Sunday, March 13, 2011

Goat-midwife

We have goats. Did I ever tell you that? We have goats, chickens, a dog and a whole mess of cats hanging around the compound. It’s Old McDonald’s farm with a meow-meow here and a woof-woof there, here a baa, there a chirp e-i-e-i-o.

The funniest part is, at any given time, most of them are pregnant. It’s epidemic.

Lately, it’s been our goat that has been walking a little lower than usual. Her sagging belly and engorged udders have been expanding at such a steady rate, I imagined her exploding and leaving entrails strung up in the nearest tree.

Fortunately, she reached the end of her gestation before exploding, and delivered beside the clinic a few days ago. I’m told one of the patients saw her delivering and went to help out.

The “Goat-midwife” explained in a steady stream of Dinka how she pulled the kid free, but I didn’t understand (no translator) until she pantomimed it for me. She was very proud of her accomplishment, and had a right to be.

A handful of gawkers (me included) came to admire this black and white beauty covered in goat slime. We couldn’t help ooh-ing at how perfect she was.

The placenta was already eaten, but the umbilical cord was still attached. It dangled from the wobbly legged wee one’s belly. So cute!

The Goat-midwife stepped up to the task of getting the kid back to the compound. Picking up said slime-covered miniature, she taunted the mother goat to follow her, stopping and baa-ing every few steps.

The mother goat knew she needed to follow and didn’t hesitate but a moment. She circled the Goat-midwife, loudly protesting. At one point, I thought the midwife might get a horn jabbed in her thigh, but she seemed to know what she was doing.

In less than a minute, both mama and kid were happily resting in the chicken coop.

Woohoo! Way to go goat!



Is it silly to rejoice even when a goat gives birth? Probably, but I can’t help it.

Weird question: would it be better to call her a midgoat? Or does goat-midwife make more sense? ha ha.