I'm not that keen on Anglo Nubians - it's true. I think they're stupid, docile, complaining and un-co. This uncharitable opinion is entirely based on purebred, papered Charity.
She looked the least pregnant of all the three does and as she's 'long in the wheel base' compared to the Toggs, she hid Bint well for most of the 5 months of the gestation period. In the last few days her rather large teats filled out, her pin bones became sharp and obvious, her vulva protruded, she made her way to the top of the block and stringy threads of clear fluid started to drip, - yep. Enough signs to know I needed to hang around just to make sure all went well. So far I've always been lucky, and just a small amount of assistance has been required. Caleb was with me keen to watch the process, eager for more babies.
Things didn't go well. A single hoof appeared, nothing else. Charity, who is a vocal girl, was clearly distressed. Caleb became equally so. Nothing for it but to find the missing hoof, locate the head, see if I could arrange them in the correct order. The leg was pulled back. I found the small hoof and very gently bought it forward. Charity pulled back her head and screamed. I've not heard a goat scream. Once the hoof was right I could feel the small face, the next push and out she popped.
Caleb wanted to call her Hope ... he hoped there was another one behind her. He'd then have Faith. Anglos are renowned for multiple births. We'd almost bought another goat instead of her, but once I found out she had 5 kids in difficult circumstances we decided on Charity. But here she was, her third gestation producing a single kid.
We tried to call her Hope, but Bint it has become. She had great difficulty finding the teat despite a lot of effort, once found, she would lose it, she'd come looking in our armpits, crotch, necks for teats, and bunt against us. We'd relocate her time again, and she'd repeat the same frustrating sequence. Trev called her Silly Bint and it stuck.
She may be silly, but she is without a doubt the most gorgeous, calico patchwork rag doll of a kid I've ever seen. Despite her mixed parentage she's managed to retain almost 100% of her anglo nubianism, with only a touch of Togg about her face in the white blazes.
Last night we heard a distressed bawling from Charity. The kind of bawling that alerts us that something is terribly wrong. Caleb and I went out with the torch and Charity rushed down the hill to us, hysterical.
'I've lost my baby!' she roared.
We checked the dam first. It's one of my fears, but no baby. All the other goats were rushing around frantically too. They knew the problem. Charity's distress reduced to small pathetic bleats of a mother in a supermarket searching for a lost child. Eventually we found Bint, fast asleep in long grass. We reunited them, and relocated them to the goat palace where they both should spend the night without losing one another.
Last on the list is Daisy, who is being rather laid back and lazy about popping anything out - she'll need too and soon, she's so wide I'm worried she'll brush up against something sharp and explode. No signs, she just keeps her head down, bum up and eats. It's her first time, I get the impression she thinks the additional girth is the result of all that mastication going on. She's in for a surprise.
Hopefully, with my new nickname ... the goat whisperer, I'll be able to help see her through.