Well, we were loading up the truck getting ready to leave for vacation on June 12th. We needed to leave out by 5:00 AM in order to make our 12 hour drive to Colorado and be on time for dinner at the cabin. We were actually doing quite well with our packing! Evening chores were running a bit behind schedule. I wanted to meet with our neighbor, Rachel, to go over the chore list one last time before we left. Due to time constraints, we agreed to meet at the barn around 9:30 PM. No problem. That gives me more time to load some things in the truck for the trip.
9:30 PM rolls around and I head out to the barn to meet Rachel. I notice something small and black on the ground. Oh great! I'm thinking the skunk that has been spraying my two dogs over the past two weeks is back! However, this small animal is ALL black. As I get through the second gate, I get a better look. Oh for crying out loud! It's a CRIA! How in the world did that happen? Who's cria was it? Well, by deductions, Tim and I figured it out. Last year, some neighbor kids had come through our pasture to visit our children. Tim happened to be outside and noticed that the gate had been left OPEN to the male area. Tim found one of the males mounted on one of our females, but figured he had caught "it" in time. Nope. That obviously didn't happen. She was indeed bred. Precautions have already been made (after the mishap) and were double checked again after this unexpected delivery.
Tim and I stayed up all night making sure the cria was nursing well before we left. Neither of us made it to bed before our departure, so we traded driving often. We are so very fortunate to have such a wonderful neighbor. Rachel has been a 4-H student for many years, raises goats, rabbits and chickens. Her mother is a nurse. They have been through numerous birthings with all of their animals. So, we felt quite comfortable having her watch our new little one while we were away. And that she did, coming over every couple of hours to make sure the baby was latching on and getting enough milk.
So, be careful! Make sure your pastures and gates are not only "animal" proofed, but make sure they are "neighbor" proofed, as well!