The Simple Farm in Scottsdale Celebrates Kidding Season with the Birth of Goats
Lylah Ledner Lylah Ledner captured this photo of her doe, Nancy, about a week before she gave birth to two girls at The Simple Farm.
There's no kidding about kidding, it's serious business. Does give birth to one and two kids in one kidding -- and so, it's all hands on deck at The Simple Farm, where kidding season lasts from mid-January through February. Eventually, the little ladies born will assist in making the milk that is the basis for the Ledners' famous goat milk caramels. Here, we give a behind-the-scenes look at what the Ledners do as goats are born on the farm.
The gestational period for goats is about 150 days. The day we visited the farm, "Nancy" was on day 151 and ready to give birth. Lylah Ledner first checked Nancy's back ligaments (the part where the back connects to the tail) because the ligaments there soften when the goat prepares for birth. When grabbing around the tail, it will feel like you could grab around the tail head. Next, she noted that Nancy had found her "spot" in a stall that was dark, clean, and away from the other goats.
Kate Crowley Lylah Ledner holds Ava, born in late January at The Simple Farm.
As we sat next to Nancy, Ledner noted her teeth-grinding, also a sign of labor. She pawed at the ground and seemed to have trouble getting comfortable. She would sit down, then stand up, only to sit down again. By the end of visit, Nancy had entered a somewhat standard labor position, with her bottom on the ground and her front legs in an almost standing position. Other signs of labor and contractions include yawning, licking, discharge, short bouts of urinating, and ears going back.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Before the babies come, there's lots of preparation. "Rhonda Crow [of Crow's Dairy] has been an incredible support for me. The first kidding was really difficult and I had Rhonda on the phone at 11 o'clock at night." says Ledner, who has been through kiddings for the past four years. There's a team to help the Ledners, and it varies depending on how many babies are expected. They try not to interfere with the natural process too much, but sometimes mothers and babies need help. This is the Ledners' livelihood, and they love their goats, so much care is taken to ensure everyone is healthy.