Sunday, January 22, 2012

An Interesting Kidding

This morning I was figuring up goat numbers, who's due and when, etc. There are 53 does bred (hopefully they all settled), beginning around the middle of February all the way thru till the last one being due in mid-June. Our most busy time will be from mid-February till mid-April, then it kind of tappers off from there.
All that being said, there are a few does who are not counted in those numbers. There are were just 2 or 3 of them. They are does that we bought, but didn't know for sure if they were bred or not. One of those does kidded last Saturday to a buckling and doeling.

This morning, the other doe was in labor. Keep in mind this doe is a very, very big doe - wide, tall and very deep. She looks like a Nubian cross. Also keep in mind that she is fairly wild.

Labor was going normally. She had a few really hard contractions - every time I see contractions like that, there is typically a kid not in the right position. But, I just waited and watched. Eventually a bubble came, but there was nothing in the bubble. She got up a down, pawed, pushed, up and down, pushed really hard a few times. After about 5-10 minutes of the bubble appearing and nothing else, I decided we needed to go in and feel what was going on.

Due to her being wild, I grabbed her with my sister and held her still, while Mom went in to see what was going on. She went in and wasn't sure what she felt, thought it was a head but wasn't sure. So she convinced me I should go in. Ok, fine.

I went in and knew I was not feeling a head. Something was seriously wrong. After some feeling around, I realized that the kid was upside down, folded in half backwards and her chest was trying to come out - upside down. A drawing would really help show just how "wrong" this kid was trying to come out. I couldn't feel her head anywhere. I was finally able to find her neck, and follow it down to where I found her head and was so relieved. Thankfully, this doe is very big so there was no issue of it being tight in there. I had to go in all the way up to my elbow just to find the kid's head.

Once I had her head in my hand, I pulled it up to the opening and out she came - a little doeling who I was amazed was alive and well. Once I got the kid out we let the doe go so she could clean her kid off. Looking back now, I should have never let her go, and just went back in to pull the rest of the kids out. Mistake #1. So, once letting her go she was very very mad at us and was snorting, lunging and trying to bite us. Thankfully she doesn't have canine teeth, otherwise I would have been in very bad shape :).

It looked like her placenta was hanging out, but what I didn't realize was that underneath that thick blob of placenta, was the next kid's head. After about 5 minutes, we realized a kid's head was hanging out. Oh no! So we grabbed the very mad mama goat, and pulled that kid out. His front legs were stuck back, so I had to go find one of them and then pull him out. He was a little dazed from being stuck like that for a few minutes. Poor boy, I felt sorry.

After that everything looked normal. We got her situated, both kids looked fine. We had been on our way out the door, so we left. After we left I realized I should have gone back in after pulling kid #2 out - duh. Mistake #2. Especially after having 2 stuck kids, what if there was a 3rd stuck one? Oh well, I had to just wait till we got back home.

About 4 hours later, we returned home and found a 3rd kid - a little buckling. Thankfully, she must have had him with no troubles and all. The huge placenta was on the ground, and 3 healthy babies. We had to help the 3rd one learn how to nurse (i.e. - had to hold very very mad mama goat still again). She is so psycho - very protective of her babies, but also a little dumb because if we pick up one of her babies, she will try to attack it because we are holding it. Once we put it down by her she realizes it's her baby and then will just try to kill us. Yeah, she's a little nuts. 

Anyway, quite an interesting afternoon. I am just very thankful that all the babies are alive and healthy, and the doe is alive and well also, although I think she just might be a little too alive (just kidding).

Well, I was going to add pictures to this post but they won't upload for me... I'll try to get 'em uploaded and then edit this post.

EDITED to add pictures

Have a good evening,



Charlotte said...

Wow, quite a delivery. You have a lot of goats. I'm new at this--less than a year. It's good for me to read all of this.

Brenda said...

Assisting a delivery is hard enough with a doe that's cooperating with you. I can't imagine having to assist one that is wild and trying to strike out at you. I'm glad it turned out okay.

Kris said...

I'm so glad that turned out the way it did. And 3 kids. Can I ask what you do with all those goats? Do you milk them all? I have 4 and will be milking 2 in a few months with the other 2 to follow in summer. I sure do miss that milk right now.

Good Goats said...

Hello Kris,

Sure, feel free to ask anything you want :)!

Yes, the majority of our herd are milking does. We have a small handful of Boer/Spanish does that we do not milk. But, everyone else is milked. Once everyone kids this spring/summer, we should be milking about 50 does. Right now we are milking about 10 (most of those kidded last year, we milked them thru).

You might ask what we do with all that milk - first off, I have 11 siblings - so we use lots of milk just here at home with making cheese, yogurt, kefir, etc.
Then we have some milk share programs with my cousins and neighbors.
And this year we plan on selling some milk. Here in OK it's legal to sell up to 100 gallons of goat milk off the farm without a license.

Kris said...

I was going to ask what you do with all the milk, but figured that's what you did. I have done that also with mine. But I cannot imagine milking that many goats at once! You do have machines, right?

I am going to try milking a few of my sheep when they lamb in March. I would love to make some sheep cheese. Have you ever had sheep and milked them?

Also, I noticed you make kefir. Do you have any extra grains to sell? I'll be needing some more in April if you want to sell some.

And I was wanting to get a Boer buck to breed my Nubian and Lamancha does with to get a more meatier kid for meat. You do that also right? How much bigger are the kids compared to just a full Nubian? Have you butchered any?

Thanks for answering all my questions. I do enjoy your blog.

Good Goats said...

No, we do not have machines. . . just lots of helpers :). I was joking last night that we're probably the only large dairy in the area that milks and raises kids all by hand - LOL!!

Yes, we've milked sheep before. We had a Fresian ewe. She gave about 3/4 a gallon a day. The milk was rich, but we all liked the goat milk better. We ended up drying her up and selling her because we found out my little brother was very allergic to sheep milk as well. The milk made AWESOME cheese though. The cheese yield was a little higher than the goat milk (per gallon) due to the fat/heavyweight content.

Yeah I should have some extra kefir grains - just let me know when you want some.

We have a Boer buck, and yeah we breed a good handful of our dairy does to him. The kids are quite a bit wider/meatier than straight dairy kids, and they typically grow very very well. We have never butchered any since we tend to always have buyers (and we butcher hogs for ourselves - cheaper meat per lb). Anyway, yeah breeding Boer bucks to dairy does is a great idea.

If ya ever want to email me, feel free to -