FF labor gone wrong

Discussion in 'Kidding Koral' started by Robin Lee, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. Robin Lee

    Robin Lee New Member

    9
    Apr 4, 2020
    Montana
    So in my newbie ignorance I bought a 14 month old ND doe due to kid within 2 weeks. She was much smaller than my other 2 does but I was assured that she was a normal size for her breed. She was maybe 40lbs full term. When she went into labor I put her in a kidding stall and watched her on my camera as she didn't really want me present. After she was actively pushing for about 45 min - 1 hour and starting to wear out I went out to assess. I found the kid a few inches from coming out presenting with the head and 1 front leg. The kid was not coming out this way so I reluctantly tried to re position it. I had a lot of trouble as there was so little room. I was finally able to get the 2nd leg but the head flopped around and I couldn't retrieve it. We ended up losing the doe and the kid. It was a terrible experience I am not eager to repeat. I am left wondering if I could have something different or if this poor little doe was doomed from the start since she was so small. Just looking for some thoughts from those that are more knowledgeable.
     
  2. Andie Harness

    Andie Harness Member

    50
    Apr 5, 2020
    Washougal, WA
    I am so sorry for your loss.

    I strongly believe in not breeding small does due to mother and/or baby passing before or during birth. After 45 minutes of the doe pushing, you should intervene and help the doe. A baby can be born perfectly with a head and 1 leg sticking out. The mother may have had a harder time pushing the baby out due to her being so small, but that was a normal birthing position. I am curious about the bucks breed. If he was a larger breed than her, it's incredibly dangerous for the doe and kid.

    Being part of the birthing experience is amazing and breath-taking. If you ever want to breed a doe again, I recommend waiting until at least 2 years old and/or waiting until they're fully grown.

    Reading this has made me sick. I highly doubt the people you bought your doe from had any experience with breeding. Very sad.
     

  3. Robin Lee

    Robin Lee New Member

    9
    Apr 4, 2020
    Montana
    Thanks Andie.

    I have been doing a bunch of reading on the birthing process and there seems to be mixed opinions on whether a 1 foot presentation needs to be corrected. I really did not want to interfere in the birth but after almost an hour of pushing she was just starting to wear out. The baby was not presenting outside the birth canal, it was a few inches in but I could feel 1 foot and the face. Maybe she needed more time? Gah. I'ts just really hanging heavy on me here that I either messed things up by not doing enough or doing too much.

    The people I got the little doe from had a herd of 10ish that they just ran in a leased pasture miles from their house and just let them kid out unassisted. Their buck seemed on the big end of normal for a Nigerian. Looking back I should have just walked away from purchasing this doe.

    I have 2 other ND does that I bought pregnant from a different breeder that kidded with no complications in Feb. I guess having those successful births made me feel more relaxed than I should have.
     
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  4. Andie Harness

    Andie Harness Member

    50
    Apr 5, 2020
    Washougal, WA
    You should always be on your toes during a birth, no matter how experienced. Don't be so hard on yourself, this was the breeders fault. Best of luck to all of you!
     
  5. Tanya

    Tanya Well-Known Member

    I am so sorry you lost the new addition to your family. Sometimes it is better to walk away. Dont beat yourself up. It was Natures way of being kind to the doe.
     
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  6. lada823

    lada823 Active Member

    209
    Apr 1, 2018
    Ohio
    I raise full sized goats but I have successfully bred and had does kid when they were just over a year old. I go by weight, not age. That said when you buy a bred doe you just have no idea. What was her nutrition like? What buck was she bred to, how big was she when bred, etc. One foot and a head presentation is a variation of normal. I get antsy during a birth and if the doe has been pushing for a half hour I help. Don't beat yourself up over this, it is all a learning experience.
     
  7. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I am sorry for the loss. :(

    30-45 minute rule: If nothing is on the ground by that time frame.
    Wash up and go in.

    If you see a head and 1 leg, that is OK, you can help pull the kid and do not need to find the other leg.

    If the kid has big shoulders or head, it can hold things up and make her stall in labor. At that point, she may of needed to be manually dilated a bit more to get the kid out.

    If you ever feel there is trouble and do not feel you can do it, call a vet right away.
     
  8. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I'm so sorry you had such a sad introduction to what should be an exciting, joyous experience. One leg forward, one leg back is a fairly normal presentation although not totally ideal. However, waiting longer would not have helped the doe birth naturally. You did the right thing by intervening but probably your lack of experience was what caused the kid's head to turn back in the process of retrieving the second foot. If the kid was already expired, this could also have caused the head to flop back. Once the head turns back you have a very bad presentation on your hands and it's very difficult to turn, and maybe even impossible in a small doe.

