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  • Writer's pictureHayley Parker

Witnessing Birth On The Farm


I’ve been asked a number of times the last few days…


Do you really need to be present for your goats birth?



Don’t think I am taking this question offensively in any way shape or form. If anything I hear you and the inquiring only invited me to really think about it to be able to give my answer. Here is what I have to say.


I don't have to but I choose to. The goat births on the farm always bring me back to my own birthing experiences. There is the reminder of what is completely out of your control, the uncertainty, the timing of it all. It can all bring out exhaustion and anxiety for the mother and yours truly (the supporter). But let’s remember birth is natural, instinctual, and Mama knows what she is doing even when it’s her first time. Playing doula is an honor and I’m not here to be a hero for my farm animals. I’m not trying to step in and take over. I’m trying to make space for and support her in every way imaginable to allow for the best birthing experience possible. Having an animal born on our farm is like signing a contact with nature that we are responsible for their health and well-being. We are happy to see that through.


So if I am not present for a birth on our farm I’m sure all would most likely go according to “plan.” We would have a healthy mom and babies to follow. But in the case that there would be trouble, we want to be there to assist and do what we can. The initial birth I have asssited of Suzie’s mother was a 3 am labor and 5 something am birth that most definitely needed my assistance. Remi, the mama, was unable to complete pushing out her kids on her own and I am grateful I was right there to help pull two kids out. We now have a thriving Suzie and her brother George.


Let’s not forget our goats provide our family and our business with goat milk. You can put work in daily but if the day comes and a birth goes wrong you can end up back in the beginning needing to breed or find a source of milk for the year ahead. It seems this is the least of our worries with complications but one honestly worth noting.

Most importantly after a goat has kidded, there is a list of things between mother and child to be done for their optimal health. This is where cleanliness, assisting in pulling babies out to immediately be cleaned and accepted by Mama, holding the kids upside down to clear out some of that goop and allow for optimal breathing, making sure babies show up anatomically correct, assisting each of them for their first colostrum feed, making sure they dry off enough to be warm enough to safely stay in their stall with mom, dipping each umbilical cord in iodine, has mom passed the placenta? This is not a complete list but some of our farms role that comes to mind in showing up for a birth.


Healthy mom & kids are the largest reward & oh yeah, all of that raw goat milk. I’ll forever seek to be present for everyone of the births on our farm. This one just happened to be shared with my daughter Charlotte. And now we rest and enjoy fluffy goat kid snuggles. In ten days time up we will be called for Rue’s birth and will have a chance to enjoy the process all over again. I hope this answers your question.



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