Shaggy Maple Homestead

Honoring God in all we do on the homestead

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Meet Our New Addition!

ShaggyMaple Goldberry
Luna and baby

Luna and baby

Nursing mama

Nursing mama

What a whirlwind month April has been!!!
We have had something almost every day on the calendar this month.

Some of the more exciting things have been the arrival of some springtime babies!

Heather's babies came first. She's prone to overlarge litters of 8-12 and she just can't manage that many babies. I typically like to have two does bred to kindle at the same time so that we can foster/shuffle babies if we need to. But that did not work out this time. She kindled 7 kits, one born dead, and one runt lost, and she now has 5 healthy baby bunnies, and has been a good mama so far. In the beginning, she wasn't wanting to sit in the box to nurse, so we had to work with her a bit, training her to sit and treating her with oats for a job well done.

Then came Luna's baby! I had been fairly certain that she only had one kid in there, but in the last 2-3 weeks of her pregnancy, she began to really fill out and I wondered if maybe there were twins after all. Well, the day finally came. The last 2 years now she has gone into labor by 8:30 on day 151 of her gestational cycle, and the babies are born by noon.

I went out to check her around 8:15 and she ran out to eat as usual and I thought, well maybe not today. But sure enough, by 8:30, she was back in the barn and in active labor.

She was appearing to be in more pain during her contractions that I had ever noticed before- jumping and tensing more than is usual for her. We watched her labor for a while and finally her water broke, and we knew the kid would be here soon... Except it wasn't.

I'm typically pretty hands off when it comes to my animals and am of the mind that my interference has a greater likelihood of causing problems later on and creating weakness in the herd, but something just wasn't right with Luna. Typically she labors very smoothly and quickly and this time was distinctly different. She was much more restless and unfocused and wasn't accomplishing much with the pushing - been there, done that myself!!- so I checked her again.

There was one little foot born, but the other foot was trying to bend back behind to the left, so I put some gloves on and had to rearrange the feet, make sure they were both front feet and not one front, one hind. Then I found the little nose that was turned to the right side. I finally got the baby situated correctly and Luna settled down a bit. But she still hadn't been able to get the head born after another hour and a half, and I could tell she was fatiguing because she was lying down for longer stretches and her contractions were slacking. I made the decision to glove up again and see what was going on. Baby was in correct position, but appeared to be stuck. So I waited for her next contraction, and I helped pull the baby forward as she pushed and we got the head born. After that, she no longer needed my help and delivered her baby within the next couple minutes.

It was a darling golden color and I couldn't believe how big it was! When we weighed the kid, it was 10 pounds!!! We have NEVER seen a kid that large. Our record was an 8 pound twin buckling, with the other bucklings she's produced maxing out at 5 lbs. It was literally double the size of her usual kids.

I almost couldn't stand the suspense as Luna cleaned the baby off. We'd tried and failed for 2 years to breed a girl, and gotten only bucklings. Surely this was another strapping boy. But no!! When I finally got to take a look, I saw we did indeed have our very first little, not-so-little DOE!

Welcome, ShaggyMaple Goldberry!! We're so excited to have you as part of our next generation in our breeding program!