Monday, April 9, 2012

A Double Surprise

Dixie's due date was April 16th . . . so this past week, we were little expecting anything related to labor and kids taking place anytime soon. Yet sometimes, things can take us by surprise . . .

Yes, Dixie kidded this past Saturday!

It was a drizzly, overcast, and chilly day, and
for us, it was a long day that was spent away from home. After getting back in the late afternoon/evening, we were gathered downstairs a little tired and were talking about the events of the day. The curtains were pulled shut to try to keep the warmth in and the chilliness out, and as a result, we didn't have a view of the yard. At one point, it looked like the sun might be peeking through the clouds so I opened the curtains and looked out . . . only to see a little white tail wagging right next to Dixie out in the pen!

The little owner of the tail I saw

It took a few seconds to process what I was seeing, and then I exclaimed in surprise, "Dixie kidded!" There was a hurried rush for shoes and jackets, and Leah and I were out the front door hurrying to the pen with Dad not far behind us and Mom watching from the living room window. The
re was excitement, yes, but also concern as it was quite early for Dixie to kid and it was her first time. It was also not good weather or a good location to be kidding in.

We reached the pen and were very surprised to see not only the one kid st
anding next to Dixie (we were expecting Dixie to only have one as she didn't look large enough to be carrying twins and again, this was her first kidding), but there was another one lying flat on its side on the ground a ways away. Our first thought was that it was dead. But as we unlatched the gate, we saw it breathing!

Leah and I hurried in, and she picked it up gently by its hind legs with one hand underneath of its chest and began to carefully sway it
back and forth while it was upside down. The movement quickly produced pitiful, but still rather insistent, bleats. Baby #2, a buckling, was alive! Meanwhile, I raced back to the house for towels as the kid was still very wet and was chilled, and Dad went for a leash and collar for Dixie.

Thankfully, the barn had recently been cleaned out, and a stall was all ready to move Dixie into (we had planned to move her the beginning of this week as we expected her to kid closer to her due date of the 16th - not over a week earlier than that
!) So with Dad leading Dixie, and Leah and I carrying her kids, we brought them to their new temporary 'home', and there Mom joined us.

Leah helping the doeling to nurse

It appeared that the kids had just been born, so the first order of business was to get them dry and to help them to nurse . . . after getting a bit of colostrum into each of them, I brought the buckling indoors as he was chilled and shivering and did not have much of a suck reflex (a result of being cold.) Meanwhile, Leah continued to help baby #1 (a doeling) nurse, and Dad held Dixie still during that process (Dixie was a little unsure at first with all that was going on!)

What a cute face!

Inside, I laid the weak little kid on a towel over a heating pad and turned it on to low . . .

Little by little he began to warm up, but was still too weak to stand and could barely raise his head. Being nine days early and much smaller than his sister, this was not too terribly surprising. Being so early and small also resulted in him not being able to regulate his body temperature, so the first 18 hours or so, he spent brief times out in the barn, and the rest indoors either on the heating pad or in a towel lined cardboard box (and he spent last night in the house as well.)

Both kids were too weak to nurse on their own at first so the first night and the next day, we helped them every three hours or so.
We're still needing to give them some help, but they are doing a lot better now. Dixie has made the process much easier as she is so patient and stands perfectly still for us most every time. For a first time mama, she has been amazing!

The little doeling is now able to get up and down on her own, and is beginning to play a bit and is able to nurse pretty much on her own as well. The buckling is getting stronger and as of today, is able to get up on his own and walk some . . . granted, it's a little wobbly, but he can walk!

He's so tiny! And so adorable, too.

Needless to say, our weekend was rather eventful. :) We had been expecting a more difficult kidding for Dixie since this was her first time, but apparently, it was quick and easy for her. Both kids came without assistance, and as near as we can figure, her labor was relatively short. Things that we are so thankful for since we weren't there to help!

