The Goat Spot Forum banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys, a few months back I had an emergency situation with some babies, and the community was wonderfully supportive and informative. I have yet another situation, though a little strange.

Two hours ago I glanced out the window, and saw 2 babies in my field. It's mid December, and I have snow on the ground. The mother was purchased sometime late summer, and has not been bred while in my possession. I have no explanation. I scooped up mama while my girlfriend got the babies, and we took them to the shed. Put down a thick layer of straw, brought out floor heaters, and more or less contained them (mama is not people friendly, virtually wild). The babies would not drink, and mama wouldn't let anyone near her nipples. She had afterbirth hanging out (still does) and wont take care of it herself. All she's done is lick the babies, and stand around like she's confused (first time mother).

This is my first kidding, all mine are bought at 8-12 weeks, so I'm far from an expert. I coaxed mama to her side, and kept her contained while inspecting her. She has no milk, but had scabs over her nipples. Called a breeder friend of mine, and they said it was likely just the caps, and instructed me to remove them. I did so, but noticed a "pimple" in the center of the nipples where a milk channel should be. Essentially the entire channel is one big dried up scab. I've tried warm water, massaging the udder, placing babies on each nipple, even resorted to trying to use human suction to draw the milk. Nothing. Her udders are swolen and seem to cause her pain, but nothing will come out.

It's late here with the feed stores closed, so I called a friend of a friend of a friend who had some frozen colostrum in her freezer. I picked that up, thawed it in warm water at home and bottled it. I forced the babies to drink some, and massaged their throats as they drank to help it go down. The core temp on the babies is still a little low, we have them wrapped in blankets next to floor heaters on beds of straw. Mama is laying next to them, but so far we've gotten around 6 feet of "afterbirth" out of her. One big balloon of orange fluid, and one dark purple sack which appears filled with blood. The person I got her from said triplets run in her genes, but she only had 2 for now. It's been two and a half hours, and here are my concerns.

1. If mama cannot produce/release milk, what can be done about her swollen udders, and could she have an infection of sorts? My concern is if she's "plugged up" somehow, it could kill her eventually if we don't do something about it. Any thoughts?

2. We're doing all we can to warm up the babies with blankets, heaters, etc, but what else can be done to ensure their survival?

3. We've kept them together since the mother is still making efforts to keep between us and the babies, and is licking them/nibbling off cord leftovers, and seems to be trying to figure it out. I want to take the babies into the house and monitor them myself, the females in the family insist mama be allowed to tend them. We compromised, and at the moment I am bottle feeding them, but allowing mama to stay with them and clean them. They continue to try and drink from her, but as far as I can tell they get nothing. Should they be seperated, how should that be handled?

4. One appears healthy(aside from temperature issues), but the other seems reluctant to drink. I have to force the jaw open to put the bottle in before it voluntarily sucks. It's colostrum, and kind of mandatory it drinks something. Any tips?


Overall we were not expecting any of our goats to kid, no signs were present, and we were caught unprepared completely. Any information or tips that you guys could provide would be awesome, thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,548 Posts
I can't help much but I absolutely agree with the females in your family. Unless you WANT bottle babies...leave them with mama until you are absolutely 100% positive she isn't going to be able to feed them. Don't worry about the afterbirth...She probably only has the 2 and it can take several hours for it to completely come out. Don't pull on it...you are more likely to leave bits of it attached and cause severe problems later. Other than that...I think you're doing ok. I honestly can't help with the udder issue...never dealt with that. But hopefully someone else will jump in...
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,939 Posts
Is the mother's udder warm? Does it feel kind of hard? It could be a case of congested udder, in which case warm compresses and a good massage could solve the problem. Although it varies from doe to doe, you need to be ready for the possibility that Mom could very well reject both kids due to bottling with another does colostrum. A doe identifies her kids by smell, and another does colostrum/milk will change that smell. Just so you are aware of the dangers - NEVER try to pull afterbirth out of a doe! It will likely kill her. Give her 24 hours to pass the afterbirth and, if she doesn't, give her a shot of penicillin. I don't know what breed this goat is, so I can't give you a dosage recommendation.

Something else you need to be aware of is not to give the kids a much milk until their temperatures are at least 100 degrees. A cold kid cannot digest milk and the milk can become toxic to them due to digestion shutting down.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
14,456 Posts
For the immediate, its great you have colostrum!!!!
Those kids need it the first 12 hrs & into the 24 hr period.
Let kids stay with her.
You will need to take any afterbirth & rub it on the kids butts & heads because other doe colostrum is not going to smell like her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Goatcrazy:

Each goat was fed at least a few tablespoons each, until the refused to drink any more. Their temperatures rose, but still seemed low. I was told to give them the colostrum because they might not survive until morning (14 hours from birth) until I could get some artificial milk without it. I was also told the goats could not digest milk until they've had colostrum to "jump start" their digestive systems, and to more importantly get some motherly antibiotics into them. Going off that advice, I fed them the colostrum regardless. Are you saying it could potential make them worse?

