2/25/08 Difficult Births

Discussion in 'Kidding Koral' started by StaceyRosado, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    Have you experienced a difficult birth? what did you do?

    On average how many assists do you have per year, how many goats do you have? Is it the same goat or different goats, was it size, position of the kids? Did you change anything in later years to remedy the situation, was there a better outcome?

    Have you found difficult birthing to be genetic or buck related?

    If you have any tips please share.

    Also check out this thread for phone numbers of people who are willing to help you during a kidding season:

    Kidding help phone numbers
     
  2. Fainters

    Fainters New Member

    100
    Oct 10, 2007
    Western KY
    My kidding started in December. I had 5 does kid. All had normal births except for one pygmy. She pushed the head out before I found her and no matter what I did, I could not get my hand in to get the feet and pull them out. I called the vet and asked for options. He told me to cut the baby's head off, push it back in and then pull it out. Since the baby had been suffocated for awhile, this is what we finally had to do. That is the most horrible thing I have ever had to happen during kidding. My 2nd round of kidding has begun and last week, I had a fainter kid with tripletts. They were somewhat premature looking and 2 were dead and I am still working on saving the 3rd. This was her first time and I don't know if I will rebreed her or not. Right now she has a nasty infection that I believe stems from retaining the placenta. I have her on antibiotics and she is still feeding the surviving baby but I am not sure if I am going to save both of them or not. These births were from different bucks. The first one had her front legs back and back legs forward so all 4 were trying to come out together. The 2nd doe had 1 stuck inside her because it was rolled into a ball. I am not sure about the first two but they appeared to have possibly come out at the same time because the surviving baby had large amounts of bruising on her belly. The does are not related.

    http://www.freewebs.com/scapegoatranch/
     

  3. Muddy Creek Farm

    Muddy Creek Farm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Keokuk, Iowa
    OMG Fainters! How horrible. I was also wondering what precautions you take before going in. As far as gloves? Or washing your hands or what.
     
  4. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I will add mine in here.

    I had a "mini assist" back when I had Oberhaslis. It was her second kidding and the second kid. Poor thing had EVERYONE watching her (my mom, brothers -2- my Aunt and my cousin, along with myself) and se was trying to get the doeling out. She might have been able to do it on her own. But after a couple contractions and the head and legs not getting anywhere I just pulled with the contractions to get the kid out. I had to pull pretty hard but then "plop" out she came.

    when I purchased Destiny (pygmy) she was due anyday. She went into hard labor just after I returned home from work. I sat out there with her for a long time just watching and waiting. After she had been pushing long and hard for 30minutes it was advised to me to go in and see if everything was ok.

    This time it was just my younger brother out with me - I like it this way, much more calm atmosphere. I washed up really good and ran out side we prayed together and then I slowly started to push my hand in. when I felt the kid it wasn't positioned right and I knew it. I felt his back instead of a nose or legs. So I pulled my hand out and told my brother, this isnt good. I was crying as I went back in again and I pushed the kid back into the womb and then felt around for a leg, I prayed I was finding legs from the same side as everything is so slippery inside the doe. I pulled and out he came, so quick. I just knew he was dead. I was crying and thanking the Lord I got him out. But then I saw a flick of his leg and I quickly started to work on him. Poor Destiny was very sore but she was a great mom and took care of him really well. I was scared for her for a while but eventually Iw as able to get her to get up and move about and at that time the buckling was getting up and was interested in nursing. It was a happy ending to something that could have been SO much worse.

    Last year Flicka was progressing just as she should. But her vulva hadn't streached enough I guess and the leg was positioned up and around the neck.

    Here is a video so you can see what transpired - I didn't have time to clean up or anything but I didn't go in far and you will see that the goo and rest of the birth fluids washed anything out with it.

    http://s57.photobucket.com/albums/g231/ ... Flicka.flv
     
  5. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Illinois
    I've witnessed and assisted almost a dozen difficult births, the #1 rule for difficult births is to STAY CALM yourself. You freak, so does the doe.

    When you have to assist, be sure to wash up good, if you wear gloves(I don't) put KY jelly or mineral oil on to get in there. Only to into her when she isn't pushing, otherwise she will push your hand back out. Don't be afraid to go in as far as you can. If you have to pull a kid out, only pull when she pushes to avoid uterine tears.

    For kid positions, if you only have a head presented you have to push the head back in and get at least one leg out to get the kid out. If you have only the butt presented(breach birth) you have to push the kid back in and get both back legs out. If you have the kid presented with only the back legs sticking out(the hooves will be upside down) don't panic, these births are usually the easiest. If they come out with their hooves under their chin, break the bubble and pull the hooves forward.

    I'll talk about this year's difficult births.

