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  • Writer's pictureHayley Parker

Saanen Goat Suzie’s Birth Story

I kept a watchful eye on Suzie Tuesday the moment we were home from our errands. The family spent the evening by the barn so Zack could finish the girls new barn doors before the kids arrived. All signs pointed toward a birth that would soon begin but when, we would have to patiently wait it out. Her due date wasn’t until the following day so I wasn’t banking on it happening quite yet.

What I would do for electricity up at our barn and a more convenient way to watch for our does giving birth. In my last post Witnessing Birth On The Farm, I explained the reasons why I commit in attempting to be present for my does births. I do choose this but there is no doubt that it can be a lot. It entails hiking up and down the hill to check on the soon to be Mama often. I think in any birth story their is the hum of excitement, anticipation and with that said it takes a lot of energy. I live for it and I’m also thankful it is only dedicated to a season in the year.

Early Wednesday morning, her due date.

I came up to check on Suzie at 12:30 am and 6:30 am. No action. The kids and I packed a bag so we could spend our morning up by the barn and keep a watchful eye. We read and worked on some school, the kids played in mud and endlessly ate every last crumb of food I packed us. I milked Indigo and even put Suzie on the stand to collect a cup of colostrum since her milk had come in. Remember she’s a first timer! I like to have a little back up of colostrum God forbid anything were to happen during birth, the babies would have what they need. We headed down to the house just in time to beat the rain.

I walked up to visit Suzie a few more times on Wednesday. The goats I have watched birth never go early, but most definitely give birth on their due date or within a day maybe two of their due date. They are much more timely than us. Every time I came up she seemed to look a little further along and closer to shifting into birth but just not quite there yet.

I did one last check at 9 pm and then Thursday morning I went up at 2 am and it was clear nothing was happening yet. I walked up at 6:30 am, same. I didn’t want to leave her for more than a couple hours at this point because I knew how close we were. I walked up with my coffee and pretty prepared to settle in at 8:30 am. At first I was disappointed seeing no changes. Since Wednesday evening her tail had lifted and arched but there were no clear signs of contractions. Now, they were potentially there but… faint? I don’t know. And that’s what it feels like. I sit, observe and wonder until I know. I was thinking about heading down to the house but decided to give it another five minutes or so. That was when those arches in her tail became more timely and Suzie began to show subtle reaction to every one. I called Zack to tell him I was planning on grounding in and he could send Charlotte on up if she like.

From 9 am on I was in my happy place where everything I have waited for is going down. Charlotte had the opportunity to ask endless questions and there was nothing but the time alotted to answer those questions and watch Suzie. We read and dug into books to keep busy. We watched as Suzie began to have more regular contractions, she would paw at the ground nesting and lay down only to get back up again. I think the most telling moment I knew she was going into labor was her switch of personality. The past days she was distant and really wanted to keep to herself. When we settled into the stall she was affectionate and happy to have the support. This is common for does during birth to flip flop personality trait.

From casual contractions to full on pushing Suzie surprised us as she layed down and began to push at 10:37 am. She reacquainted herself one last time before laying down and I was able to set up puppy pads and have towels ready for delivery with my kit close by. At this point Suzie was vocal and this is naturally when adrenal kicks in on my end. Charlotte was trying to slip out of the stall and hold back gagging. As Suzie had a moment between contractions I was able to talk Charlotte through the discomfort and see if she wanted to stay, “you can look away Char, I know it’s a lot.”

Suzie began another contraction and her water broke. Immediately following she delivered Darla a baby doeling at 10:43 am. I only assisted in pulling Darla out but Suzie proved she most definitely did not  need me. She delivered with greater strength than any of my does have. Suzie was immediately willing to begin licking of her baby and tending to her. I helped to clean her off a bit and do a quick check on what I’d like to see enduring good goat health and placed her in front of her mom. By 10:54 another doeling was born, Juniper. It only took Suzie a couple of minutes to push her out and she arrived fully in her sac. She was covered in yellow, meconium which I learned is a proven sign she was late, only by less than a day really.

Happy hearts in those moments. I was able to have and share this time with my oldest daughter. Suzie has honestly been the best Mama and her kids have learned to nurse and romp around like goat kids in no time at all. We are enjoying this goodness and ensuring Suzie has a lovely postpartum experience as we also gear up for Rue to kid in one weeks time!

Darla, doeling- Thursday April 11th at 10:43 am

Juniper, doeling- Thursday April 11th at 10:54 am

1 Comment

Apr 16

So exciting!! Happy birth day to you all!! I can’t wait to read this story to my kids they are going to love hearing about how Char helped out ❤️

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