"Being a newcomer to raising goats, I was not prepared for what
happened two weeks ago -- on the 29th of February," Ransom said.
"One of the Kiko goats (Bernadette) that we had bred to our Boer
buck was very close to kidding, and because I had already lost three
kids in the previous two weeks, I was determined to be extra
Ransom observed that Bernadette did not resist going
into a quiet pen at the end of the day. At 8:30 p.m., Gillette
checked on her, and it was "obvious things were moving right along."
Ransom then called her partner to warn him it could be a long night.
As she returned to the pen, Bernadette was already carefully
cleaning a newborn kid.
"Just as I thought things were timing out in a good sequence, out
popped a second kid," Ransom said. "I scooped up the first kid to
finish drying it, so that she would pay attention to the second, and
before I could leave the pen, she started to lie down right on top
of the second kid. I grabbed it out from under her, and the minute
she was down, a third kid arrived.
"With each new kid's arrival, I called Brett. After the third
kid, I told him he'd better come help."
As Ransom summarized, "they were all in such quick succession, I
was happy to have been there to make sure all three were able to
breathe and stayed warm until she could finish cleaning them up."
By 10:30 pm, all was well -- all three had gotten a good drink of
the very critical colostrum-infused milk, and it was time to rest.
Two weeks later, Bernadette and her incredibly cute kids are
nibbling hay, sharing turns nursing and doing well.
Monday was their first day outside with mom, and it sure felt
like spring was on its way. The two doelings and their buckling
brother scampered about, jumping through the air with much delight
and racket, exploring everywhere they could throughout their large
pen. And yes, they frequently grabbed on to one of their mother's
teats during their play.
When it was time to come back inside, they acted like the little
kids they are and had to be carried back into the confines of their
[to top of second column]
While twins are common among sheep and goats, triplets are not so
frequent. These three little kids are almost identical in size and,
while you ask, why is that so unusual?
A mother goat has only two teats to feed them, so frequently one
of the little ones becomes the "runt" of the litter.
However, as Ransom tells us, "this mom knows what she is doing
because her babies are all about the same size, frisky with bright
Ransom's interest in raising cattle, and now goats, may be
genetic, as her great-great-grandfather John Dean Gillett was
well-known for his prize-winning Shorthorn beef in the 1870s.
Ransom says he would probably laugh at her production rate, as he
annually shipped 1,500 head of steers and 2,000 hogs to market from
Elkhart. Her numbers are less than one-tenth that amount, but you
have to start somewhere, she says.
Ransom has seen several sets of kid twins born in the last few
months, and on Monday was awaiting another twin to join its new
brother born early in the afternoon. But the mother, Nilli Vanilly,
did not have another to offer despite everyone's eager anticipation.
Goat's milk, cheese and meat are found to be lower in fat and
more beneficial to a healthy lifestyle, so goat products are
becoming a healthy alternative to beef and to cow's milk and cheese.
Ransom says they will have goats and steers for sale later this
[Text from file submitted by Phil
and Gini Bertoni and Gillette Ransom]