Our 2017 baby year has begun. Our first baby arrived on April 4th this year! The babies mother is Olive, and she was also the first to calve last year. She had a little boy and he is doing fantastic!
We had been checking the fields for babies for several weeks now. It was 8:45 pm on April 4, 2017. My 12-year-old son and I were checking the fields for the last time that evening. I first noticed Olive behaving a little strange, and my first thought was she must be in labor, then we saw the little guy! He was in the hay and so dark in color! Camden and I both said at the same time “A BABY!” We were very excited and ran into the house to get the “Baby Bag.”
NOTE: Reindeer babies are typically born with warm, fuzzy, dark colored hair to draw in the heat of the sun! They are Arctic animals and are often born on snow or in very cold conditions. The dark color helps to absorb the heat.
BABY BAG: Our baby bag contains things for our first handling of the newborn. We handle the newborns around 4 hours after birth. We like to give mom and baby some time together before we touch the baby.
Naval dip: to prevent bacteria from getting into the baby from the navel.
Probiotic Paste: this is a paste given orally. It helps that newborn rumen get going! It has great vitamins.
Vitamin B Complex: babies first shot! Also helps with the rumen and prevents thiamine deficiency.
Scale: To weigh the baby.
Ear tagger: We tag the boys with a blue tag and girls with a red tag. Each has a number so we can ID them.
In this photo, Olive is nursing the baby laying down! Mom is tired, and the baby is still weak after entering the world, so it works best for them to lay down and nurse. She is licking his bottom while he eats, which makes him poop. A good mom keeps the babies bottom clean!
Olive had a slight complication, she didn’t pass her placenta. We waited and watched. After 24 hours we became worried. Not only does it need to shed out, but it is a pathway for bacteria to enter the mother. So, we contacted our Vet. She prescribed some medicine to induce contractions to help the placenta shed out. We had to get it out within 48 hours, or the cervix would start to close! It didn’t work. So, the following day we gave her some new medicine to open the cervix and induce contractions. It worked! Olive shed the placenta!
We closely watched for infection. Yesterday she was put back into the herd with her little guy. He was so happy to run around and be with his new baby friends! A lot of new friends have arrived since he and mom were brought up front!
Olive is a 7-year-old reindeer, she is halter broke and pulls sleds!