First Frost

Reader Contribution by Maggie Bonham

Bolt was looking thinner and thinner. Despite multiple wormings, extra food, and putting her into a pen to gain weight. With both her and Blaze failing to have healthy kids, we were seriously thinking of putting them into freezer camp. Our reasons were practical. Being Boer mixes, they tended to consume a lot of food. They were no good for milking because they carried double teats on each side and didn’t produce as much milk as my dairy goats. So, with Bolt failing to conceive this year and Blaze having a stillborn, we both decided to write off the Boers as a learning experience.

Until today. Tomorrow we were supposed to get cooler weather in and our first frost. I walked into the barn to feed critters and Bolt was in labor. Labor? I pondered the signs carefully. She looked thin – I hadn’t seen any obvious sign of pregnancy. I sort of noticed that her bag looked a little bigger, but given she hadn’t had a kid when the others were delivering. I went into the pen and tried feeling if the baby was in the canal. It wasn’t. So, I finished feeding everyone and went back up to the house to get lunch. We turned on the goat pen camera and called it good.

A little while later, I thought I saw something that looked like a kid beside Bolt. My husband went out to check and came back with a “Kid alert!” So, I went down to the barn with the right tools to cut the umbilical cord and tie it off. There was a lovely little doeling with LaMancha ears and Boer markings. Bolt had mostly dried off the little girl and was happily munching on hay. My husband was holding the doeling in his arms and petting her. The doeling was snoozing comfortably there.

How many kids have I seen born? It was getting in the dozens. How could I have missed this? I suspect that my thought that Bolt was infertile had a lot to do with it. So, now I’m thinking Blaze is carrying too.

We named the little doeling Frost. After all, she was born before the first frost.

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