Friday, May 16, 2008

Firefly's Kidding Story

Thursday afternoon I noticed that Firefly appeared to possibly be having mild contractions. I say appeared because I have never done this before and it was all new. I read lots of books but let me tell you, Firefly was not textbook case! I made dinner all the while checking on her every 30-60 minutes. From what I could tell she seemed to be having "mild" contractions. Here she is having a contraction. At this point in the game I really felt as if I was guessing about everything. So I kept saying, "I think that is a contraction." Why I thought it was a contraction? Tail straight and stretched up. The tailbone is stretching towards to sky making the opening between tail and bottom of vaginal opening very long. It is usually quite a small area. Look at the size of that udder!! My first hint that kidding was fast approaching was how quickly the udder filled up. It is ENORMOUS.

Once I decided to lock her in her kidding stall she would often pace and paw the ground to make a nest. When she seemed to have a contraction, Kelsey loved to say, "Look, she is praying towards the icons." This picture was taken about 5 minutes before the first kid was born. If you had asked me at this point how long it would be I would have told you at least an hour. She had no signs whatsoever of being near actual birth. No mucous hanging in long strands. No little feet sticking out. No amniotic bubble or gush of water. Nothing. Just what appeared to be a mild contraction. She was VERY stoic. Right after this picture was taken she lay down in her "nest" she built and was not comfortable. About 30-60 seconds later we thought she was trying to stand up as she stood on just the front legs. But instead of stand she grunted very loudly three times, contracted and on the 2nd grunt we saw feet appear and the third grunt a baby kid came flying out very quickly with a big burst of liquid. It was UNREAL. Everything moved so quickly and so unexpectedly.

Below she is licking her little darling doe that literally flew out. She had another bubble hanging out of her rear end so we knew there was at least one more on its way. About 10 minutes later she got really agitated and began her pacing and pawing. We had to move the little doe out of her pawing path even.

Five more minutes and she pushed 4 times and out popped little buck. He has very similar colors to Firefly.

Here they are dried off and waiting for mom. We tried to get them to nurse a couple times but then about 15+ minutes later we noticed the pawing and pacing again and she seemed to be contracting. We thought she was just going pass the afterbirth but no....

...out popped little buck #2, backwards. He looks just like his sister, except a little lighter on the head and some funny but faint stripes on his tail and back.

Here is Kelsey holding the little doe. Charissa has made her mind up to call her Brown Sugar but it is not a definite thing. I told my kids we should name the bucks "Spit"-fire and Dressing. Get it?

Here they are practicing how to use their legs.

They are sound asleep on Hannah's lap. Oh, so cute.

This was just the beginning of the amazingly long night. For some reason Firefly has not wanted to be much of a mother despite the fact that this is her 4th or 5th kidding and she has always been a good mother. Her previous owner said she thinks the triplets are just overwhelming, she's never had them before and last year she only had a single birth. I asked her what I should do and she said I could bottle-feed, which I knew, or just make her. Tie her to the fence, hobble her legs and make her nurse. She'd probably settle into within a day or so. But I just have kept trying to get her to nurse and if she doesn't I bottle feed them. I was up till 3AM trying to get her to nurse them and finally gave up and milked her to bottle feed. I woke at 530AM and she allowed them on her for a very short time and then went "mean". Pushing them away and getting all upset, nearly trampling them. Tonight she let them eat for a bit but then went really crazy, she scared us a little. So I think we've resorted to the bottle.
They are slowly getting used to bottle, it's difficult.


Michelle Melania said...

How sweet! They are adorable. Poor Firefly; I hope she'll let those babies nurse soon.

Liz in Seattle said...

They're gorgeous. That's terrific that Hannah got to be there :-)

Alana said...

What wonderful little animals. My youngest daughter will especially enjoy seeing pictures of the babies! Thank you for sharing.

mamajuliana said...

Beautiful Babies! Hope the bottle feeding is getting mama letting them nurse yet?

CJ said...

they are so cute I cried with joy when they where born.
Thank God they are drinking water and nibbling hay and we are bottle feeding them.