    The first was Kadi. Kadi is a rather small doe and she kidded with a huge buckling, I mean HUGE. He was coming out with his hooves under his chin, so we broke the bubble and pulled his feet forward. We had a really really hard time pulling him out. We finally got him out and she was pretty sore for a while. We gave her Arnica 200c for the pain and bruising and she was fine.

    The next birth was Mary. Her first kid I had presented only a leg that was sideways. I washed up and went in and got the head into position but I couldn't grab her other leg since Mary was pushing me out. My dad had to get in and assist, the little girl was coming on her side through the canal. The second doe came out with only her head. She had only her head out and the bubble was popped so I went in and grabbed a leg and she came out the rest of the way.

    Any does we have to assist, we follow up with Arnica and give them 2000-3000 mg of vitamin C orally to prevent any infection.

    Always remember that if you think something is wrong, and you are new to kidding, you shouldn't be afraid to call somebody experienced who can help you out and give you some pointers.
     
  6. goat fever

    goat fever New Member

    141
    Oct 17, 2007
    Carlisle, PA
    OmG Fainters, so far I think you have had the most horrible birthing story I have ever heard. You actually had to cut of the babies head and push it back in then pull it out. You poor thing to have to do such a thing. Most have broke you heart to do all of that. I will keep watching this thread. I feel I learn the most from the topic of the week.
     
  7. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    i have had to assist with a lot of diffecult biths, not only my own does but others peoples. Last year only one was mine, my smallest doe had triplets, the first was presented tail first. with two more behind her. I have gone in and felt ears, three legs and backs.
    I think by far the worst birth i have attended was some people that called me, they got my number from the local vet, they said they had a boer doe who had been in labor for hours and she was not doing well. I got there to find a lot of blood and fluids all over the stall. I was almost positive the doe had a tear somewhere, she was down on her side and was heaving. I told the people i didn't think there was a good chance of her survivng this kidding. But we could try and save the kids. Reached in and felt a bunch of legs, i didn't know who was whom and where. It would of taken awhile to figure it all out and untangle them all. I said the easiest way to do this and the fastest way was to put the doe down and cut her open. thankfully i had grabbed my med kit, and they had a pistol. he shot the doe in the head as i was cutting her open, we pulled out three large but healthy babies. We were able to milk colostrum out of the doe only minutes after she had passed. It was a sad first kidding for these people but im glad we were able to save her kids. Even if we werent able to save the doe.
    had a difficult kidding at the dairy i work at the other day, a set of twins, mom just wasnt progressing, took a lot of teamwork on that one. Mom was a really big nubian doe. Someone else was pulling kids while i was holding belly up. All are ok now though.
    Like Sarah said, the niggest thing is to remian calm and think before acting. If you panic you won't get anywhere. Always have numbers on hand in case of emergency, always know where they are. I have them taped to the underside of the lid of my kidding kit.
    If you have to go in try and scrub if you can. I prefere not to use gloves as i can't seem to get a grip on a slimy kid with a glove. If you have to go past the cervix always give some sort of antibiotics. bacteria can turn quickly into a huge problem with uterus infections.
    If your going to stay with goats and having babies you will more then likely eventually have to assist with a difficult birth. Talking to other people who have done it helps, I was terrified the first time i pulled kids. But if you stay calm and think you can do it then you can do it. I think the easiest way to do so is when you go in close your eyes and visualize how a goat looks. Make sure the legs belong to the same kid, you don;t want to be pulling the legs of two different kids. try and have someone there to hold the doe if you can. And for morale support. preferably another goat person. they always seem to know just what to say and do.
    I have found that a lot of times adrenaline kicks in, and you find yourself doing things you never imagined that you could.
    Happy Kidding!
    beth
     
  8. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    The first time was when I knew there was another kid in there even tho the doe acted done. I called my breeder and she guided me thru. Nothing. Three days later the vet out, mummified baby way forward. Doe put down.
    Last yr Nubian presented head. Sack already broke, Doe screaming for ten minutes trying to deliver.
    Reached in pulled front legs around and out. Following three normal.
    Boer doe not progressing after delivering two. Breech baby, made sure head not twisted backwards, pulled him out.
    This yr unassisted births exept for one. Differnt bucks each yr. One FF head seemed to be stuck with front legs out. Doe stopping to sit like a dog and try to reach around to see what was happening in a distressful manner. I tried to open by manipulating the surrounding skin and pulling on legs. It seemed to take forever...hubby's watch said about 5 minutes. Second kid slid right out by self.
    I second the fact that you have to remain calm and that you do what you have to do even if you arent completely confident. Like Sparks says, adreneline kicks in and you do things you never imagined you could do.
    If no vet is close and its an emergency you do what you have to do to save lives. I would rather do something wrong than nothing.
     
