First time mother lost her kid

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by AmyB, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. AmyB

    AmyB New Member

    3
    Sep 28, 2020
    Cuttabri
    Hi,
    We are new to the world of goats and were thrilled to find our young goat delivered a seemingly very healthy kid. We have 4 goats in total and the mum separated herself from the other 3 after giving birth and had kept well away from them since - they were all head butting the baby when it was first born so we think she was protecting it. Sadly the poor wee bub has passed away at 3 days old. We aren't sure why it died, but are now worried about the mum - her udders look quite full, so I am looking for advice on how we best care for her.
    Will her milk dry up naturally now? What are the biggest causes for concern?
    Thank you all for any input!
    Amy.
     
  2. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I'm so sorry the kid died. It sounds to me like it's very possible the doe's udder got too full (pretty common in mothers with single kids) and the kid was no longer able to latch on and nurse. The tight udder can be sore so the mother walks off or kicks the kid away when it tries to suckle, or the teat is too full and tight for a very young kid to be able to latch on and suck. A kid that starts out healthy can starve to death very quickly if it can't nurse.

    Mastitis is probably the biggest concern with a goat that loses a kid. This can happen when the udder gets too full and is left that way. Some will dry up on their own but others need to be relieved every day for a while until they begin to dry up.
     
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  3. AmyB

    AmyB New Member

    3
    Sep 28, 2020
    Cuttabri
    Thank you very much for your reply, we are very sad for our girl and so gutted we didn't realise there was a problem until it was too late. The mama's udders look very full today, should we wait and see if they go down or try and get in there to milk her? She is *kind of* friendly, she comes up to see you when you visit, but doesn't like to be touched/patted like our other 3 - she has always been a little stand-offish, more so now after losing her kid I think. Thank you again!!
     
  4. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    If they look full then you'd better try to catch her and tie her so she can't run away when you check her udder. You'll probably need to have a person to hold her against the fence while another one milks her down. You don't need to milk her out. Since you want her to dry up you don't want to stimulate more milk production by milking her too much. Just take a few squirts from each side until her udder no longer feels tight and check again every 12 hours or so to make sure it's not huge again. Feel for heat, tender spots, hardness, or other indications of mastitis. Loss of appetite, fever, and lethargy are signs of dangerous mastitis but hopefully she won't develop anything like that.

    If any more of your goats have kids it's wise to keep mama and baby separate in a small area for a few days so you can monitor and make sure baby is healthy and nursing regularly, and so mama and baby can bond without interference from the other goats. Having aggressive goats in the herd who tried to hit her baby may have stressed mama out and kept her from nursing her kid properly.
     
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  5. AmyB

    AmyB New Member

    3
    Sep 28, 2020
    Cuttabri
    Thank you for the advice - I'll let you know how we get on with her. Fingers crossed!
     
  6. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    I agree, very good advice.

    I am sorry for your loss. :(
     
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