Mrs. G’s babies

It’s been a week since Mrs. G’s delivery. Partly it’s taken me that long to have time to sit down and write. Partly my brain feels numb from a lack of sleep.

Mrs. G went into labor Saturday morning. It was an incredibly slow labor, but as it didn’t seem to be too intense, I wasn’t super worried. The main concern we had was lack of Calcium/Phosphorus balance. As the goaty girls get alfalfa hay, the phosphorus is actually more of a concern for us. Because her labor was progressing so slowly, we went ahead and gave her a dose of CMPK, it’s not pleasant to give or receive, but as it can save lives the inconvenience seems worth the trouble if you have any concerns at all.

After Sophie’s delivery and pain, I was concerned that perhaps I could have just waited and the baby would have worked it out with less pain to the goat.
Therefore, I was determined to not have to go in and mess with Mrs. G. This was my first and primary mistake.

I let her labor for around five hours before she finally got to some closer together contractions. Then they stopped more or less. I decided to see if her cervix was open, and if it wasn’t, I knew that milking her would get some oxytocin going, which would move this show along. In addition to this her udder was painfully large, and it seemed best to give her what comfort I could. When I did a little check, her cervix didn’t seem to be completely open to me, but then as there is nobody to walk me through my guesses, it was just a guess. I milked a good seven cups of thick yellow colostrum off her and her contractions picked up immediately. Her pushes seemed harder than they should have needed to be.

A black bulge in a sack began to crown and emerge. Something was not right. The shape was wrong, she couldn’t quite make it. Gently I slipped my fingers in with it, and helped  ease her around it with her next horrible pushing spell. It was a sunny side up head with the neck folded back. When I touched the baby, it was obvious that it was dead, as soon as the neck unfolded, you could see that it was broken. With no hoof, and only the head sticking out, the rest of the baby didn’t want to come out.

Mrs. G was clearly in agonizing pain.

I was panicking, unsure of what to do, swearing and praying alternately. With each push my only choice was to keep easing the baby out, focusing on getting one shoulder out. When the one shoulder came out, the rest came out easily, and we could see we were on the home stretch.

My inexperienced opinion is that it was dead in utero, and was unable to be aligned correctly for delivery. The dead kid was a buckling, much to my relief. It felt as if it had been dead a while, but it wasn’t decomposing. I think this also could have delayed labor, as the other babies were large, with teeth.

Mrs. G then delivered two other kids, a buck and a doe, without any other problems. They are named Titania and Puck. Puck has little eyebrow markings over his eyes, that make him look as mischievous as his name sake. Titania is a beautiful doeling, I wish we could keep her, but the I’m hoping kid sales will buy hay this year.

Someday, every experience won’t be a learning experience, but for now this was. I should have gone in until I found a kid, if that first baby had been aligned correctly the whole experience would have been easier on the doe. Possibly the baby could have been saved.

First of all, I am writing down my plan for when I need to go in and find the kids.  Even so it is going to take some time to learn what is what when you can’t see it. I am going to find someone who knows what they are doing and get them to teach me how to feel for presentation properly on a goat.

Things do happen with goats, even to people who have been doing goats forever.

It’s not all white goat milk and clean straw.

The books don’t tell the whole story. Sometimes things happen that are outside of our control, sometimes we make mistakes learning things.

It’s going to take more time to learn the things I need to know.

Personally, I think I need more goats so I can learn them faster.

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