Sarnia was doing horrible before kidding. She was having a hard time walking and losing weight. She wasn't really eating well, and about ten days before her due date, we figured out that she had Ketosis. With Ketosis, the doe ends up giving all of her body's resources to the kids and can even start breaking down tissue and muscle to keep the babies alive. The only option was to induce labor, and get those kids out of her, otherwise we would lose both Sarina and the kids. We had her induced to kid around noon Saturday, but she didn't go into labor until about 14 hours late. When she finally went into labor, the first kid was fast and came out easily, it was small, roany buckling. We didn't have to wait long for the second, a brown doeling, who came out just as easily. We dried them off and waited, we thought Sarina was done, but when I was checking her, another wave of slime alerted us to the arrival of another kid. We waited, but Sarina seemed content to lick her other two babies and wasn't pushing. When the last kid finally came out, a splashy brown buckling, the other two kids were dry and trying to stand. The last kid was the weakest of the bunch and he seemed to had swallowed a lung full of slime. Try as I did, I couldn't clear his lungs and get him to start breathing on his own, and he died. Sarina passed one tiny placenta after about five hours and another tiny placenta later the next day. The other two kids were weak, but not unmanageable. They are now doing fine and are as strong as all of the other kids, and for the days following the kidding, Sarina got stronger and she is doing much better now. We have decided that this will be the last time Sarnia kids, for her safety. She will continue to live here as a pet and is already dried off.
I had missed quite a bit of school this kidding season and for Athena's due date, my mom stayed home. On the drive home, I got a text saying that me and Dad should pick up a pizza and that Athena had done nothing exciting all day. We picked up pizza, and on the way home I got a text "Contractions," but misread it as "Congratulations" and I thought that the long awaited doeling I wanted from Athena had been born. We rushed home to find Athena hadn't kidded. In fact, it seemed like Athen had waited for me. Mom had told her I was on my way home, and barely twenty minutes after I got home, Athena went into hard labor and the first little doeling came out. As always, Athena wasn't totally dilated, so I had spent about ten minutes massaging her cervix, but the doeling came out relatively easily, although Athena still ripped quite a bit. Athena bled a lot from the rip, but it didn't seem to affect her until after she had finished kidding. The second doeling came out pretty soon after that. On one of these (I can't recall which), it tried to come head first and I had to push it back to find a leg, while the other came out in a perfect nose and toes position. Athena took a half an hour nap after kidding and didn't bother to get up for another hour and a half. After that, she passed her placenta easily and I was able to milk her out. This kidding was pretty undramatic and produced two beautiful doelings. Both were strong and Athena did great! She made a massive amount of colostrum and we ended up using it for some of the other girl's kids as well. And of course, we had to share some of our pizza with her as a thanks for the two girls.
Sarah was the first doe due this year and she was due way earlier than my other girls. Sarah was just determined to be difficult and kidded the Wednesday before my spring break, when I'd be able to be home with the babies. Sarah kidded extremely quickly, once she finally got to business. Sarah was extremely loose, and I barely had to help with any of the kids. The first baby came out head first, he was a big brown boy and he was lively! The second kid was a pretty, splashy brown doeling, who came out head first with one leg back. Sarah has only ever kidded with boys, gave us a girl! We were overjoyed and set to work drying the two off. We had thought ourselves pretty lucky to have such a quick, easy kidding, but Sarah wasn't done! She started pushing again, and I was barely there in time to catch a little, brown buckling with a huge white belt. He was tiny compared to his siblings, but no less lively. All three of them were up and trying to walk before the next morning and all ate a good amount on their first meal. Sarah passed her placenta without a problem, and the kids were loud, healthy, and certainly get the "healthiest kids at birth" award. This was also the fastest and easiest kidding of the year.
First off, I'd like to apologize for not keeping a kidding diary this year. I know a few people do read them and this year it just didn't happen. So, the following posts will be a belated kidding blog and pictures of the kids. Hopefully this will make up for my lack of an internet precence this year. :b I'm not sure how accurate these accounts are, as it has been a month late and I have a tendancy to forget high stress situations. With the help of my mother (who was present at all of the kiddings), I 've tried to get these as accurate as possible, but we are still not toatlly sure. Next year, I promise that the blog will be an acctual blog and only two days late at most.
