Based on when Ivy was exposed to a buck, we expected her due date to either by March 12 or March 26th so when she went almost a week past the first due date we assumed that we wouldn’t see any action until around the 26th. Each day she has been getting bigger and bigger and has seemed uncomfortable for the past couple of weeks (or at least, I would be uncomfortable if I had two basketballs inside of me, which is how she looked) but we didn’t notice any significant changes today. So imagine my surprise when I went out to check on the flock before bed around 1:45am and everyone came running to the barn like usual except for Ivy. Ivy is usually at the front of the pack when they make their mad dash for the barn, ensuring that she is the first to arrive at the food troughs, so I grabbed my flashlight and went searching in the pasture. Near the back I saw a set of eyes reflecting in the beam of the flashlight and then a tiny little set of reflections closer to the ground…and then another! I’m not sure what time Ivy had her babies- I hadn’t checked on her since dusk so it could have been anytime between then and midnight. By the time I saw them they were fully cleaned and dry, though, so it probably had been at least a few hours.
I carried the kids to the barn and put them in a stall with Ivy so that she could have some privacy with them (and a bit of food without anyone else to steal it). The lighting in the barn isn’t great, but I got some pictures and a bit of video.
The video is posted here: http://www.youtube.com/user/mispainty
The photos are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lauralough/
Ivy is being a great mom. She is very aware of both babies and gets anxious if either strays too far (more than a couple of feet away). She doesn’t mind if I touch her or them but she won’t let any of the other animals get too close to them right now- thankfully the only ones that can get into the stall right now are Tink and Schnitz and they both know better than to mess with Ivy.
We will give Ivy a day or two to adjust to motherhood and then we will begin milking her. Because we won’t be removing her babies and giving them bottles we will only milk her once a day rather than twice a day like they do in dairies. Neither of us have ever milked an animal before so this will be an interesting learning experience! Thankfully our neighbor, where we got Ivy and where we took her for breeding, has many years of experience with milk goats so we know where to go for help!