Salutations from the herd and crew at Stepladder Ranch and Creamery! As you may have seen on our social media, we have concluded another successful kidding season! This year was one of our smoothest yet and we were so happy to welcome 72 extremely healthy little ones onto the ranch this year.
Luckily for us, the majority of our does chose to deliver in the middle of the day when we had a full contingent of helpers on hand to tend to their every need. It is a bit like the birthing wing in a hospital, with each doe getting her own personal birthing assistant, round the clock observation, and even breakfast in bed!
The birthing season kicked off with Stephanie’s daughter Stevie delivering triplets on February 22 and ended with Poppy delivering her twin girls on the 29 of March. Those five weeks were action packed on the ranch, with us assisting with births, milking the does, feeding their babies, cleaning countless pens, refreshing food and water every few hours, and making sure no doe delivered without her midwife! The majority of the births this year were twins, with only 6 of our does delivering singles and another 6 delivering triplets.
Even though we anticipated some smaller kids this year due to the fact that many of the kids were the offspring of our miniature buck, we still ended up with a lot of large kids. The average birth weight of the kids was 8 ¼ pound, with the largest coming in at 12.25 pound and the smallest weighing only 4.88 pounds.
Wanda delivered twins at 3:30 in the afternoon on March 4. Her son was born first and weighed in at 10.3 pounds and her 9 pound daughter was born shortly thereafter. Her daughter came out with one leg tucked up near her head, which can sometimes make the delivery a little more challenging, but luckily Michelle was able to assist in her birth and both kids were born healthy and without issue!
Stephanie had twins born on March 9 at 11:30 AM. Her daughters were quite large at birth, with one weighing in at 9.8 and the other at 9.3 pounds! The second kid was a breech birth, meaning she came out with her back legs first instead of her front legs. While this isn’t usually a huge issue for the does, Michelle was still there to help Stephanie deliver her little ones and both were born healthy and hungry!
Sorrel had triplets on March 3 at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. She ended up having 1 daughter who weighed in at 6.62 pounds and two sons who weighed 7.88 and 8.82 pounds respectively. That means she was carrying over 23 extra pounds worth of kids - I bet she was relieved to deliver! Her daughter was born breech, meaning she presented tail end first instead of head first. Luckily Michelle was there to assist and all three kids were born without issue!
Mary Anne decided to be one of the few does who kidding in the quiet of night this year and ended up birthing twins at 11 pm on the 22 of March. Her son was born first and weighed 8.9 pounds and his sister followed shortly thereafter and weighed in at 8.7 pounds. Both of these kids presented head first and without issue - Mary Anne is a trooper!
Turmeric had her twin boys on March 6 at 7 pm. I guess she knew we were ready for dinner and decided to deliver before dark! Her boys weighed 8.3 and 7.9 pounds at birth, which is a bit larger than we were expecting considering they were the offspring of our miniature Lamancha buck, Lyon. Both kids presented normally in the birth canal and came out head first with no assistance from their human caretakers!
Betty Lou chose the quiet solitude of daybreak for her delivery and ended up birthing a beautiful tri-color girl at 6 am on March 13. Her daughter weighed in at 9.4 pounds at birth and we are hoping to add her to our milking herd next year. Betty Lou had an easy delivery with no assistance from her human midwife crew.
Kimchi had two beautiful daughters on March 13 at 7 pm. Her daughters were rather large at birth, with the first weighing in at 9.16 pounds and the second weighing in at 9.56 pounds. Unlike most of our does who welcome the assistance of a human midwife, Kimchi wanted to do it all on her own and made it very clear to us that she did not want our aid (every time we approached to check on her progress during labor, she would stand up and stop pushing!). Her daughters both presented head first and came out with no assistance needed! Luckily after they were born, Kimchi let us help clean them off and assist them in finding the delicious colostrum milk they sought!
Bella was an absolute trooper for her birth! She ended up having twins just after noon on March 13 after only 25 minutes of active labor! Her daughter weighed 9 pounds at birth and her son weighed a whopping 11.8 pounds! Bella needed absolutely no assistance for either of them; she made it look easy even though she was carrying over 20 pounds in baby weight alone!
Paprika had two of our largest kids this year and ended up delivering at 8:30 in the morning on March 10. Her daughter was born pure white and weighed 10.1 at birth and her son was pure black and weighed 12.25 pounds! That means this little lady was carrying over 22 pounds worth of kids and didn’t even bat an eye. Luckily she had the assistance of Michelle to help bring these two into the world because she was a bit tuckered after that delivery!
Poppy was our last doe to deliver this year and ended up delivering 5 days after her due date. On March 29 at 10 am the whole Stepladder crew celebrated the end of another successful kidding season with delivery of Poppy’s twin girls! They were born a bit on the small side (at least when compared with some of the huge kids born on the ranch), with one weighing in at just under 7 pounds and the other weighing in at 8 pounds at birth. They are both absolutely beautiful gray and white doelings and were born without a hitch - Poppy did all the work and were just there to help clean them up and find the milk!