Difficult births

Friday, March 4, 2011

This year’s kidding involved a couple of challenging situations, one of which involved poor presentation of triplets. Daisy seemed to be taking an unusually long time to birth her first kid and after an hour of labor, I found out why. The kid was breech. It was 10:00 at night, I was tired and I wasn’t really prepared to deal with a breech baby right then but I got a pair of gloves and some lubricant and set in to see what I could do.

The kid didn’t want to turn and I didn’t want to lose it while I waited for her to attempt to push it out so I helped it along by putting my thumb on one side and two fingers on the other side in the bend of its hips, tugging as gently but as firmly as I could without hurting the kid or the doe. After a couple of contractions while I continued to pull in this fashion, the kid finally came and was alive but weak.

I thought the hard part was over but it was just beginning. The next two tried to come at the same time. The front one was coming head first with no feet and the rear one with a foot and a nose. Between the two of them, they got stuck. The front one had its head and part of its shoulders completely out while the rear one showed just the tip of the nose and its foot out to the knee. After several attempts at pushing, Daisy appeared to give up, stopped pushing and laid down.

After a brief panic attack, I gloved up again and pushed the rear one back in as far as I felt was safe hoping  that would allow the front one to be born. I was unsuccessful as with each contraction the rear one tried to push its way through again. I didn’t want to put my entire hand inside the doe for fear that I might damage her uterus so I gave in and called the vet who came out and walked me through it. The rear kid had to be pushed farther back inside as she kept trying to push past the front kid. That done, we had to find the front kid’s legs and get them into position for a more streamlined birth. Once the feet were in position, the first kid popped out immediately with the second right behind.

This harrowing situation lasted over two hours but all three kids were finally born and Daisy was none the worse for wear, although tired. Sadly, we lost the breech baby overnight due to the stress and its small size, but the other two are doing just fine and gaining weight by the minute.

The moral is, be prepared for difficulties to arise. Do your research so you have an idea what to do when a complicated situation arises. Don’t lose your head. Do what you can to assist; be cautious but not overly cautious, and a positive outcome is very likely.

4 Responses to “Difficult births”

  1. Good Explanation!!! And good reminder to always prepare. These are the onl truly scary moments in goat care. I bet it was harrowing. Sorry to hear you lost the first little kid. :(

  2. Just found you as we are having our very first birthing experience! “This was helpful! First one on ground 3 min ago…hopefully the next is as easy!

  3. I was very interested in this because I just had my own first difficult birthing yesterday before sunrise. It was a frank breech single, but by the time I got some legs out Jasmine was tired and the contractions were becoming less frequent. The doeling was stillborn, which was heartbreaking, and Jasmine isn’t out of the woods yet. You are absolutely correct to be prepared for emergencies. After that it’s doing the best we can and hoping for the best. So glad two of your triplets made it.


Leave a Reply

All Things Goat was created by Naimhe Jeanne (Nee-Vah Jeen,) of Illinois, and Martha Ann, of Vermont, who believe in the humane treatment of goats whether they are pets or raised for milk, meat or fiber. Through news, profiles, recipes and editorials, All Things Goat illustrates how our caprine friends improve the quality of life for many worldwide. Our All Things Goat intern is Lela Perez, of Killeen, Texas.

2009 Alpine National Champion

Follow us on Twitter!

Happy Goat Caramels

Happy1 Happy Goat Caramels are sweet, savory and made from the milk of California goats grazed on pesticide-free grass.

2009 Saanen Jr. Champion Doe