One of the barn cats had given birth deep into the haystack in the show barn. The only way I knew of this was hearing a mild mewing sound once and a while while I was feeding the cows this week.
But when I walked into the barn on Saturday, the meowing was more frantic and away from the haystack. Three kittens, barely able to maneuver around, had escaped from the hay and was wandering around in the pen with the three heifers while crying incessantly.
The mother cat was nowhere to be found and we assume that the local coyotes had claimed another victim. We rescued the three kittens from the pen (the heifers were happy to get rid of the creatures that were invading their space with all their noise and wiggling around), a brought them into the middle section of the barn where I could make sure they were alright.
The kittens are so little. It seems that they barely had their eyes open so we guess they are a week to two weeks old and they were ravenous. One of the kittens did not live an hour after the rescue and the other two were not doing so well. They were brought into the heated garage where we took to feeding them with an eye dropper every couple of hours until they got a little strength back.
We have named the survivors, Black and Blu. Black is the more dominant and is very aggressive when he senses food (milk) is near. Blu is smaller and looks like the runt of the litter, she does not have a strong appetite and it was a chore to get her to swallow more than one drop of milk at a time. After 24 hours she had gotten enough strength back to get a little more into her belly before tiring, but she is still not near eating enough to keep her sustained.
Feeding every two to three hours is helping the pair to get back to being healthy, happy kittens.