Please advise! - Kidding at night??

Discussion in 'Pack and Working Goats' started by SMaxwell, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. SMaxwell

    SMaxwell New Member

    81
    May 20, 2012
    How common is kidding at night? I've had two prior kiddings and both have been daytime. I have a doe whose ligs have been gone since at least 8:00 this morning. I checked her the night before and could still fell them. This morning - gone. I just got home from work and it looks like her mucus plug is hanging out but she's not really acting like she's in labor yet. Do you think she'll kid tonight? I kind of hope not because it's gonna be in the low single digits tonight.
     
  2. feederseaters

    feederseaters Senior Member

    300
    Nov 8, 2009
    Its very likely that your goat will be kidding tonight. I would grab a sleeping bag and a pillow, get her into a birthing stall and wait. Most of my goats seem to kid at night, some at 11 pm some at 2 am. When the ligs are gone and the plug is out, birth is immenent.

    Even though the weather is cold, if you help mom dry off the kid (or pull the kid and dry it yourself, which ever you prefer), they should be ok. Do you have a birthing stall for mom to give birth in and spend a night alone bonding with her kid? Either way, I would refresh what bedding is available and keep a close eye on the expecting mom.

    Good Luck,
    Let us know how it goes.
     

  3. Cazz

    Cazz New Member

    171
    Jun 8, 2010
    I would say she will almost definitely kid tonight (if she hasn't already :) ) and yes, night kiddings are quite common :roll:
    My recommendations: Plenty of torches (or preferably a proper light) and at least two cameras if you want photos, as they always tend to go flat ;)
    A notebook and pen to record changes throughout the night - something useful to do when you are waiting, plus it can come in handy for future kiddings when you want a close estimate of how long is left :)
    Lots and lots of warm clothes and blankets, some clean sacks and towels for kidding, disinfectant, warm water for the doe, feed and hay for her as well, and if you are going to bottle feed the kids from birth (as I recommend doing, but really depends on what works for you timewise for the first week of their lives) and even if not, just in case she won't feed them: a clean bottle and teat, one or two pots to milk into (as the goats always tend to step in them when you least want to go and get another one) and a lead to tie the doe if needed.
    If you have other people who will be spending the night in the house and you may want if complications arrive, radios are really useful :)
    All the best, and let us know how you go :D
    Cazz
     
  4. Bob Jones

    Bob Jones Member

    848
    Aug 21, 2009
    I am kidding all the time... day and night. Really!
    It would get creepy though if I had torches.
    My wife ignores me and my daughter rolls her eyes.
     
  5. SMaxwell

    SMaxwell New Member

    81
    May 20, 2012
    This was a 2 year old Alpine, first timer. She started labor about 6:00 pm. About an hour later, she had a big bubble come out, about the size of a basketball, nothing was visible in the bubble. The bubble broke and only fluid came out. What the heck?! No sign of a baby for about two hours, then saw one hoof. That went on for about an hour, but she did not seen to be in any distress. I gloved up & got the lubricant and went in. I felt one hoof and thought I felt the nose but wasn't sure. Pulled on the hoof and nothing seemed to happen except she started screaming. I finally called our goat guru and she came over about 30 min later and went in & said she felt the nose & both hoofs. She wrangled out a big baby. Then about a minute later, mama pushed out and even bigger baby, looked like a baby Moose! Both were bucklings (future pack goats). This was close to 11:00 pm. The first kid was more lethargic & didn't want to eat. Lying on it's side, not moving much and looking like he was going downhill fast. Tried to help him out, to no avail. Second kid was fine. After almost two hours, I milked some colostrum out of mom into a big measuring cup and put in into the tube feeder I had bought for just such a situation. I pumped about 25 ml of colostrum into his tummy and wrapped him in a heat blanket (was about 5 degrees, but had three heat lamps going in the stall). He warmed up and seemed to be doing much better. I put him under mom & he found a teat and started eating. This was about 1:00 am. Checked them every hour and they did fine. Called in sick from work for half a day today. I'll post pics tonight when I get home. Makes you really appreciate those daytime births with no issues!!!

    PS - Thanks for the crack up Bob, I needed it!
     
  6. feederseaters

    feederseaters Senior Member

    300
    Nov 8, 2009
    Wow! Good job. I'm sorry you lost the first kid but I'm glad to hear that mom and buckling #2 are doing well.
    Can't wait to see the pics.
     