    If you encounter this problem again and you're sure the nose is in position, go for the one foot. Pull it forward and down until it is outside the doe. Rotating the shoulder frees up room in the birth canal for the head to come out. Feel to make sure the kid's head is still in position. If it is, you can do one of two things. You can either pull the kid out by the one leg (a slightly tighter fit), or you can feel carefully along the head (making sure you don't accidentally turn it backwards!) and see if you can find the other front leg. You might have to feel down both sides of the neck and shoulder because it's not usually obvious which leg you already have out. If you find the other leg, hook a finger behind the knee and gently pull it forward under the chin. At that point the kid should be in the classic diving position and ready to come out. Pull it out and down with the doe's contractions. If she stopped pushing you'll just have to pull without her help. If I'm concerned that a baby's head might flop back, I put my fingertips over the top of the nose or head to help guide it along the birth canal while I pull on the leg(s) with the other hand.

    I hope your next birthing experience is delightful to make up for this nightmare.
     
  9. happybleats

    happybleats Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2010
    Gustine Texas
    Oh Im so sorry you and goat mama went through that! Pam and damfino offer sound advice. A few other tips would be stand mom up sometimes offers more room to work..if not elevate moms back end to open more space up.

    I also wait until my does are 18 to 24 months old AND good size. I have assisted many births with one leg presented. It depends on how the other leg is laid out. Is all the way back and flush to the side, its good to go...but if the other leg is bent at the elbow, I like to pull it forward. If babies head falls back unretrievable then it's a game changer. Time is not your friend for babies sake. Then you factor in moms small, leaving little to no room to work in..well that rarely ends well. You did your best.
     
  10. Robin Lee

    Robin Lee New Member

    9
    Apr 4, 2020
    Montana
    Thanks for your insight. I have a few more questions if you wouldn't mind. When you do need to reach in is it normal to be able to adjust the kids position while the kid is engaged in the pelvis? I had to push the kid back and put my hand through the pelvis to even try to rearrange the presentation and it was TIGHT. I would say my hand is average sized but it barely fit through and there was no chance I could hold onto anything and pull it through. Maybe that was normal with a small doe? Would it have been a good idea to use some rope to tie the head and front leg I initially did have together so I didn't lose them? Maybe it would have been better to just try and pull the kid with the head and 1 leg?
     
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  11. lada823

    lada823 Active Member

    209
    Apr 1, 2018
    Ohio
    I would probably have just pulled on the one leg rather than try to push it back in and fish for the other leg. I've had a couple present like that and they were born with just a little help. I only push them back if they're coming out nose first with no feet.
     
  12. Robin Lee

    Robin Lee New Member

    9
    Apr 4, 2020
    Montana
    Noted for next time. Since she had been pushing for 45-60 mins I thought maybe baby couldn't fit out without the other leg. Do you just commit and pull however hard it takes to get the kid out?
     
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  13. lada823

    lada823 Active Member

    209
    Apr 1, 2018
    Ohio
    Yes you sometimes have to pull rather hard. Like I've had to brace myself against the stall with one foot and pull. It's not pleasant; the doe is screaming bloody murder and you're also probably screaming. I am not the most experienced but I've never had a kid not come through with one foot and a head.

    That said it's entirely possible your girl was just too small to birth the kid no matter what its presentation had been. Completely possible. She might have ended up needing a c-section.
     
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  14. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    45 minutes is maximum, do not wait anymore than that.
     
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  15. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    It is not really possible to reposition a kid IN the birth canal. As you discovered, there's just no room between those pelvic bones! If you can pull one leg out it frees up a lot of room in the birth canal and you should then be able reach your hand past the kid's shoulder to reposition the head, the other leg, etc. It's tight, but usually you can manage once the shoulder rotates so the elbow is out of the way. In this case I would have most likely pulled the kid by just the one leg. When there's no room to work, the danger of pushing the head back in and then losing it is too great.

    It's not your fault. I lost a kid once too because he was coming shoulder-first with his head reaching back to his tail. The doe was big but she hadn't dilated properly and she was STRONG! Me and a vet worked for a couple of hours and couldn't bring that head round. We lost the kid but I was eventually able to get him out. The key in that case was that I needed to push both feet back in and just go for the head. Once I had the head completely out I was able to reach in past the skinny little neck and retrieve the legs. I often wonder if I could have saved that kid if I'd have forgotten about finding the legs and had gone for the head first. Everything you read says "bring both legs out first," but I'm not sure this is always the best advice. In a head back presentation, there's so little room to work already that once you bring those legs out it's next to impossible to even reach the head, let alone reposition it.
     
