Gavin Tindle, right, and his brothers, Sawyer, middle, and Peyton, left, are shown with Spot and her set of five kids at the family farm north of Montezuma. Spot delivered the five kids on Saturday, Jan. 8 just before 10:30 p.m. Gavin, who has been raising and showing goats for about 7 years, said this is the first time he has had a doe deliver a set of five kids. “I was in complete shock,” he said. “I have seen quads, but never quintuplets.”
By J.O. Parker
A rural Montezuma man got the surprise of his life in early January.
Gavin Tindle, 19, stopped at the family farm north of town to check on his goat herd and several does who were about ready to give birth.
It was 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 8.
He quickly discovered that his doe, Spot, had given birth to not one, two or three kids, but five kids.
“I was in complete shock,” he said. “I have seen quads, but never quintuplets.”
Gavin said he just missed the miracle birth by seconds.
“They were just born,” he said.
Curtis R. Youngs, Ph.D., a professor and reproductive biologist at Iowa State University, noted that as of Jan. 1, 2021, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported the number of breeding goats in the US was 2.12 million.
“In a typical year, there are four or five reports of goat quintuplets in the US – making the odds of a goat quintuplet birth 5 in 2.12 million (or approximately one in every 424,000 births – if we assume all quintuplet births are reported, which is probably unlikely),” Dr. Youngs said. “I would feel more comfortable stating 1 in 50,000 as the likelihood of goat quintuplet births.”
Nearly a month later, Spot and her five kids are doing well and growing like weeds. Three of the kids are being bottled-fed and the other two are with the momma doe. He has yet to name the kids.
Gavin said this doe has had several sets of goats in recent years, but this is her largest.
Raising and showing goats is a family affair for Gavin and his brothers, Sawyer, and Peyton. Even Dad and Mom play a role in the goat operation .
“I have lots of help from my family,” Gavin said. “Especially this school year since I’m going to college and they have been helping with the chores and now bottle-feeding the kids.”
Gavin started raising and showing goats about 7 years ago. His grandpa, Ray Smothers, helped him get the operation going. An uncle and aunt, who raise goats, have also played a role in helping him learn the ins-and-outs of raising and showing goats.
When asked what his favorite thing about raising and showing goats is, Gavin said he can produce a product that he is proud of, no matter if it is in or out of the showring.
When asked what advice he would someone interested in raising and showing goats, Gavin offered three nuggets of advice.
• Do research on how to raise goats and learn about the common problems that come along with raising the animals.
• Learn the importance of good maintenance and care of the animals.
• Find someone in the industry who has knowledge about raising goats and learn from them.
As for the future, Gavin said he plans to continue growing his goat business.
“I’m looking forward to watching the kids grow and one day be in the showring,” he said.