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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Toggenburg doe will be kiding in March. This will be her 4th kidding and 2nd time with me. When I had her bred last year, I was told by the previous owners that she doesn't push when delivering and that you have to go in and pull all the babies. Well, she didn't push when she kidded and so I had someone come over and they showed me how to pull her babies. She had triplets. If she doesn't push this year, I am thinking of not breeding her again and just retiring her. I have heard from other breeders that this is silly and that she should push herself. I have heard that extra calcium helps and I have read that rasberry leaves help. This year she is bred to a young buck out of Charlie Coggins line and to expect big babies. So I am worried about her. She is on alfalfa and gets 1 cup of grain mixed with a handful of BOSS twice a day at each feeding. All the goats have free access to minerals and baking soda. The salt licks i have in with them are a plain white salt lick, cobalt lick, a selinum lick and a small red salt/mineral lick.
Does anyone have any tips for me that might help her to push on her own? This will only be my second year of kidding. Thanks.
 

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My first thought is why or how do you know she is not pushing? How long did you wait before going in after the kids? If this is indeed the case, I would not breed her again but I find it hard to believe. Labor is a natural thing. The muscles will naturally contract to push the kids down and out. Once the nose/legs appear, you can assist with a little pull if she is having issues. Do you have other does that you have had any kidding experience with?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We had 5 does kid last year. 2 were normal births. Our nubian I had to help by pushing one leg back and bringing up the other front leg and straightening the head out and then she pushed out the baby, the other two came out fine. Our alpine's babies came out back feet first and I had to help a little with that. On the togg, I can't remember how long it was before we went in, but it was awhile. She had passed her bubble and just laid down. She just did very little tiny contractions. I was with her for about 2 hours after her first signs of trying to push and when I finally called for help, the people had me wait awhile and call them back and when they fineally got here, about another 2 hours had elapsed.
We've raised dogs and rabbits and I know they are not like goats, but I have been around animals birthing and have had to assist once in awhile. My thoughts were that the original owners maybe pulled the babies each time and so she has decided she doesn't need to do anything (they have lots of goats and they said she was the only one they had ever seen that didn't push). She is healthy and active and I would think that she should be able to push her own babies out. I have just heard of adding things to her diet to help strengthen her contractions and I was wondering if they really work and if so, what is the best.
 

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You might consider working with a vet and inducing her so you can be there for sure. Also, the drugs will help with contractions.
But, the scary part due to her lack of pushing, is that she will be having big kids. Since those goats of Charlie's came from my house, I have a lot of experience with having to pull them. They get tangled easily, they get stuck with legs back, all the stuff nighmares are made of.

So this was probably not a real good idea unless the doe is rather large also. If it were my doe, I would induce her as early as the vet will let you, make sure the doe is not overweight and has plenty of exercise, even taking her for walks the weeks prior to kidding, to build up muscle tone, and give her calcium supplements starting at least a month before kidding.

With a problem like this there''s no substitute for a goat knowledgeable vet. If yours is willing but needs direction, I'd encourage him to consult with my vet. I can supply contact info privately.

Then after this is over, I'd keep all the does and not breed this doe again. :)
 

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Debbie;

Is there tall fescue grass in your pature or area? I've been told that this grass does something to pregnant does and makes their usterus lax and they don't push effectively. I've a friend who had some does on tall fescue one year and we had to pull a lot of kids, they simply didn't push effectively and the contractions of the uterus appeared weak. It was very strange. I'd have my hand in a doe, I mean, ALL the way in and she would just stand or lay there, totally relaxed and NOT pushing against my hand. This mead the pulls easy in terms of getting mal-presented kids in the right places as I didn't have to fight those hard pushing contractions as is common, but the kids were not going to come out on their own. Very few of her does actually kidded on their own that year.

The next year they all kidded fine, I don't think they had any pulls at all that year. They have not been back to that rented pasture since.

I'd induce as soon as you know it is safe to do so, the pictocin will likely stimulate more effective contractions and rasberry leaves help but could cause early labor, so be careful with them now when she is not due until march.

Can you give good dates? I'm pretty sure you know exactly when she was bred so the vet should know when 145 days is.

Also, watch her feed and weight. Don't start socking it to her with the concentrates, all you will be doing is growing larger kids. Loki was an 11 pound kid with legs that went all the way to his ears. He did, however, have a very pretty presentation and delivery.

Also, and I figure it might matter, my bucks tend to throw kids that go a few days post 150. They are often born at day 153 or even 155. So you might want to induce at day 148.

Charlie Goggin
Lightfoot Packgoats
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
To Carolyn's reply, Yes she is a big doe, and the person that helped pull kids last year made the comment that she had never been inside a doe with as much room as this doe had. This doe had triplets last year and there were two 7 pound kids and a 6 pound kid.
What kind of Calcium suppliments would you suggest? Last year I tried feeding tums to them and she wouldn't eat them.
We do take the prego does on walks almost daily, depending on the weather. We just don't take them on our 3 hour hikes that we have been going on lately. I will keep up her walking around here. It is usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours with lots of browsing along the way.
Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To Charlie's reply, Thanks for the info Charlie. We don't have the fescue grass around here and where we take them out to browse, they just eat manzanita, a little pine, black berries, buck brush, Toyon berries/bushes, bamboo and oak tree leaves and acorns. They munch on roses in my yard (the one's I let them anyway, LOL)
She is due on March 10, that is the 150 day mark.
Right now she is getting alfalfa and about a cup of COB twice a day. Free access to baking soda and goat minerals and salt blocks and a cobalt block which she hardly ever uses. The other goats don't use it.
We had a alpine doe last year that had 11 pound and 10 pound kids, both doelings. I had to do a lot of untangling on that one.
Thanks,
 

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Good quality alfalfa has a lot of calcium. Green, leafy stuff, not stemmy stuff. Then I'd crush the tums in the grain to help get them into her. THere is also calcium tablets that have no flavor that might be easier to hide.

There are also calcium supplements that are liquid that you can give the last couple of weeks.
 
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