Introducing: Vango, Savanna, Savuti, and Mak

Posted by Kitty Sharkey , Monday, February 20, 2012 8:14 PM

This shot was taken within the first hour after Lulu freshened.   All the kids are fighting for some teat time.  Oh, this is going to be fun!

For those that may not know, Lulu's given name is Balule and her brother Sammy is Tsamma.  Balule is the name of the first wildlife preserve I went to in South Africa and is part of Kruger National Park.  Tsamma is the name of a Kalahari Desert Melon.  What can I say?  When I got him he was really round and to this day when I pat on his belly just right he sounds like a ripe watermelon.

Last year Lulu had two boys that I named Chobe and Moremi ("Remi").  So in keeping with tradition for this family line, I've given her new kids African names.  I didn't really think about it, but as I looked at them the right names just sort of stuck.  So starting at 9 o'clock, we have:

Okavango - "Vango" - weighing in at 3 lbs.  He was the first to come out, and he did it butt first.  I was looking for a couple of hooves and a nose, but instead I got a tail.  I had to go in a little in order to help those hips get out.  And it took a little effort to get him breathing.  I was worried he might not make it.  Yes, I did give him a few teenie tiny breaths and rubbed his chest a whole bunch.  The name hit me because one of his ears is down turned.  That's just from the position inside and it'll straighten out soon enough.  But I swear Lulu was trying to bite it off when she was cleaning him, she was licking so hard.  She was helping me stimulate him I suppose.

Savanna - weighing in at 2-1/2 lbs.  She at Lulu's teat in this picture and looks just like Vango.  She's a strong girl and found her way to Lulu's teat first.

Savuti - "Sue" or maybe "Suzie" ??? - weighing in at 2-1/8 lbs.  She is to the left of Lulu's head.  She was the last to come out and she's the smallest.  It took her longest to get her legs under her.  I was a bit worried, so I made sure she got a little extra teat time.

Makgadikgadi - "Mak" - weighing in at a whopping 3-1/4 lbs.  He is to the right of Lulu's head.  Big Mak is definitely the strongest of the four.  I can already tell he's going to be a handful.

I'll check on them all a time or two more before I crawl into bed.  I think we're all going to sleep well tonight!

A few more pictures for your enjoyment.

Posted by Kitty Sharkey 5:38 PM

Everyone has finally curled up for a nap under the warm glow of the heat lamp.


Posted by Kitty Sharkey 1:49 PM

Just a quick update - Lulu had quads!  Two doelings, and two bucklings.  The kids have two distinctive patterns, and each pattern has one boy and one girl.  All are up on their feet and have had their first suckle of colostrum.  Lulu is fine.  We're just waiting for the afterbirth to finish.  Me?  I'm exhausted.  More pictures to come!

Nine days and counting

Posted by Kitty Sharkey , Saturday, February 11, 2012 10:05 AM

My little Lulu isn't so little right about now.  She isn't due until the 20th, but she's already settled down into the barn to wait it out.  I'm trying to keep her as comfortable as possible, but at this point there isn't a lot to be done other than keeping her dry and warm (but not too warm) with easy access to plenty of fresh water and orchard grass.  I've given her some nutri-drench a couple of times, and today I'll give her some warm water with electrolytes to give her a little boost.

Her breathing when laying down is a little labored.  My guess is that the position compresses her insides and the babies push further against her organs so her lungs have less capacity.  She's not struggling to breath, but rather just snorting / snoring with each breath.  Although once she's been laying down for a while, this seems to lessen.  My guess is that she has a little more lung capacity once the the kids settle into a comfortable position inside.

When I do my morning milking of Nali, I try to do double duty to save time.  While she's on the milk stand, I let another one of the girls inside the milking parlor to eat out of a bucket in the grain storage hall area.  This way it takes less time to get them all their daily grain ration. This morning, Lulu came in as expected.  But after only a few mouthfuls, she proceeded to lay down on the floor.  She then ate her ration from this position.  I have never seen one of my does do this.  Near the hay rack?  Yes.  All the time.  But in the milking parlor?  Never.

Today, I will double check and restock my birthing kit and place it on the shelf in the barn.  I have to be ready at a moments notice.  Nali's last freshening taught me that.  No signs at all, and then she gave out a cry and *poof* she was pushing out Shadow 10 minutes later.  Good thing I was prepared with everything I might possibly need in easy reach.

With any luck, Lulu will be a couple of days early and I'll have the weekend to spend with her and the kids.  I'll be working from home on Thursday, then off on Friday through Monday, and working from home again on Tuesday.  I doubt I'll leave the house for more than a quick jaunt to the store.  I suppose it's time to stock up my kitchen as well.

Nine days and counting...