Wednesday, July 18, 2012


My brother-in-law has a farm where he raises beef and anything else his daughters brought home. Over the years he has been known to use family gatherings with an abundance of male attendees to get some of his more unpleasant tasks done. The men and boys never knew if they were going to herd cattle, separate the bull, or for that matter castrate the bull calves. It has turned into a family joke. My brother had the misfortune of being in on one of these family parties and witnessed the pulling of a calf with a '77 LTD bumper. The cow and calf lived but my brother was never the same. Hubby has always been right in there helping his brother......when he couldn't fade away into the background.

Little did I know this family joke would come in handy.

Buttons went into labor yesterday and when it came time for her to push all that presented was one long front leg. I stuck my finger in to have a feel around and came up with another leg but no head. I brought the leg out but it was a back leg. Now I had a front leg and a back leg out and I still couldn't find the head. I tried to stuff the back leg back in. It wouldn't go. I tried to find the head and finally found it way in the back but couldn't get this kid turned around. I was really getting nervous now. I was all alone and no matter what I did I could not get this huge kid out. I needed help. I started to go back home and then realized I had ridden my bike to the farm and would have to peddle home for help.

I was a horrible sight to see turning into my driveway covered in blood and mucus. I told Hubby that something was terribly wrong and that I couldn't get the kid out. I would need to call someone. I would call the goat farmer at Herron Hill. He asked if I would like him to try. Now I must say Hubby is not really into the farm as much as I am. He is a reluctant farmer. Growing up in the suburbs with no pets it didn't come naturally for him but being one that isn't afraid of getting his hands dirty he is always willing to help. So I accepted his offer and as we flew back to the farm to try and save Buttons I called the goat farmer just in case. I left a shaky scared message to come help Buttons.

When we got to the farm the two legs were still sticking out and Buttons was in great pain.  I told Hubby to pull down and out but to get that baby out. I held Buttons collar while he grabbed the legs and gave a good pull downward. I asked if it budged at all and my heart sank when he replied "No, not a bit."
 So we gave it another try and this time Hubby reached in and grabbed what he thought was the rear end of the kid and pushed it down while pulling as hard as he could and out it shot. I have never felt so relieved to see a kid shoot out then at that moment. The kid was huge and dead. It is always sad to see a kid make it that far and then not live but I didn't care. Buttons was saved. Even Buttons was so relieved to have this large kid out she didn't care either. I worked on the kid for awhile to see if I could get him going and then when it looked futile, wrapped him in a towel and set him aside. Poor boy. He was beautiful.
Thankfully she had another in there and with a little help from me (this one was not in the right position either) pushed forth another big boy. He was alive.

Now Buttons being the practical girl she is quickly forgot about the dead baby and focused all of her attention on the new live one. I slipped the dead kid out and buried him. I know I should be more upset about him but I am so relieved that it wasn't Buttons I was was that bad folks.

 Sure I've seen the horror stories about stuck kids but in all my years of goat raising have never had one. Lucky for Buttons, Hubby had spent a few of his holidays helping his brother and one of those days involved pulling a calf. The family jokes will continue but I know for a fact there is a little goat named Buttons that is glad that a farmer is out there teaching the menfolk how to deliver a baby that doesn't want to come.

So Hubby was my hero yesterday. He not only saved my goat but he washed and vacuumed my Jeep. I don't know which took more courage.


Terry said...

Here's to husbands who had no idea what they were getting into when they married us, but have stuck by and done more than their share! We don't have kidding stories here, but Steve has learned to euthanize a chicken and has lived with high-drive dogs, shoveled manure, and yes, even vacuumed the car (his usually has strands of hay stuck in the carpet.) Luck, lucky Buttons to have both of you.

Unknown said...

Great post. More Americans need to get some farm experience! Glad Buttons made it!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear you lost the kid. I lost one the exact same way once. It's just impossible to get them back far enough to pull that head around when they get that far. So glad she has another baby to take care of. Yeah for your hero!

icebear said...

A good hubby is a gift from God. Sorry about the baby that didn't make it, but i'm so glad Buttons and Snaps are ok now.

Lindsey at NW Backyard Veggies said...

Oh, Buttons. That goat is just about the sweetest thing ever. I'm so glad she made it through and is healthy and the baby is fine, too.

What a monumental July for you, lady. Wow.

Holly said...

Go Hubby! Whew. I'm right there with you, sad about the kid but glad mama made it and with another kid as a bonus.

New kid will be Wait a Minute?

Autumn said...

So glad Buttons made it and has a cute baby too! Good job hubby!

petoskystone said...

Yea! For Buttons, Snaps, & having such a willing husband.

Marigold said...

Good job, hubby! Obviously the jeep was the harder of the two tasks. :)

Ozarks Goat Girl said...

It's been several days since you wrote this post. How is Buttons doing now? I know with a hard delivery such as she had sometimes the recovery afterwards is difficult. I sure hope she is doing just fine.

Phyllis said...

Hi Wendy,

I'm so sorry for the sweet little life that was lost in Button's baby boy. Thank goodness your hubby had a lesson.

Snaps is adorable. Your goats are sure delivering some huge babies. I remember last year.

Poor Buttons must be awfully sore!