I kissed a goat and I liked it.

There was no cherry chapstick. There was no fireworks.

There were trembling knees, and an emotional rollercoaster.

Our kidding season is significantly longer than it should be this year. We were having problems getting our working girls bred last fall (or so we thought). This meant that we were desperately trying to get enough girls in milk to fulfill out cheesemaking needs for the year …and since many of them were just hussies trying to get more dates, the result is more babies than we intended and a never-ending kidding season.

Last night was out next to last kidding for 2012, we hope.

I was in the cheeseroom preparing cheese for today’s market and tending cheese that we had placed in the brine earlier in the day. Tom was out in the parlor milking the goats. I heard his voice through the walls, he was talking to someone but surely at that hour of night it couldn’t be a person. When I went out and checked, he had been trying to get Whisper to stop pounding on every other goat in the pen. Apparently she was in labor and did not want any gawkers.

I took off the apron and the hairnet and in my ‘people’ clothes I rushed into the pen to calm her.

Once she was comforted she got down to business. One big contraction later and there was a rather large nose and a pink tongue with black spots. A quick check let me know that things weren’t right. There were no hooves. Head first doesn’t work for goats, they need to dive out.

This was a big baby too. The next 20 minutes was spent trying to keep it from being crushed in the birth canal and keep it breathing (it was already breathing so I couldn’t push it back in to rearrange it). I was desperately trying to reach past its neck, without stopping his air or blood flow, to get a shoulder or a leg. I knew pulling it by the head would end up with a dead kid. This kid wasn’t dead. It was breathing, it was looking at me. It needed help.

I assumed from the beginning that it was a boy. They always seem to be directionally challenged and don’t follow directions. Dive out boys, front hooves then nose. Not sideways, not head first. Toes and nose.

Finally, after way too long, some big contractions and a few fingers on a shoulder blade we were able to deliver the boy. He lay lifeless on feedbag we delivered him onto. We all worked too hard to bring this little life to the farm. I rubbed him vigorously hoping to stimulate him to life. Still nothing.

Seconds passed. When to my husband’s surprise (and perhaps horror?), I picked the kid up, wrapped his muzzle with my lips and gave 3 short quick breaths. I laid the baby down, continued rubbing him and yelled “Now BREATHE dammit!!”

Like a good boy he did. At first deep sporadic breaths, then some shallow pants, then a steady rhythm.

First tears, then nausea as the tingling on my lips let me know he was still covered in birth fluid when I took my “heroic” measures. Blech! Ack! Blech!! I needed a toothbrush and some mouthwash STAT!

Whisper's big baby boy.

Whisper helping to clean up her big baby boy.

He was exhausted from his whole birth experience so it took almost 2 hours before he was ready to eat. When he did eat, he ate greedily and perked immediately. Already walking he is progressing just as any other healthy big baby goat.

So the end result? A big healthy boy… and a goat kissing experience I’ll never forget, and hopefully never need to repeat.

Whisper's boy cuddled in my hand

Whisper’s boy cuddled in my hand after his first bottle

A special thanks to all my goat friends on my various goat groups that had talked about mouth-to-mouth with goats enough for the idea to be somewhere in the back of my mind, so I didn’t need to think about what I could do to save this kid. I just reacted, and the baby responded. I am grateful for the combined knowledge from this crazy and marvelous goat community.

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About Chief Milkmaid

A former executive, now goatmilker and cheesemaker, I am the Chief Milkmaid of the Little Brown Farm.
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6 Responses to I kissed a goat and I liked it.

  1. Bob T Panda says:

    Gives a whole new meaning to “mouth to mouth resuscitation.” Could I do it with a panda? Who knows? Maybe.

  2. Gerry says:

    This is great, now we know who to call on at the market if “mouth to mouth” is needed…. oh I feel the need now… seriously, good job!

  3. Dori says:

    Good Job! And what a great save, Vicky. That is a beautiful boy!

  4. Nancy Robinson says:

    Just like when my hubby gave mouth-to-mouth to Jack when he was born directionally challenged.. When he did that, I knew why I loved him. 🙂

  5. It has been a crazy year for breeding and kidding. I swear I bred everyone at least three times and then ended up with way too many kids and since I don’t have a dairy, way too much milk. My friends and family sure enjoy the extra chevre and halloumi though. I could say “Ditto on this post” except that I ended up losing my big tangled boy…and yes it is always a boy.
    I have had dairy goats since I was a child, at least 40 years, and it is very exciting to see goat products becoming more main stream. Yesterday on the show “The Chew” they were cooking with halloumi. Awesome.
    Needless to say, i’ve kissed and few goats and liked it too.

  6. Pingback: What will 2013 bring? | LittleBrownFarm

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