On the up side, we did not have the horrible, 9 bucks and 1 doe that happened last year. This year the girls gave a a reasonable 4 bucks and 5 does. All the girls are doing well now and we are happy with this kidding season.
Kidding has ended and left us with a whole lot of boys! Wow! I didn't think it was possible for us to get only one doe! I am proud of the girls regardless! (If not a little frustrated!) SO, lots of boys! You need a boy, if you ever even thought about having one, you can now buy! New cheap prices! Buy a buck and get a wether free! Yeah! Check out the For Sale Page!
Hermes with the LGDs!
Roddy and Ryan!
THIS BLOG BY HAZEL's MOM... Who got to midwife Sarina.
This last kidding was really tough. Our best doe (Superior Genetics, 90EEEE permanent LA score and earned her milking star) is also our oldest doe, Sarina. Sarina has been shown twice in real ADGA shows, by us, and has earned 4 Reserve Grand Champions. We used our friend Marshall’s fabulous buck, instead of one of our 3 fabulous bucks, so that we could get some more genetics into our small herd, and if we had two doelings, we had committed one of them to Marshall, who shows nationally. Sarina had always always always kidding two for us and for both of her previous owners. Unfortunately, Sarina was much slimmer this year than she was last year, when she was carrying two bucklings or the previous year, when she carried two doelings. I was afraid she was going to do like Athena and have one big giant buckling. It has seemed to be our year for singletons, and for boys.
Sarina was due next Monday (the 7th), and she usually kids 1 or 2 days early, so we figured we’d have babies this weekend, which would be good for Hazel’s school schedule. If the kid gets 5 absences in any quarter, they get an automatic F in a class, and go on audit contract to earn a real grade. It’s a policy that I disagree with, but I understand since the schools are stupidly funded through attendance funding. However, it would wreak havoc with Hazel’s straight-A track record.
However, on this last Tuesday (4/1), Sarina started positioning and ‘dropped’ her babies. Most pregnant does carry their babies high, so that if you look at them from the rear, their barrels have a bit of an apple shape. When they have ‘dropped’, usually just a day or two before they kid, their shape goes from apple to pear – the weight goes down and they develop hollows in their upper backs, where they had previously carried babies. Also, Sarina developed a /huge/ udder. She normally develops a pretty big one, but this one was huge. Hazel was a wreck because she had to take a field test of the new PARCC exam, so she entrusted me with watching Sarina so that she could sleep. We have never had kidding issues with Sarina, so this seemed a safe bet. Haze was pretty sure we were looking at Wednesday-day kids, but I thought we were going to have kids Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. I am rarely right when it comes to Hazel’s goats, and she is usually right, so she thought I could just check on Sarina every hour or so, unless something changed.
I waited until everyone was asleep in the house and snuck out with my sleeping gear at 11:30PM and sat down with Sarina in Hazel’s milking parlor, to keep her company. At about 1AM Sarina started stringing birthing slime, and getting up and down and having occasional contractions, but nothing major. At 2:15AM she laid down and I checked inside her with two fingers of a gloved hand, and I felt some hooves at the birth canal. Of course Sarina popped back up when I did the check and the baby slipped back into her. It was another 45 minutes, before Sarina laid down and really started pushing with some serious intent. I reached in and felt a baby bubble at the cervix, popped it and then to my horror, I felt a tail. A tail can be bad news – we usually want ‘nose and toes’ – two front legs and a head, or two rear feet, with hooves facing up. I had a tail, which meant there was a butt right there. This meant that I might have to reposition the baby.
