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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Several years ago we got kid crazy and ended up with a lot of baby goats (only a few days old) and learned to get through the ups and downs AND mostly awesome days with babies. What do people call it - Multiple Kid Syndrome. My husband would say, "Come with home 2 more boys" and I would come back with 4. How can you say "no" to cute little boys.

Now, I'm trying to read up on kidding and get all the information I need so that when our 2 girls (first timers) kid in April I will be ready. Yikes, I'm nervous. What if the tail shows first? What if they both try to come at the same time? The more I read, the more nervous I'm becoming. I read one "kidding preparedenss" on the internet and it had over 75 things that you need to buy to be ready. Yowzers!!!!!!!

As much as I read, I realize more and more that I sure do appreciate this forum and all the advice people give and stories they share.

Tonia
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Most of the time, the Does do all the work and you just stand around waiting :) A few things to have on hand:

Hand sanitizer
Baby wipes and or paper towels
Lube: you want things as clean as possible if you need to assist and the lube will help if you have to go in and get the kids or move em around. Also if needed clean off any straw that might get pulled back into the birth canal.

A kid snare is a good thing to have but if you dont know how to use it, a ready to go vet may be a better option. If you are able, a quick call to your vet when the labor starts just to let em know you maybe calling on them shortly for help, is a good idea.

Clean bath towels to put the kids on is also good. Keeping kids clean is important if they are being born in a common area where the animals have gone to the bathroom before. Even cleaned out and fresh straw isnt enough. A Doe in labor is going to "dig" herself a nest and will quickly turn a nice clean birth area into a torn up mess of dirt and straw. The main goal is to keep dirt away from the cord and the face.

And finally a chair to sit on and maybe a hot coco to drink as you wait :)

Here is a typical birth process:

Start of labor is pretty quite. But the Doe will have picked her spot ahead of time. You might notice a nesting area where the straw is kicked aside and a small area has been dug in the dirt. You will see a discharge from the vagina. It should be clear to milky in color. A Doe that goes over her due date by several days will often have a brownish / yellowish discharge. There shouldnt be any blood until after a kid is passed. So if you see some at this point, there could be something wrong. This doesnt mean to panic. Sometimes a kid will break its sack while still inside. Its not good but not to serious yet.

As she is dis charging she will be making her nest. She will start to be really talkative and wanting to lick you. As labor progresses she will scrap the ground off and on, start to lay down and discharge even more. At some point she may start to contract. Typically when a contraction starts they are standing and will quickly dig and lay down. Once the contraction passes they will often stand back up and or start looking for babies or "baby goo" as we like to call it. If you have the stomach you can grab any stringers (discharge) and present it to her to eat. This often times help speed up the process.

At some point you will start to see what looks like a water balloon trying to come out as she is contracting. This is the kid in its birth sack. At some point you should start to see hooves in the sack. This is a good time to see if the kid is positioned right. A normal birth starts with front legs outstretched in a kinda superman flying style with the head on top of the legs. Often times you can see the nose right behind the front hooves. At some point the bubble will stop going back in (out with a contraction back in afterwards). At this point you can choose to break the bubble with your fingers. Sometimes it makes the delivery easier. But I like to wait to see if the Doe can just do it on her own.

This is where experience comes in handy. If after several contractions there is no progress, you may need to help. Pop the bubble if not already. Clean the area and your hands. Put some lube on your fingers of one hand. Grab the front hooves with one hand and the doe contracts gently pull. You your other hand with the lubed fingers between the babies head / face and the vagina wall. What is most likely happening is the doe can not open up wide enough to fit the kids through. In humans this is where they often cut the vagina so it doesnt rip. You are trying to stretch the skin little, adding lube to help the mom pass the kid. You wanna be careful and not poke a finger through the vagina or uterus wall as you are helping. If still no progress you will need to start pulling on the front legs harder. Some kids dont like you touching them and will pull their feet back in :) Again, keep everything as clean as possible. You may also need someone to help hold the Doe so she doesnt try to get away. He we like to make sure they are laying down.

Now, it maybe that you dont need to worry about any of the above helping. As most of the time, the Does do all the work. If she passes the kid on her own it should still be in its sack as it hits the ground or you can grab the kid on its way out. Either way, open the sack, pull the kid out and clean any liquid from its noes and mouth. Sometimes you may actually need to grab the kid by the arm pits and the hips and swing the kid, head down to empty any fluid from the lungs. Just dont drop the kid :) Once you notice is breathing or crying (which it most likely will do without the swinging part) put the kid on the bath towel and let the mama go to work cleaning.

Goats can suspend their labor for a long time if threatened or focused on say cleaning a baby. So it could be an hour before she start to pass a second one. But sometimes, after the first one is outta the way, the others will come in quick order, so be ready with towels :) There are times when we have triplets born within minutes of each other and we help the mom clean off the kids. Not totally, this is the first bonding time and when they learn each others voice. So leave the kids pretty damp. But you can remove the sacks and bigger goo parts if there are to many babies to fast.

When the babies are all out and on the ground and pretty clean, you can start to iodine the naval cord. This helps stop bacteria from entering it and causing naval ill. We do a couple of different vaccines or boosters at this point also. Mainly a bo se drawn into a needle. remove the needle and squirt into mouth. We also use Vit. E to help the bo se. They are the liquid filled ones you get from any store. You can put the gel pill in the corner of your mouth to let your saliva soften the end. Then you just pop it into the kids mouth and discard the gel shell.