  7. Nanno

    Nanno New Member

    850
    Aug 30, 2009
    Rye, CO
    So glad it all turned out well! Can't wait to see pictures.

    I'm used to horses, so I assumed that goats always kid during the darkest, coldest part of the darkest, coldest night, because that's what horses do. In fact, horses tend to time it so that if you're checking on them every hour they'll make sure and pop the baby out right after you leave so that when you come back to check again, the colt is already standing up trying to nurse. I'm glad to know that goats are not always the same way. :)

    Boy, I'm going to be a wreck when my goaties are due!

    Edit: Aw, missed the bit where the first kid didn't make it. I mis-read and thought he perked up after the colostrum, but I guess that was kid #2. I'm sorry you lost one. :cry:
     
  8. Dwite Sharp

    Dwite Sharp New Member

    36
    Jun 2, 2012
    Glad to hear everything turned out good for your 2nd buckling and the doe. We have had Hundreds & hundreds of births here in the last 15 years and because of a feeding procedure we use, we have had only 2 does give birth in the darkness in 15 years. So having them born in the middle of the night can be controlled 99% of the time, unless you really enjoy sleepless nights and missing work. Personally it's not one of my favorite things. We currently have 15 kids on the ground (all born in the daylight). Good Luck and Happy Trails, Dwite
     
  9. SMaxwell

    SMaxwell New Member

    81
    May 20, 2012
    First buckling actually turned out good too. He was the one I tubed after trying to help him start eating from mom to no avail & he crashed on me ( I know I was tired and it came out wrong, like I lost him). He bounced back after I tubed him some colostrum. I am now very interested in trying out your feeding procedure! I think I read about it on here once before, or maybe you posted or someone else posted on Back Yard Herds.

    Meet Moose & Rocky (Moose is the bigger one with the white spot on top of his head). I think these two will round out my ideal pack string of 6 or 7 goats (in about 3 or 4 years). Mom is full Alpine & Dad is a Kiko. I think that will be a good pack goat mix!
     

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  10. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Active Member Supporting Member

    203
    Dec 15, 2012
    Awwweeessoommeee! Everyone thought the first one didn't make it. Best possible news.

    And yes, that mix could make epic pack goats. So cute and great color.
     
  11. Dwite Sharp

    Dwite Sharp New Member

    36
    Jun 2, 2012
    Rocky & Moose are lookin good. Glad to see Mom passed on those good lookin Sundgau Alpine markings. That combo (Alpine/Kiko) have the potential for dilivering a great Packgoat. Just hope they grow into Alpine horns and not Kiko ones. You did a good job getting them on the ground, congratulations !
    The feeding procedure we use to avoid nighttime births starts by feeding the pregnant does pellets (16% goat) or grain about one month before their due date. Begin feeding 1/4 lb twice a day, increasing the amount gradually until at two weeks before their due date they are getting 3lbs a day. The first feeding of the day is between 6:00 am and 7:00 am, the second should be as close to 12 hour after the first as possible. Feed the same time every day. With two weeks left in the pregnancy start feeding 60% of the 3 lbs in the morning and 40% in the evening. If you have multiple goats in the pen then tie them up so you can control exactly how much each goat eats. As they're eating their MORNING ration load their hay feeder with just enough hay to last them until their evening feeding, give them no more hay until the next morning feeding. If they still have hay left at their evening feeding remove it while they are devouring the 40% of their ration and give them less the next day. Once they have kidded feed them 1/2 the 3lbs in the morning and 1/2 in the evening, the hay can be fed continually trying not to waste any. Make them clean it up before giving them more. We have several 6ft x 8ft birthing stalls that the does are placed in when labor begins. Mom and the kids stay in the stalls for three days and then let back out into the birthing area with the other kids & Moms and pregnant girls. If the kids are premature we may leave them in the birthing stall a few days longer. Hope this helps make the birthing process a little more manageable and pleasant in the future, it has sure helped us a lot.
     
  12. imported_ashley

    imported_ashley New Member

    118
    Jun 8, 2011
    I have not been involved in many animal births, how does feeding affect birthing times? It seems very handy to be able to have some control over it, do you know why/how it discourages nighttime births?
     
  13. fivemoremiles

    fivemoremiles Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    western montana
    I have 300 sheep and 30 goats and i have found the hours between 1:00 am and 6:00 am purdy boring during lamming. but you had better be there at 6:00 am. most of the births are between 6:00 and 9:00 am

    Some traits i am working on in my herd is mother ability and kid vigor.
     
