living, The Wilderness Wife, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Natural Living, Homemaking, Live Renewed, Simple Lives Thur., Tasty Traditions, Homemaker Hop, Little House in the Suburbs, Farm Girl Blog Fest, and Farmgirl Friday.

We Have Triplets!!!

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18 Responses to “We Have Triplets!!!”

  1. Awww…how precious! Makes me want to move out in the country, too!

  2. Gone Country says:

    Such little miracles! How neat that the young’uns were able to watch the births and thankfully you were there to assist. I can’t wait to have goats one day!

  3. mindy says:

    They are beautiful! Thank you so very much for sharing the birth story with us.

  4. Heidi says:

    Your blog has presented more than its fair share of miracles lately. Keep em coming. Between the birth of Posie and the triplets I am nearly in tears with joy. I love babies. Thank you for sharing such an amazing part of your life.

    • Rose Petal says:

      Thank you Heidi. Comments like yours can take me by surprise, and then I realize that I’m probably not thankful enough for this lifestyle that the Lord has given us the privilege of living. It’s certainly full of amazing blessings which I have done nothing to deserve.

  5. Oh what a wonderful post. I’ve shared this with my eldest daughter who simply adores goats! Thank you for sharing this story!
    I host a linky and would love it if you popped over and linked this post! It would be great to introduce your blog to my readership! Seasonal Celebration Linky Thank you :-) .

  6. How wonderful for your family!

  7. Erin says:

    They are so very sweet! I can not hardly wait until lambing starts here! We have a few here that think all that labor stuff is pretty icky too. lol

  8. They’re beautiful. How exciting to get triplets! So glad they all seem healthy and happy.

  9. Nancy says:

    I just love goats, even though I don’t have any of my own. How amazing to have triplets — I’m so glad they all are doing well.

    Thanks so much for sharing at Rural Thursdays. I hope you will meet up with us again. :)

    • Rose Petal says:

      I will be honored to meet up with you again. My oldest daughter is learning photography so she may start doing weekly posts/photos to share on Sundays. Thanks for stopping by.