Keep an eye on the kids over the next couple of hours to see if they are getting up and trying to eat (you can help them find the nipple). Not a bad idea to clean off the nipples before hand and remove the wax cap that is often in place on the end of the teet. Also a good time to make sure the Doe isnt pounding the crap outta the kids. They do this either as they are trying to bed down to pass another kid or trying to force the kids to stand up. Its a throw back to when goats were wild.

If all is well, a few hours after they are born, the kids will be nearly all dry, have eaten a little bit and standing on their own. If its cold, moving them to a warmer place will aid in this and assure the kids get a good start. If a kid gets to cold, they will start to shut down and not eat and can quickly die. A cold kid will not eat. The Doe will have a rope sized cord of after birth dangling from her vagina with maybe a water bubble or two to boot. These are natural weights and help the doe pass the placenta. If needed you can tie like a 6 inch piece of chain on to the cord with some baling string to help if there are not bubble weights.

And that is pretty much your typical birth. Just let the Doe do her thing. Help if needed but give her every chance to do it herself and you will be fine :) Good luck!
 

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Very good post by Dave. Just about everything you need to know. I would also recommend watching a few youtube videos of goat births so you will know what you will be seeing.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Good idea about the video. You can do a search on youtube.com "goat giving birth" and see a bounch of them. This was the first one I watched and its a pretty common one.
[youtube:1t5jix2l]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LghEXi-6PQs[/youtube:1t5jix2l]
They coulda cleared the nose / mouth a little quicker and also catch the kid before it hit the ground.

but you can see where towels, baby wipes and paper towels would come in handy :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow - great kidding detail. Thanks! I've been watching Youtube videos and reading from different sites/books so I can get some different perspectives.

I'm starting the feed method for delivering during the day this weekend so hopefully we can deliver during the daylight and not be too stressed out.

Do most does deliver within their 150 day range +/- a few days? When do you worry if they are over too many days?

Also, if something happens to mom and you get no colostrum, do you have a good recommendation for a good brand out there that works good. I've used the cow's milk, buttermilk, evap milk recipe, but not until the goats are a little older and have had their first colostrum.

Tonia
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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We have had does run as long as 10 days over. But its gets really messy in there at that point with everything a mix of egg yoke yellow color to poo brown. Legion was born a week early and survived but that is about the limit on being early that a kid will survive.

We had a Doe just kid that was in light labor for about 20 hours (not unheard of) but often times this indicates something is wrong. In her case she was trying to pass the first kid preach but it just never got into position. Good thing the boy decided he was done waiting and pushed his sister outta the way and made for the exit :) My other half Tracy did need to go in and help the stuck one. In this case, the kid was presenting her spin area above the butt. The back legs would not get into the right place in order to be pass without help.

Have never had a Doe not produce enough to warrant trying to hunt down a colostrum replacement. Each kid only needs about 16 oz. of colostrum to be good to go. Id stay away from anything that isnt intended to replace colostrum. Evap milk and the like may be way to harsh on the kids stomach. Id look to a first week baby formula. Wont get all the needed goodies from the colostrum so will need to take extra steps to keep the kid as clean as possible. Bacteria is the enemy.

The Doe who had the longer harder kidding, hasnt come into her milk yet but she had enough colostrum for 2 of the 3 kids. Here we also keep a supply from last year on hand in the freezer by taking a 20 oz bottles worth from a few select Does. Not to mention a freezer full of normal milk. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I asked about the colostrum because we have one goat who has a lump in her udder. Last August at the fair, the judge felt it after showing was done and guessed a precocious udder. The vet that we use (has her specializing in the goat area) thought tumor. We bred her and aren't sure what will happen. The vet thought the tumor was on one side and that Frankie (the doe) will produce milk on one side of her udder only.

Since it is our first doe to kid, I'm trying to be prepared. What if the tumor wasn't what anyone thought and there is no milk available? Do I start immediately on Carolyn's recipe and then just make sure everything is incredibly clean (trying to keep things clean already). I've seen colostrum replacements on Hoegger and that is why I was asking too.

Tonia
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Wish I was around to feel the lump. We have had young does that have had lumps in their udders before their first kidding. Most of the time they just go away and all is fine with the udder. I think that it has more to do with heavy milk lines then a health issue. But there have been a few times where lumps have stay around longer and have effected the evenness of the udder. Its been quite a few years since the last case but I dont remember it really being an issue. I think it was either the Toggs or the Saanens that seemed to have it happen over the Alpines. Memory is vague though...

Best thing to do is to be ready with your alternative just in case. Dont have to go to crazy on clean. Just keep em outta their own pee and poo and it should be all good. When your doe kids, test the contents of the udder. There shouldnt be any "junks"in the milk. If there is, you could have an issue. Colostrum will be light to mid yellow cream color. The darker the better. Some babies are slow to eat, so you can have a bottle and nipple ready to help. If you find the one side with the lump seems to have something wrong from it, the not lumpy side can support the kids colostrum needs.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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No, just a few squirts into a clear container is all you need to do. Chunks in the milk is bad, pink in color is bad. Udder should be warm but if its too hot, it could be because of an infection. A watery / semi clear milk is also a bad sign.

A few of our does have very high butter fat % so their milk is thicker then normal. So dont confuse chunky milk with butter fat. Butter fat will be creamy while an infection will cause actual chunks. Almost gritty in texture.
 

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Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State
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Something extremely important I forgot to mention is, never milk out a doe right after she kids. If you need to take milk, never make more then 1/4 to 1/3 at each milking for at least the first week. You run the very likely risk of milk fever if you milk them out to soon
 
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