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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess everyone here has had a kid die in birth? How common is that?

Also how common are health issues causing death after they are born? Has anyone had one die after a few days or few weeks after birth?

Been in goats 3 years, no still born till this year and we had 2 of 7. One head and no feet coming out, tried to get in there but it was died despite efforts to revive. And then another one still born and no understandable reason why. Just wondering how common that is.
 

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Oh shucks. I'm sorry to hear that. I've had a couple still borns and a couple kids die during birth too. My first goat gave birth to triplets, which was a total surprise because (to our knowledge) our buck had never been near our doe! Because we hadn't known that the goat was pregnant, there were complications and 1 kid was a stillborn. The other 2 were to weak to stand, bottle feed, or anything, and ended up dying a day later. It was a pretty traumatic first goat birth in my opinion. The next year, another of my goats gave birth to twins, and both survived and were healthy and strong. Last month, another doe gave birth to twins too, but one was still born. And same as you, we have no idea why he was a stillborn. The other is healthy and super cute. We named her Waffles lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We give free choice minerals. Not sure and not at home to look at the bag but it has lots of copper which is what we were looking for.

And they have access to a salt block, just a regular one.

Copper bolus but not for a long time, probably over 6-8 months ago.

Selenium and Vitamin E. We have not been giving them monthly selenium and vitamin e like we used to. We talked last night to start being more diligent about the selenium and vitamin e. We are in a somewhat low selenium area, .22-.26 ppm. Only gave when getting bred and then once since but like my husband says, there's selenium in their minerals too.

We gave them all red cell for 7 days but that was last year and long before kidding. Were having worm problems and they seemed poor-anemic so we talked to vet and hit them with red cell. They looked great after that.

That's all.
 

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Of course if you raise and breed goats for years, at some point you will have losses at birth and every age after. But it is possible to avoid many of them.

The most common cause is definitely selenium deficiency. Selenium deficiency causes kids to be very weak at birth (or stillborn), many are born alive but pass quickly. It can also cause low milk production in your breeding does so the kids can starve in a few days or weeks.

All goats in the U.S. need access to loose minerals free choice (as much as they want), and the vast majority of goats in the U.S. need additional selenium supplements on top of that. Bo-SE injections, MultiMin90 injections, or oral selenium paste are the most common sources given several times per year.
 

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Here is the guaranteed analysis for others discussion: http://www.nutraglo.com/horses

The second ingredient is kelp, many of us do offer kelp meal to our goats which is a great source of iodine and other trace minerals. But no, I don't think that product would resolve any sort of selenium deficiency and I'm not sure about the 6% protein content on top of a potentially high protein grain for goats.
 

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It seems like there's one every year for me. Usually the result of a difficult kidding but not always.

This year I had 12 healthy kids born. I had 1 stillborn (he was head back and took us too long to get out) and one that was born weak and died 48 hours later. Come to think of it, I had one more doe kid before my real kidding season started. She had 5 healthy kids and 1 stillborn. Delivery was textbook and very quick, the stillborn shot out right behind her rather large brother and was followed by another couple healthy kids.

Last year I had 19 live kids I think. Two stillborn- one was from an incredibly tangled litter of triplets that all needed help getting out. The other stillborn I think may have actually been born alive and aspirated on birthing fluid- I found him in the corner of a small dogloo where his mother was still in labor. I also had one kid who was born weak (the runt of 5) and again, died 48 hours later.

The year before that all were healthy but I only had 8 kids born.

Year before that I had, I don't know, 8 or so kids born. One stillborn but she was head back and I needed help getting her out.

Everyone always has access to loose minerals all the time. I usually do Replamin, but not this year since it's getting too expensive with my herd size. My herd had always been healthy and in good condition. I think the occasional stillborn or failure to thrive is just let of the game and most of the time there's just nothing you can do.
 

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I was a real novas when i got goats i had 4 still born the first year. You are doing great.
I have 300 ewes and i average 6 to 9% stillborn a year. If you are not there when a kid is born with a bag over its head or is born breach (FIY the second kid born in a set of triplets is often born breach) the kid has little chance of living. I got another load of hay today. the rancher where i got the hay is calving out 300 head of cattle. he had a calf born yesterday that had a bag over its head and died. he was only away for 20 minutes. It happens don't beat yourself up over it learn from it. what you learn will save many lives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all, I just wondered what we did or didn't do this year - hadn't lost any before. I had been told it's not only not unusual but fairly common and I guess I just wanted that reassurance. One we lost actually belonged to the grandkids, it just went to the vet yesterday with a respiratory illness, I wrote them after school to see if it had improved and it had died. I just feel awful for the kids, they are devastated and I was wondering if there was anything we could have done. It was their first year and I feel so bad they got these goats from grandma - it was a week old. It was tiny, brother was huge, it was breech right behind it's brother. Just feeling funky. I can tolerate losing ours unless there's something we did wrong but breaks my heart they lost their favorite little tiny one. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So now I have another question about selenium deficiency. If say a mother was deficient would ALL her babies show signs of being deficient? Wonder if it's possible one baby would be deficient and the other NOT deficient.
 

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Sometimes it feels like a juggling act too trying to get everything right. Last year we lost two. I haven’t kidded this year but I will in two weeks.
We’re pretty religious giving selenium and keeping good minerals out but one doe got rolled and her kid was misposistioned and came out head no legs and her umbilical cord was severed before we could get her out. The other were not sure what happened, he came out fine but was gone two days later. So 2 out of 12 we lost. First time losing kids, it was sad.

This year we’re behind in selenium but the last 3 months we got back on track as I got more mobile I’m just hoping it is enough. But it is what it is hoping for the best.
 

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So now I have another question about selenium deficiency. If say a mother was deficient would ALL her babies show signs of being deficient? Wonder if it's possible one baby would be deficient and the other NOT deficient.
I had twins born Sunday. A big doeling and a slightly smaller buckling. The buckling showed signs of selenium deficiency, walking on his pasterns instead of his hooves. The doeling didn't, but they had a rough birth, so I gave each of them a pea sized amount of selenium-e gel and b complex. They are both looking good now, though the buckling did end up needing two doses of selenium before his legs straightened out. I had just bought the doe, so don't know how much selenium she'd received during pregnancy. I gave her a dose of selenium and a copper bolus before she kidded.
I have just dosed my other does with selenium as needed. If I see one looking like her pasterns are weak, or a really crooked looking tail, I'll give her a dose. One thing I read on here is that too much selenium can actually thicken the amniotic sack that the kid is born in, making it less likely to tear open at birth. I actually had that happen last year, with a doe I think I had overdosed a little bit with selenium. Fortunately, I was there and was able to tear the sack open, or I may have lost that kid if the mother hadn't gotten to work on the sack right away. So I'm still figuring out how to balance the minerals, and there are so many factors at play with that. All we can do is our best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That's what happened to the grandkids. Big buckling, small doeling and she had crooked front legs. I thought they drug the back legs and were floppy if they were selenium deficient?? but anyway, she got respiratory infection, vet gave her selenium shot, nuflor shot but she was dead the next day. The big buckling seems fine but I'm thinking would be good to give him a dot of selenium.
 
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