Alpine kids certainly are different than the Boers . . . I thought the Boers seemed small, but these tiny Alpines seem very small. When carrying them, it hardly feels like you are holding anything! They also feel so fragile with their tiny little bodies and slender little legs.

You can see the size variance here . . . by herself, the doeling looks small, but next to the buckling in this photo, she looks big! She weighed 6 lbs, and he weighed 4 lbs 12 oz.

Now with Dixie's kids here, we plan to begin milking Dixie in a couple of weeks. But we'll actually begin milking and getting our own milk before that time . . . just not from Dixie. :) And there will be more about that in a coming post!


  1. Wow! :) They are so precious... those little faces are so cute. :) Thank you for sharing, Sarah! It must have been a shock to look out the window and see a tail next to Dixie.

    God is so wonderful; what amazing little animals, so perfectly formed.

    May Jesus bless you! :)


  2. What a good thing that you were able to get to them quickly. They are so very sweet!

  3. Precious! Loved reading about them! Amy Kempf

  4. They are adorable, Sarah! What a blessing that it was an uneventful labor and that you discovered the buckling quickly. With two new little ones, I imagine you will be quite busy in the coming days!

  5. Awww...what a nice double surprise to come home to see two kids already born. They are so cute! I love the pink spot on doeling's nose.

    What's the difference between Alpine kids and Boers? Besides the sides. I can't remember, do you have Boers too or not? If yes, why do you have both Alpine & Boers goats?

    I'm looking forward to hear your milking adventure in the future post.

  6. Those new little ones are precious and perfect, indeed!
    Thank the Lord that Dixie's kidding went as well as it did.

  7. My children and I are learning so much about farm life for you! What beautiful photo's. God bless, Rose

  8. You’re welcome, Mikailah! They are so precious . . . I just love sitting out in the barn watching them and holding them. Yes, it was a shock to look out the window to find that Dixie kidded! That was the last thing we would have expected. It’s kind of funny, though, as I was just talking with someone that morning about how Dixie was due in a little over a week . . . then only a few hours later she kidded!

    So very true . . . that thought has come to mind many times as I watch these little babies . . . how God created them so perfectly, how the process of new life and birth goes, and more. The Creator is indeed more than worthy to be praised!

  9. Welcome to my blog, Marjo, and thank you for your comment! They certainly are. :)

  10. I am so thankful we were able to also, Elizabeth! If it had been much longer, the end of this story would have likely been quite different. They are really sweet! It is so fun now as they are learning how to play and even run a little bit. They also love to be held and to snuggle right down in our arms. Something that we rather enjoy. :)

  11. I am glad that you enjoyed it, Amy! And thank you for your comment. :) It was nice to hear from you again!

  12. They are, Renee! And are even more so in person. :) We are so very thankful that Dixie had an uneventful labor and that we were able to find the buckling so soon. And the doeling as well as she couldn’t nurse on her own at first. Yes, we have been busy with the new little ones, but they are just about ready to be ‘on their own’ now without any assistance from us at least. It has been so fun the past few days working with them and enjoying their adorable sweetness!

  13. It was, Leah! The doeling’s nose is cute, isn’t it. :) It’s kind of funny, too, how one half is white and the other black!

    Alpines are a dairy breed and thus smaller; while Boers are a meat breed and are a lot bigger. Yes, we have Boer’s as well, and the reason that we have both is that they each have different purposes. I really like each of the breeds!

    I look forward to sharing more about our milking adventure in a future post! It should be coming soon. :)

  14. Yes, they are, Helena! We, too, were so thankful to the Lord that Dixie’s kidding went as well as it did. We still find it hard to believe that she kidded all on her own for the first time without any complications!

  15. I am glad that you are able to enjoy it and learn something from the posts, Rose! And thank you. :)

  16. Oh, those are such cute little kids! I really, really want some!

  17. They are indeed very cute, Joy! And I love their personalities . . . they are so sweet and love to be held and cuddled. I know you would just love having some!


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)