  9. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    I know it may sound silly but one of the biggest helps to me was the books by James Hariett (sp?) He is always talking in detail about his assists and it made me more confident in what I was doing.
     
  10. morganslil1

    morganslil1 New Member

    344
    Nov 12, 2007
    north carolina
    Stacey thank you so much for posting your video....now I have a better idea of what to expect.
     
  11. Muddy Creek Farm

    Muddy Creek Farm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Keokuk, Iowa
    This thread has really helped me prepare! Great video Stacey. I know that someday I will have to assist, so I am learning as much as I can!
     
  12. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    glad the video has been helpful. Thanks goes to my brother for being patient and videoing the whole thing.

    As you will notice it stops and starts - so the video is missing a lot of the waiting. Which of course no one wants to watch 30 minutes or more of just pushing and waiting. So don't be surprised if the labor stalls for a bit then starts back up.
     
  13. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    Yes Stacy, great video, I was wondering what the total actual time was, Thank you! Di
     
  14. Buckeye

    Buckeye New Member

    22
    Jan 28, 2008
    Maine
    No births here yet this year - first two due in a month. But from last year the worst thing we had to deal with was a second timer. She was just gigantic (not a surprise since she is a quint) but then I can only describe it as "her water broke" and a gallon at least came pouring out. Then nothing for several minutes, which concerned me. Finally she started pushing and out came the only doe of the bunch. She was alive but never tried to stand on anything. Eventually had to put her down as she couldn't stand or swallow. Found out from vet neighbor that the large sac of fluid is an indicator of a genetic defect. The second kid came out fine and was walking all over his sister in minutes. Third didn't come and didn't come. Eventually I got in there and found something I've never seen before - his jaw was open and hooked on her bone. I had to wait for a contraction to subside then unhook it and guide him out. Needless to say we were never able to get the liquid out of his lungs so he didn't make it. Kid number four came 10 minutes later and was fine. That was last year's last birth and our only losses of the season. Sad way to end it.

    I agree with Stacey that reading the James Harriot books as a kid was a big help - as well as spending every summer on a large dairy farm and watching birth after birth after birth, many of which were assisted. Everything is on a much larger scale of course. The farmer's whole arm to his shoulder goes inside the cow sometimes. You certainly can do what needs to be done when the time comes to do it.
     
  15. Buckeye

    Buckeye New Member

    22
    Jan 28, 2008
    Maine
    Beth mentioned that a pistol was needed during that traumatic birth. I have wondered - what if it becomes obvious that I need to put a goat down in an emergency. We don't keep a gun around, though most neighbors have them. Is a gun the only or best way to do it save an expensive vet call that wouldn't be timely? Sorry to ask such a nasty question, but sometimes it is the most humane answer to a situation and I have wondered what to do.
     
  16. Muddy Creek Farm

    Muddy Creek Farm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Keokuk, Iowa
    We have a shotgun (we live in the middle of no-where) I really hope we never have to use it on one of our own animals. Another way I have heard of is to slit their throat (I personally could NEVER do that in a million years) I think a gun would be the best option.
     
  17. Buckeye

    Buckeye New Member

    22
    Jan 28, 2008
    Maine
    Ugh! I hope we don't ever have to do that. It is bad enough to behead a chicken! My poor husband almost threw up (I held, he chopped).
     
  18. Muddy Creek Farm

    Muddy Creek Farm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Keokuk, Iowa
    LOL, I can't behead anything I feel bad enough when I squash a bug... I have also heard to keep you finger nails short during kidding season.
     
  19. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    theres another thing i normally keep in my kidding kit, a pair of finger nail trimmers. Though with working outside and at another dairy farm and a farm store i tend to keep my nails pretty short, you never know when you may need to go in. If you have long nails you will want to cut them.
    AS for the most humane way to put a doe down in case of emergency i would say a gun is the quickest way you shoot in the back of the head pointed at the mouth. Its fast and the animal never feels it or so i hope. Slitting a throat i have never had to do. I can imagine if you do it right its pretty quick but messy, and if you dont cut deep enough then its bad news. I have also heard of people putting pen directly into the vein and over dosing the goat, but this is a slow and not so painless death. Time is of major importance when you have to put the down down and get the kids out. When he shot the doe, i was already making an incision, because as soon as that doe stops breathing so do your kids. You want to get them out as quick as possible. We had towels ready to go, i handed a kid off to each of them and then took the third to dry myself. To get the kids breathing, we put them upside down between our knees and gently patted the chest. gravity helps get all that fluid out.
    beth
     
  20. Buckeye

    Buckeye New Member

    22
    Jan 28, 2008
    Maine
    That additional information is helpful - thanks. I hope never to have to experience that, but do want to be prepared and have some idea of what to do without searching through a book or guessing in the middle of an emergency. I appreciate your candor.