Understand I’ve never put my hand inside a goat and was not particularly keen to, but I can’t tell how big a baby will be, when all I can feel is a tail. Even though Sarina was loose and her cervix dilated, I had no idea if this baby was going to get stuck or if Sarina could deliver it as a total breech. Sarina was performing a lot of the same behaviors that Athena and Robin did, this year, which was a lot of inconclusive positioning. In Athena’s case, there was a huge buckling kind of stuck and not moving forward. In Robin’s case, it was a big buckling in breech position, who needed to be repositioned. So I was thinking I had to reposition, and I did not want to mess up. I especially did not want to mess up with THIS goat, with THIS baby. So I reached in and started looking for a hock and hooves, and found the tiniest little hoof. One. While I was in there, I felt a great big (separate) head, too, so I was relieved that we had two kids, not just one. I got the one little hind leg pulled up, but it took a while to find the second leg, and Sarina was straining and I’m talking out loud to myself, “Follow the leg to the body and find the other leg at the attachment…There. Ok. Tuck in and let’s get pulled back…” Something like that. Fortunately, Sarina has a lot of body capacity, so I wasn’t fighting the other kid’s being squished up against this one. I got the other tiny hind leg and Sarina pushed and I tugged just a little and out came a very small gorgeous work of art of a doeling, who appeared to be dead. Most baby goats appear to be somewhat dead – hanging and loose and floppy - but this one appeared all the way dead. I remembered Hazel’s miracle with Hermes (Athena’s big buckling who she and Jill revived from pretty-dead, who is now acting totally completely normal), so I started trying to stimulate this doeling and clear her mouth and nose and hang her by her hind legs to try to get liquid out of her lungs, and there was absolutely no response. No tongue response, no legs, no twitch, no nothing. Sarina was licking the doeling, trying to dry her, and I tried to do mouth-to-mouth… Nothing. I may have, at this point, tried to start calling Hazel, but it seems like almost immediately Sarina started straining again. Hazel wasn’t answering, and that big head was coming out of Sarina … With no legs. I left off with the doeling go to help get this big boy out (I could almost tell from the shape of the head that he was a boy – he was just a big-boned fellow), and I caught a leg and shifted it forward, and out he came. He was a handsome fellow and very much alive, and so I started working on him to clear his nose and mouth, and wipe some slime from him, and then went back to trying to get the dead baby girl to quit being dead (and of course it was a girl, because we’ve had none and had actually planned on keeping quite a few of our own doelings this year). I really wanted to cry at this point. We wanted girls so much this year, and we were now at 6 live bucklings and 1 dead doeling. I finally called Jorge with slime-coated fingers and a slime-coated touch-screen phone and told him to get Hazel to come out try to revive a probably dead baby. Really it seemed like hours, but I’m sure this all took place inside of 5-10 minutes.
Then, oddly, Sarina started straining again. After the does have their babies, it’s usually about an hour or more before they pass their placenta. I was a little startled that Sarina was already passing her placenta, and that she was straining so much to get it out. Then I realized that the bubbly-thing coming out might actually be a third kid for the 8 year old doe who has only ever ever ever had twins. So I scotted over to take a look. I know what placentas look like (I am usually on Waiting-To-Pass-Placenta duty after kiddings, keeping the doe company), and what Sarina had birthed looked neither like a placenta, nor like a baby goat. It took me a second to realize that it was a baby, still in the baby-sack. It was like unwrapping a Christmas present! She was all dark-brown with a thick black dorsal stripe and nearly-black tips on her ears and a black stripe down her nose and a cresent moon of white on her poll, and she was vital and immediately kicking and squalling! By the time Hazel showed up, minutes later, I had Sylvia and Sylvester somewhat dried, but the little DOA doeling remained starkly still. Hazel tried her tricks, and then asked me a couple questions (eye reflex? Uh, I didn’t check, but no tongue reflex, nothing blocking her mouth or throat, no heartbeat that I could find, ribcase expanded when I breathed in her nose, so probably not full of fluid, but maybe.), and Hazel pronounced the first girl-kid dead.
It was a mix of somber and thrill – the two live kids Sylvia and Sylvester are ever-so-vital and the girl stood up inside of 15 minutes. Sarina was thrilled as well, though she kept looking for her dead baby. She can count, I guess, and she’d already seen and licked her firstborn. Sarina was fairly easy to redirect back to her living two, though, and she hummed and baby-talked and licked and nuzzled. Hazel named the dead girl Sondra, and I buried her yesterday morning out near where Hazel’s first goat, Annie, and her sweet wether Blaze, rest.
