Monday, January 4, 2010


"I wish I were big..."
- Josh Baskin ("Big" - 1988)

"Ang laki (very big)!" were the words my mom uttered in amazement.

Early last month we lost a pregnant goat. The doe was carrying a hybrid, the result of a successful mating with our lone Anglo-Nubian buck. It was expected to give birth any time soon. This could have been the first offspring between a local and a larger imported breed.

The doe was doing fine during the day but must have gone into labor sometime in the middle of the night. The following morning they found it dead. Upon inspection they found a fully formed kid stuck in its birth canal. It was much, much bigger than the usual kid a local doe produces.

Normally, the does need no extra help giving birth. And it's always a surprise to suddenly discover one or two new additions to the brood. But now that they're carrying hybrids, precautionary procedures must be followed.

There are two more does expecting to give birth this month. This time, they will be segregated and carefully monitored. At the moment they go into labor, someone must be there to help with the birthing process. It's no longer enough for the doe to push and let gravity take over. Someone must be there to coax and pull the kid out of its mother.

Another lesson learned.