Maggie had a little doeling born yesterday. She was due on Thursday, but I wasn't even exactly sure she was pregnant.
Maggie was doing lots of talking and hanging out in the barn when I was doing chores yesterday morning, so I figured she was in early stages of labor. I spent the morning working in the barn so I could check on her frequently. By 1:30 she was getting very insistant that I stay in the barn with her, so I decided to hang out there as she was beginning to have a discharge.
Arlo and Rosie thought it was great that I was sitting in the barn petting them. Arlo is Maggie's first son so he was slightly concerned about her as well.
Around 2:30 Maggie finally starting having laying-down contractions. Usually once this happens there are babies born within an hour. By 3:30 still nothing. I'm starting to get slightly concerned although she hasn't been working too hard at it. I call Claire, as she is the closest most available person, just in case I should need some help.
In the next 1/2 hour Maggie has 6 hard contractions, still not any feet or nose visible. I call Claire and she heads over.
By 5:00 I decide I better check what's going on inside. I reach in to find a couple little hooves and a nose - WHEW - the baby's in the correct position! But it is very tight inside so the kid is stuck. I grab the feet and start pulling as Maggie pushes. The feet and legs appear and then the nose, but it is so tight! I have to really work and pull - Poor Maggie - it hurts so much. But Claire is holding her head to help with calming and give resistance. I keep praying to get the kid out alive. There is a nose and a little moving tongue - finally the head pops out and there she is a LIVE kid!!! She is a cute little brown thing that is hungry immediately.
This is the second time Maggie has had a difficult birth (the first was Arlo and two siblings). She is hard to get bred - she was 4 years old when Arlo was born, but she is an excellent milker. She milked for three years. Therefore I've decided to milk her as long as possible this time and then retire her from breeding. At that point she will be 10 years old, will have given me Arlo and a nice daughter - that is enough. Maggie by the way was also a bottle baby. Isabelle, her mother, decided she could only handle one and gave Maggie to me.
I'll get pictures today.