Wednesday was a rough day for Hazel, who was working on very few hours of fragmented sleep while the school tried to administer the fiasco of the state’s trial PARCC exam. Hazel couldn’t even tell anyone about the kidding (except her boyfriend Danny), because she couldn’t talk about the dead girl without getting emotional. When Hazel got home, she cuddled Sylvia for a long time, and we talked. Hazel confessed that Sylvia was almost exactly what she had ordered. She wanted another brown-eared doeling, to match our other Sarina daughter, Sarah. She wanted black points (and she wanted white specks on the feet, which we did not get). And the bonus is that Sylvia is almost the same color brown as Hazel’s Annie. Both Sylvester and Sylvia have their father’s gorgeous long ears with pronounced ‘flips’ at the end. Sylvester is a thick-boned, handsome fellow, and Sylvia is a delicate waif of a girl. Our scale weighed the boy at 6 pounds something, and the girl at 5 pounds something, but it seems to me that the boy was the same size as Robin's 7 and 8 pound babies. I think we need to calibrate the scale.
Our friend Marshall texted us about the DOA, that unfortunately these things happen, and it’s OK to be sad about it, but often there’s not a thing that anyone could have done about it. He is very happy Hazel got a Paramount/Sarina doeling, and he reassured me that yes, goats DO get hiccups (Sarina was making the weirdest noises and freaking me out!)…
We are sad, and we have both second-guessed and what-if’d our actions before and during Sarina’s kidding, but we are so thrilled to have two live babies out of Sarina, who is herself recovering beautifully.
Pictures below are of Sarina and her babies. The babies are 6 days old here.
On the 21, Athena's due date, she informed my mother that it was time. Mom had to go to work so, I skipped school again and prepared the milking parlor. When Athena finally seemed ready to get to work, I called my wonderful friend Jill Iverson. We watched Athena and everything seemed to be going along swimmingly. Her water broke and I had found two front feet in the birth canal and a nose so, I had figured we were going to have a nice easy kidding.
About fifteen minutes later the kid had not been born, Jill and I were getting nervous. The kid just wasn't coming out, Athena was pretty loose and I couldn't figure out why the it hadn't been born yet. It had occurred to me that maybe this was in fact two kids trying to come out at the same time but, when I tried to push the head back the legs went back too. I found that the legs were attached to the same neck as the head so I pulled one leg forward slowly and then the other. I twisted and moved the kid around a lot, hoping that maybe it would help get him out. I pulled and Athena pushed. I pulled some more and she pushed more. I gave her some MFO and grain then we were back to pulling and pushing. When the huge kid finally came out forty-five minutes after Athena first went into labor, Athena ripped horribly and the kid was not breathing.
Jill and I immediately started trying to revive the boy. Clearing his mouth, nose and lungs was essential to his living. We swung him and rubbed him and did the suction thing on his nose and we would have lost hope if his heart had not been beating strongly. Finally, we cheered as he cried out for the first time forty minutes after being born. He wasn't holding his temperature well even if he was breathing. We used hot bags of water and a heater to keep him warm. He finally perked up after a lot of sleep and a few meals.
He was huge! He was the same size, if not bigger than Robin's trio. Athena was not very interested in him and her first milk was watery . Thank you to Jill and Kathryn at Black Mesa (who we called for help and should have called sooner)! They were both huge helps! I can't thank them enough!
Athena and the big boy are both doing great now! Hopefully pictures will come soon!
PS I am sorry this is so late but I have not had internet access :b
Robin kidded on the eighteenth. One day early. I had been sitting with her since the sixteenth though.
Robin had started the normal nesting habits on the fifteenth and I was watching her pretty closely then on the sixteenth I say her pushing. I moved her into the milking parlor and started to wait. The moment she entered the parlor it was like an entirely different goat. She had to smell everything even though she had been in there an hour earlier for grain. She tasted everything and started to play with the doors of the cupboards. I was not surprised, goats will be goats after all. But she kept this up for another hour. When she finally laid down and I was sure she was going to get serious, she promptly fell asleep. When she woke I fed her some cookies and she laid there chewing her cud contently. Every time I wanted to kick her out of the parlor so I could go and do something productive, she started having contractions or gooing. I'd sit again and stare at her for another hour. I figured that the moment I left her she would get serious and I would come back to a bunch of babies, so I stayed put. It was one of the most frustrating and boring days of my life. Never the less, I was positive that she was going to kid. Eventually a friend of ours, Jill Iverson and her son came and sat with me. We all watched Robin together. Robin continued to not kid.
