Bella was born at 0.75 lbs. Today she is slightly smaller than her herd-mates, but not much. Bella's dam Laura was short cycling that year. I had two breeding dates 10 days apart. It is suspected that her two brothers settled on the first date and she settled on the second. Bella did not stand for over 24hrs and had no suck reflex. She did not have any teeth, her hooves were much softer, and she could not regulate her temperature even in the house. During the first 24hrs it was clear she needed care every two hours, dripping tiny amounts of colostrum in her mouth via a kitten bottle, as even a human baby bottle was too big for her mouth. My vet advised against tubing her as you pretty much need to be a straight up expert to do one so little. The odds were against her anyway, so might as well just let it play out and not risk doing damage. Since she required so much care, I did the only logical thing, I brought her to work in a laundry basket! I set her up in the equipment shop, where very few people would notice her, and sent a quick message to my boss after the fact - better to ask forgiveness than permission with this kind of thing. Sure, I could have taken the day off, but I was unsure if she'd make it and it really would have been a waste of the day since her care only took 2 minutes every 2 hours. Bella was only a minor disruption at work and stood for the first time at just over a day old. Her suck reflex developed over the next day and she would eat an ounce every 6 hours. Bella lived in the house until she was several weeks old. Once she started jumping on the kitchen counter from the couch, it was time to join her buddies in the barn.
Bella has matured into a lovely doe, despite lacking stature. Her udder is lovely, particularly her smooth fore-udder. She could use more capacity, but we will see how she improves with future freshenings.
- 2018 - DUE 4/13 by Renegade North Prince Nelson