  16. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    First I am so very sorry your first kidding went this way. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I also want to say you are a awesome person! Your not taking this as a simple loss but a learning experience to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Not many people do that.
    So a few things. I think ultimately the root issue is a small doe. Small does really are terrible when things go wrong. Even if one can end up getting a kid out having to reposition is so hard on them because of the lack of room.
    The buck. Just for the future in this, I promise you, a wonderful adventure in goats, the size of the buck, as long as it’s the same breed, doesn’t mean much. The bucks are usually always going to be larger then does. Also the largest buck I have ever had threw the most consistently small kids. He was just a grower.
    Yes there is that 30 minute rule, and I agree with it. But what I do is when they are pushing I usually just stick a finger in there. If I can feel a kid I go ahead and feel what I have going on. Let’s say I only have a nose. I might give her just a little more time and see if those feet show up depending on how long she’s been pushing or how far that nose is. If the head is basically right there and no feet around then it’s a good bet. Those feet are not coming without some help. Then I’ll go ahead and start stepping in. I just go very slow and gently.
    You absolutely can tie strings onto body parts so they don’t go missing. I have done that many times.
    And I agree I probably would have pulled while just the leg and head. BUT that does not mean that the outcome would have been different. Heck even if you had the perfect position it doesn’t mean that you would have had a different outcome. Again small does are hard. I know for me when I first read up oh kidding everything stressed so much on being gentle, not treating them like a cow and really pulling on those kids. Now many years in I find that to be untrue. Ultimately that kid needs to come out. I have had some VERY hard pulls and in my mind I thought “I’m killing my doe” but I had to remind myself she is dead if it doesn’t come out. And those does usually end up just fine. Sore for sure but they can handle more on the pulling then the impression I got reading.
    But it gets easier. I promise you that and you have a wonderful mindset on all this.
     
  17. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    :nod::up:

    Good advice.

    It is best to watch and see how the kid is presenting.

    If you see something off right away, you do not need to wait 30 minutes and should go in an help right away.

    You want to see a kid in diving position, front legs and head in between.
    If you see back legs(breach) it is OK to pull them and this position, you need to get the kid out really quick, as the life line, cord, most likely broke, if you see that, it is cutting off air supply.
     
  18. mariella

    mariella Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2017
    Prague Oklahoma
    So I figure everyone else has this down but I wanted to add my two since.
    We have all been new goat owners before and we have all lost does to being too relaxed during a birth I'm sure.

    My story ends on a happy note because I have a really good goat lady near me that helped e through this.
    So my story is, I bought a yearling Boer cross doeling that was open and I was breeding my does as yearlings and figured it wouldn't hurt to breed her to my big LaMancha buck. She looked like she was pregnant with twins at 4 months so we were hoping it was going to be 2 normal-sized babies. She went into labor and she was doing great but taking her time getting down to pushing when she finally did start pushing it wasn't going well. We waited 30 minutes before we went in to check and we found a head and 1 foot that was tucked under his chin and he was a HUGE baby, I pushed him back in and tried to get his head and both legs in the right position but he was too big to fit it all in there at once. After a few minutes of trying, I called my goat mentor and she said to just pull him out before I lost them both. It was the hardest pull I have ever experienced and I thought I broke both the mama's pelvis and the baby's leg and it still took 10 minutes to get him out. After it was all said and done my mentor chewed me up one side and down the other about how I should have waited for the doe to mature and grow to full size. She then told me something that will stick with me for the rest of my life.
    Imagen 1 month of a doeling's life as 1 year, your doe was only 14 when she was forced to have a baby and she wasn't ready. It was all the breeder's fault for not care for his/her goats but now you know to watch for these things again in the future!
     
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  19. Goatzrule

    Goatzrule Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    New England
    Even when the kid is in the "perfect position" you can have issues. I had two does recently with nose and feet out but the kid stopped progressing.
    The doe was too young and too small. The breeder was very irresponsible and there was probably nothing you could have done to change the outcome. Like others said the baby still should have been able to come out without much intervention so it was probably just too big.
     
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  20. TexasGoatMan

    TexasGoatMan Well-Known Member

    601
    Jul 3, 2015
    Dekalb, Texas
    I guess everyone who keeps goats and breed them and raises kids will at sometime have kidding problems. Sorry for your loss but experience is priceless ! We had a issue with a doe that was having labor pains and she had raised 2 previous sets of kids. The first kid came out in the correct position but kind of slow getting there. I checked her and had a head and 2 feet at the canal. I was able to pull both feet out and then all went smoothly. Then a few minutes later labor pains and I see a back foot. I pull on it and end up pulling out the kid backwards by one foot and it was dead and had been for a day or so. Then more pains and a second breach kid's back legs appear and I pull it out and it was alive. So both kids are growing and doing great. Back to back breach kids is a first for us. Her first 2 kidding season went like clockwork, not the third. Now 2 days later our yearling doe starts labor and gets a head out to the edge of the pelvis with front feet but seems to stop there. I pull both feet and head out then the kid and she is like what the heck is going on and runs out of the barn. we get her back in as the second kid's head is hanging out but No front feet. I just pull on the head and get it to slip on out. Both kids are alive and doing well. She had to smell of the kids before Mother Nature took over and she started cleaning them. So my advice is if you got legs or head to pull on do so. Always try to get head first with legs but if no legs pull on the head. Because the doe is having issues finishing the job and needs some help. So don't feel bad because you did what you thought was the right thing to do and probably was. Next time if it ever happens again you will be more confident as what to do. Good luck.
     
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