Small regrets aside, on June 13th Chocolate finally delivered and produced two gorgeous little girls, Cherry and Chica. It's another birth we largely missed, just like Mabel! Chocolate had released her mucous plug, so we knew her time was coming and put her in the birthing pen. When nothing happened for a couple of days and she seemed calm and relaxed, we decided to put her in the pasture on a lovely morning and get her some fresh air, sunshine and good grazing. We were working around the area and checking on her regularly. She seemed at ease, so late morning we decided to grab lunch. A mere half an hour later we came out to be greeted by Vic, one of the garden renters who waved and called 'So, you had some new babies?' Farmer Man and I rushed to the pasture to find Chocolate with her twins, under a tree. Chocolate was proving to be a good mommy and the babies were already cleaned and dried off. They were trying to stand; so cute on their little skinny, wobbly legs! Farmer Man went to get the birthing kit while I stayed in the pasture and watched the babies get their first drinks of colostrum. We tied off and dipped their umbilical cords, checked them over, checked over and congratulated the new mother. Using the goats' grain treat, we slowly led Choco back to the barn and got everyone settled in the birthing pen.
This whole experience seemed to easy, compared to Goldie's long, difficult birth and Mabel's disappointing rejection of her babies. We were a little worried about added burden to us, if Chocolate had rejected her babies, too. But everything is good, everybody is good! We're getting into quite a routine now with milking and bottle-feeding the triplets. It does take up more time than we'd like but that requirement will lessen soon as the triplets are weaned. Already, we're down from four feedings a day to three, which will continue for the next few weeks. Next, we'll add Chocolate to the milking routine, probably just in the evening milking for at least a few more days, while the twins are so new to the world. In a week or so we'll start milking her twice a day with the other girls.
All the milk we've been collecting so far has gone to feed the triplets! Mabel isn't producing enough for them, so Goldie's excess and some store-bought milk have been making up the difference! No chance to make ourselves a little cheese yet! And, of course, the point of the goats is to have enough milk to make soap to add to our Farmers' Market wares so we're a little ways off from that, especially considering fresh-made soap has to cure for six weeks at minimum! Gafferty and the triplets are all showing an ever increasing interest in regular food like willow branches and grass, so we're already looking forward to ending bottle-feeding and just having the chore of milking twice a day. And we can hardly wait for the first fresh cheese!