This is just part of the fun of raising breeding animals. We are STILL on maternity watch. Neither Muffin, nor Charlotte have produced yet. Both look closer every day. We were SURE Charlotte would farrow yesterday… but yet here we are still waiting.
We usually *pen breed* our animals. We put the male and female together for weeks or months at a time to be more sure we catch those heats. We started this because of our goats. Goat temperaments vary by goat, but they also vary in general by breed. As a general rule La Manchas are a more laid back and easy going breed. This is great usually, but when it comes to breeding they do not holler and make it quite as obvious as say… NUBIANS. LOL La Manchas are often more sneaky about their heats so they are easier to miss. To ensure we actually get our goats bred every year we started pen breeding versus hand breeding. In hand breeding you try to catch the heat, put the goats together for a few minutes, hours, or a day depending on the situation then separate them again. By pen breeding we rarely have a goat stay *open* (not get bred). The downside of this is not having an exact *due date*. For us the upside is worth the down side.
We tend to handle our other animals in a similar way. We put Charlotte (the pig) in with Anthony on August 14th. We separated them in November. So we watch and we wait.
We are used to waiting. We do not try to rush our human children either when I am pregnant. My own babies have been born 1-14 days after their due date. I don’t appreciate being pushed or rushed to give birth. We have never yet induced me in order to hurry a baby’s birth. I think that helps make me a bit more patient in waiting for my animals to give birth. It is interesting that some of the same things that warned against in humans in regards to waiting for a birth are often the same things warned against in waiting for an animal to give birth. The most common reason given is fear that the baby (human or animal) will be TOO BIG. Thankfully we have never faced this issue in human or animal… some might need a bit more work (again human or animal), but to us…. the wait and the work is worth it.
So here we continue to sit and here we continue to wait. I suppose it builds character. If so I must have a lot of character… or am greatly in need of more lessons in PATIENCE. LOL