It's been a tough couple of years, thank goodness for goat therapy!
The Does are getting very wide already, space at the feeder is premium. Belly to belly and nose to nose they are like vacuum cleaners with occasional breaks for a good cud chew and a nap.
Spreadsheets are done for the new year, website updated, kidding supplies getting ordered and sleep deprivation anticipated. (that last bit not a joyful thought but unavoidable) It's like waiting for Christmas day all over again. When do we get to unwrap the presents?
Every year livestock producers live with great anticipation laced with a hearty dose of trepidation. Will the babies all take a number and make their exit in the proper form and one at a time? Will the mom's be careful about not showing favoritism and distribute all the nourishment in equal measure or will one ginormous kid leave the siblings wanting and block the exit?
Will we have overachievers with five bundles of joy or will there be moderation in quantity and gender distribution. (Yes there are those years when the 'OUTSIDE PLUMBING' seem to be on EVERY-SINGLE-KID)
And of course there are always the babies that spent way too much time practicing group yoga classes. These result in anxious gout doulas using bad language, creative facial expressions, strange body positions while laying in the straw trying to get in the right position to get that head turned around, the foot lined up and into the exit ramp.
Dread? Sometimes. Joy? In abundance! And the camaraderie of fellow goat keepers when things are good, bad or confusing. Having a fellow goat doula to be there when you can't think straight is invaluable. Sometimes you will just need someone to say, "Take a deep breath and do what needs to be done." A reminder that "Yes, you do deserve a good cry/breakdown/panic attack. Just do it after you help your doe and get these little buggers out. THEN have at it and really give it your all. Just not now."
Being there for your fellow goat keepers is a blessing that always returns great bounty for your soul. Your time of need may come next. That fellowship is what keeps us going through all the ups and downs.
So, get ready for a New Year with new challenges, delights and probably frustration as things slowly begin to stabilize. We are all looking forward to our Goat Show Therapy. Maybe some conference get together where we can learn new things. Maybe ADGA will magically return to some semblance of usefulness with records up to date and linear appraisal for all. The possibilities are endless.
For the New Year I bid you peace, good health, loving family and friends safe and in good spirits. Look for the bounty around you, be grateful in all things.