... with two more does in-waiting. Yup, I promise. This is the absolute last year that I breed this many goats. While I get great joy in working with the mamas and the babies, caring for them (a labor of love) is wearing on me. On day one (the first 12 to 16 hours) I make sure the babies get their colostrum by either milking mama then force feeding baby, or by holding baby on mama's teat for about five minutes.
I've seen too many babies become weak before getting their colostrum. To keep them healthy and on the right development track, helping them with this task is an easy fix. Colostrum is truly a magic elixir.
Having said all that, feeding them every three hours is becoming a bit too much for me, especially the night-time hours. I've asked the ladies to deliver in the mornings around 6:30 so I'll have daytime hours to help them. Naturally, there was no response but I'll keep asking.
The second night is every four hours so I divide sleep time in half. That's easier on me.
Do I have to do this? Well, yes, most of the time. In a real world, babies are standing and nursing within minutes or they die. In my barn, I do what I can to help them. As long as I personally observe the babies nursing, I'll leave them alone. But putting a little mouth on a life saving teat is a small task to ask.
I do love my goats.