As for the udder, it does feel warm, but so does everything else on her as much as we've massaged and tried to coax milk out of her. It would describe it as swollen and likely filled with milk. I can't help but think of an eggbound chicken, I'm not sure what to do about it if it's an infection or something causing the milk to be trapped.

nancy D: I haven't rubbed any scent from the afterbirth on them, but the mother was a foot away while I fed each baby. She sniffed at the bottle and made a few sounds of disapproval, but didn't intervene. She simply laid down next to them to get some rest so far.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,939 Posts
Goatcrazy:

Each goat was fed at least a few tablespoons each, until the refused to drink any more. Their temperatures rose, but still seemed low. I was told to give them the colostrum because they might not survive until morning (14 hours from birth) until I could get some artificial milk without it. I was also told the goats could not digest milk until they've had colostrum to "jump start" their digestive systems, and to more importantly get some motherly antibiotics into them. Going off that advice, I fed them the colostrum regardless. Are you saying it could potential make them worse?

As for the udder, it does feel warm, but so does everything else on her as much as we've massaged and tried to coax milk out of her. It would describe it as swollen and likely filled with milk. I can't help but think of an eggbound chicken, I'm not sure what to do about it if it's an infection or something causing the milk to be trapped.
It doesn't sound like you've done anything that would further endanger the kids. A tablespoon or so of colostrum should not equal overload by any means. Stick your finger in their mouths the next time you feed. If their mouths are warm, you're good to go! Do you have any peppermint extract in your spice cupboard? Try mixing it with a little mineral oil and massaging Mom's udder. Usually peppermint oil is recommended, but it looks to me like peppermint extract mixed with a small amount of mineral oil might equal peppermint oil. Also looks to me like it's worth a try. It's your call, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't have any peppermint, or any mineral oil. We were caught completely off guard, and more or less out of season. So I didn't have any supplies on hand but a baby bottle or two in my drawer. I doubt the pictures give you much useful, but the nipples and udder are both swollen (bad angle in the pic). As for afterbirth, that's 7 feet so far (total) that's still hanging, keep trimming it around the feet so she doesn't trip on it or rip it out of herself accidentally.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,939 Posts
I know this does not help you a bit in your current situation, but your babies are too freaking adorable! :) As for the afterbirth - I agree with Karen. Just ignore it for now. If it really bugs you, fold it up on itself and tie it so it isn't dragging on the ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Considering her size, it's possible she has no milk. She's very lean, and her udder has always been petite. However, it's also hard/firm to the touch, which is what gave me the impression it's swollen.

As for the afterbirth, my breeder friend told me to trim the afterbirth above the ground. The concern was she could get tangled in it or rip it out of herself. I left more than enough for gravity to do the job (which is why I keep trimming as more comes out). The issues is she spooks easy, and tries to bolt if you get too close. Currently have a leash around her neck and have it tied to the wall so she doesn't trample the babies trying to get out. Had the issue when we first got her out of the field, it kept getting caught around her back legs as more and more came. Entrails tangled on your legs plus fears equals pain.

She was basically wild when we bought her. She's only ever tolerated us getting close enough to feed her, and that's it. So all this hands on contact over the kids isn't welcomed by her.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,939 Posts
I was about to ask what kind of condition she was in when you got her. I would have to agree with Carmen in that it sure doesn't look like she has much milk at this point in time. That could be due to the possible congestion, not having proper condition to support the kids growth and still be able to produce milk, or maybe her milk just hasn't come in yet. Whatever the reason the kids are going to need to be bottled/supplemented until it can be determined whether she has milk or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I agree, and our plan is to get to the feed store when it opens tomorrow to get the artificial stuff. I don't expect she's going to be able to feed two even if she does eventually begin to produce milk.

As for condition, we bought a family unit. Her mother (who we were told was pregnant that turned out not to be), this mother (the daughter), and a cousin I think, same coloring. This one has always been people shy, and barely tolerates the company of it's own family, let alone the herd we added her to. She's always been solitary, never much for socializing with other goats. She is kind of like a deer, stocky frame, but no fat on her. Very lean with a solid frame. She stands taller than any of the other 12 adults, but has no real weight to her. She's as wide/heavy today before giving birth as she was the day we bought her 5-6 months ago. Approximately 2-3 years old.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
To answer your question, by floor heater, it's a portable space heater. You put it on the floor, plug it in, and it heats up a room. In this case, mother and kids are in a 8x8 shed as a temporary fix, and I put it against the opposite wall with plywood under it (nowhere near the straw they're laying on, and mama is tied so she cant get close to knock it over).

As I mentioned, she wasn't bred by me, so this was totally unexpected. So it's the best we could do 10 minutes before the sun went down as a temp solution for warmth and cover. It's suppose to be 34 degrees tonight, so heat and cover were vital.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top