We got a wonderful surprise on Friday with Biscuit's babies arriving early. Beautiful December morning with April weather ..... started with our regular routine, milking, feeding, chores and then does went out for their daily browsing. They somehow got from the north pasture into the south pasture and I decided to round them back into the barn. I thought at first it was perhaps just my wishful thinking and imagination ... yet, I was super hopeful ... seeing straw stuck on Biscuit's rear end as she walked towards the barn. It did indeed turn out to be a plug accompanied by already strong contractions. 3 days before due date ... definitely surprise since my first fresheners rarely go early, more often than not they like to keep me waiting. We have another Riverside Ranch girl here who likes to take us by surprise with lightening fast kidding after she eats breakfast and not revealing any early labor sign - Zia. I am glad to see Biscuit has a similar disposition.
She wanted to go into the barn seeking solitude, not really wanting my company but not rejecting it either. Biscuit is not the most effectionate of my does, actually more on the reserved side, so this was important time to bond with her. Rest of the herd was put back in the north pasture and I stayed with her in the barn, offering some alfalfa, water and fresh straw. Contractions got closer fast, we barely gathered some towells and washed up. I remember sending Nadja for a glass of water and sending a few texts. First baby came in the middle of a phone call, cell quickly tossed into a feeder :)
Did I say this all happened pretty fast - larger buckling shortly followed by a small doeling and placenta presented next. Both normal position, healthy and responsive.
I am in love with Biscuit's udder, I used to admire her dam's perfect little first freshener udder and hers is an exact replica with longer teats. I will say this may just be the best attached udder I have every seen, evenly disctibuted over a large area, fore so nicely blended into the stomach you can hardly tell where one ends and the other begins. In 24 hours it has filled out nicely and I believe it will be more productive than I expected. I was really hoping for corect mammary, I do expect capacity and productivity in my older does but mostly look for correctness and form in a first time milker.
I will have more updates on Biscuit with body and udder shots, so far I only got a chance to photograph the babies but will have better pictures of them as well.
1 day old today, they had their colostrum, Vit E capsule (contents only) and BoSe shot and are as cute as they can be. Please welcome Scarlett and O'Hara. We just might do a book/movie theme with names this year :)