A warning to you all....
These are some of the explicit goat pictures that I told you about. The ones that'll make a few of you squirm. But, kinda similar to the car accident scene, you cautiously peek out from behind your fingers to take a look. Because most of you are fascinated by this kind of thing.
I want to share it with you because it is just part of my daily life right now. And I share such crazy and personal things like peeing my pants, puking at bikram and stepping in dog shit. So why not share this too?
And, okay.... I like to know you're shaking your head a bit at me; thinking I slightly crossed the line. I like to see you squirm.
This week, I'm on Vulva Watch.
This is Rosie, one of our two Boer does. We also have two Boer bucks. And, as a result, we're having goat babies!! (Surely, I don't have to explain the logistics and details of that phenomenon, right, city folk?)
This is Rosie's first pregnancy so we're not sure what to expect from her. Nor is she, for that matter....
Rosie's pregnancy began on October 3, we estimate. We noticed some 'action' in the field that day and made a point of documenting it. Smart thing to do, because it helps us pinpoint the due date better.
A goat's gestation period is 145-155 days, which means that Rosie could have her kids anytime.
There are a few things that I am on the watch for to indicate that Rosie could be getting close to labour. Aside from growing in size as the weeks go by, Rosie's udders also start to get big. We begin to notice the udders the month before, but in the day or two prior to the labour starting, the udders get HUGE. Like, bigger, really, than you could ever imagine them to be. HUGE.
There are certain behaviours and changes in behaviour that I want to watch out for this week, too. In the few days prior to the birth, Rosie will eat more than usual; as though stockpiling reservoirs of grain and hay. And then, the day of labour, will lose her appetite and avoid eating. She may separate herself from the others and go off on her own, as though searching for a place to have her babies.
And, then there is the Vulva. (Which really does deserve a capital V. Ask any mother who has pushed a baby or two out of that thing). Keeping my eye on the Vulva is crucial. It's going to tell me more than everything else combined. A few weeks prior to labour, the doe's Vulva begins to swell and starts to distend, in preparation for pushing those babies out. The Vulva may turn a darker red or purple colour, as the blood surges to the area. As the day gets near, the Vulva will be very distended and I will start to notice some discharge and, finally, I need to be watching for mucous and bloody show, which will indicate to me that the doe is ready to birth.
As I said, all eyes are on the Vulva.
You, knowing me, have already figured out that I couldn't let this photo opportunity pass us by.
In fact, I plan on sharing my Vulva Watch with you every day, leading up to the birth of these kids.
I gotta look at it. And I'm gonna make you look at it too and get a little taste of real farm life, you know?
As you can see in this picture, Rosie's udders are really starting to fill up. The goat on the left here is also pregnant but is about a month behind Rosie. There is a distinct difference in their Vulvas. Rosie's, although starting to distend, has not changed in colour nor is there any discharge yet. We can be fairly certain that Rosie will not be having babies on this day.