  14. Nanno

    Nanno New Member

    850
    Aug 30, 2009
    Rye, CO
    Aw, they're adorable! I'm SO glad they both made it. Have fun!
     
  15. Dwite Sharp

    Dwite Sharp New Member

    36
    Jun 2, 2012
    Ashley,
    My guess WAS that the fullness of their digestive system during the day caused crowding in the abdomen leading to labor. But that was pretty much an uneducated guess. But after concurring with Dr. Deb, I learned this was not the case at all. Goats are able to adjust their metabolism as needed and some how they are able to stave off labor through the night with this feeding process when they adjust their metabolism accordingly. I'm not sure I understand all there is to know about the why-fors and how-comes of this process. But I will continue doing it. We have a video surveillance system in the birthing stalls but haven't turned it on in years. The last night birth we had was six years ago at 2:00 am and the only other one was eight years ago at 4:00 am and both were attributed to the does being in a birthing stall that had been bedded down with high quality brome "eating" hay instead of the low quality bedding hay we normally use. Note: wood shaving can cause mastitis in lactating does, be careful. Using this birthing feeding schedule has resulted in most of the births being between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Happy Trails, Dwite
     
  16. imported_ashley

    imported_ashley New Member

    118
    Jun 8, 2011
    You learn something new every day!! :D
     
  17. SMaxwell

    SMaxwell New Member

    81
    May 20, 2012
    Ok, the first time I read this through I think I sprained my brain. Sounded too complicated. But after reading it through, it's really not that bad. I will try it next year, maybe getting some containers marked with lines on them for the proper proportions of the grain and I think it wont be too confusing, even for an ignoramus like me.

    On another note, sounds like you have a few goats - I'm just now starting to try to milk a first freshener (kidded on 02/01) and even though she has a full udder and her teats are small but manageable, I'm only getting a few squirts and then she cuts me off. It's getting pretty frustrating, any advice?? I'm hoping it will get better, I have her sold to a family that wants her to provide milk for them coming up soon, and I'm wondering if this is gonna get any better any time soon!
     
  18. Nanno

    Nanno New Member

    850
    Aug 30, 2009
    Rye, CO
    Hmm... sounds very interesting. I might have to try this method. Mine aren't due till late May/early June, so it should be fairly easy for me since I let the goats out to browse all day but lock them up at night. This is the same principle as giving just enough hay in the morning to last through the day. Normally they have free choice hay in their pen, but I could remove it once the weather gets warmer and they're closer to kidding time.
     
  19. Dwite Sharp

    Dwite Sharp New Member

    36
    Jun 2, 2012
    SMaxwell,
    When you say your first freshener doe "Cuts you off" I'm taking that to mean she refuses to stand still and kicks her feet around rendering it impossible to milk her. Most first fresheners behave this way, some just worse than others. First you must remember to remain calm at all times and never loose your temper, even after she puts her dirty foot in the milk pail and then spills the whole gallon all over you. Goats don't respond well to human violence, so just smile, tell her every things all right and start over again (while just imagining your choking her). The second thing you must remember is that when training any goat the goat must "NEVER" win. Put her on a milking stanchion so you can control her head. Place the stanchion against a wall or fence so she can't fall off the opposite side that your sitting on. At first do not put her in it until your ready to milk her. Allow her to eat when she is on it to help keep her calm, you must work fast so she doesn't eat all the food before your finished. If she's a kicker tie her feet down to the stanchion with "NO" slack, so she can not kick at all. We use a leash, running the snap end through the loop of the handle end and cinching the new loop around the foot just under the dewclaw. Use a flat strap so as not to hurt her foot. Her feet should be back slightly so you can get to her utters easily. Our stanchion has an expanded metal floor, so we hook a couple small carabeaners through the expanded metal floor and loop the leash through them and tie it off to the fence beside the stanchion. If she starts jerking the stanchion off the floor, tie it down or weight it down. If the stanchion bangs up and down the milk pail will spill. You may not have to tie both feet and some does will work through the kicking quickly and learn to stand still without tying the feet at all. Once you start milking continue right through all the attempted kicking, talking gently to them until your done. Don't stop milking when they start kicking. Don't teach them that they can make you stop milking by kicking. In time you will be able to milk them without tying their feet down. They are all different, some learn quickly and some take a little more patients. Milking them at the same time and in the same order will also help. It will take a little patience but like all our goat endeavors it will be worth it ! Happy Trails, Dwite
     
  20. TDG-Farms

    TDG-Farms Dave (TDG Farms) S.E. Washington State

    Jul 12, 2013
    This is a little after the fact but if you bring in the does who are set to kid within 3 or 4 weeks and give them grain, this not only helps them get that little extra but it also teaches them that coming in is freaking awesome! While they are eating their grain, you can get them used to having their udders and teats touch without the fear of dumping full milk buckets. This way by the time they actually kid and start milking, they are used to the process and behave much better :)