I spent the night in the parlor with her. Not much sleeping though. More staring at her and mentally willing her to go into labor. She had dropped by the next morning and I took the day off of school. Once again I was positive that she would kid. No such luck. I built a chicken pen, topped off the animal's waters, played with the chicks we have and spent the rest of the day sitting with Robin. I brought out my lap top and Robin and I watched the music videos I had on it together.
On the eighteenth I again skipped out on school and figured that I would get much of the same. Half way though the day, however, Robin started to slime seriously. I was exited and when nothing more happened I was sorely disappointed. Night came and my parents came home and my boyfriend came to visit. Robin was back to chewing her cud and we figured it was safe to leave her. When I went out about ten minutes later, Robin's water had broken and she was happily eating all of the goo. I radioed my mom and we watched Robin. She showed no signs of pushing. I did the two finger check and there was nothing in the birth canal.
Eventually Mom and I fell asleep. We woke to Robin pushing two hours later. I was feeling paniky and felt that I should have gone into her sooner to see if something was keeping her from going into labor. I went in past my elbow and found nothing in the birth canal. However, in the uterus I found a large, soft mass. I had no idea what part of the kid it was supposed to be. I had a horrible feeling the kid was dead. We called Kathryn at Black Mesa but, it wasn't much help because the phone kept disconnecting. I pushed the mass back and to my surprise it moved. At least it was alive. Finally, I figured out the kid was trying to be born sideways and was block the birth canal. I pushed it back and found a hock. After pulling it forward, the kid righted itself and I found the other leg. A black buckling came out, ripping Robin pretty badly. I passed the kid to Mom and almost immediately, Robin started pushing again. Again I went in and found a head in the birth canal but no legs. I pushed it back and located a front leg. Pulling that forward and helping Robin, a huge brown bucking was born.
When I went in again, I found a butt. A breached kid. I tried to push it in but the kid was moving and seemed to be fighting me. I found one leg. It was in the canal when I found the other and the umbilical had broken. I pulled and Robin pushed. Another black buckling but he wasn't breathing. Because his umbilical had broken too early, his first breaths had been of birthing fluid. Mom and I clean him and Mom swung him in an effort to get the fluid out of his lungs. He coughed and sputtered and finally seemed okay.
Robin seemed delighted and helped us dry the kids off. All three boys are healthy and Robin is doing great. It is a little sad that they are all boys but, they are adorable and have Robin's sweet personality.
Pictures below - Taken 4/7/14 - 3 week old kids!
When we got home on Friday night, I was almost immediately worried when Sarah distanced herself from the other does when we fed. She was not interested in grain and her entire back end was loose and sagging to the point of being almost comical. Because night had fallen and Sarah was acting sensitive to bright light, I could not really tell if she had 'dropped'. Usually a doe will carry her kids pretty high up, so they look very fat. Before the does kid, they will 'drop' their babies and carry they lower so that their stomachs look saggy. I was convinced that Sarah was going to kid.
Our milking parlor was converted into a kidding pen, but I didn't want to move Sarah until she seemed to be serious. So, Sarah and I sat in the dark for about two and a half hours. My parents seemed to think that I had gone crazy and were convinced she was still 'positioning' her babies - does will sometimes spend up to 12 hours helping get their babies into the right position and ready to enter the birth canal. Sarah was two days early last year but, four days seemed to be a bit much. My parents brought me hot chocolate and sat with Sarah and I from time to time. Finally, we moved Sarah into the milking parlor/kidding pen and set up a bed for me on the milking stands, so I could sleep. Sarah was content to lay down and continue to look uncomfortable. Twice, she had little bouts of contractions but I didn't radio my mother until I wanted to check inside Sarah for kid parts.
Mom showed up and we sat and stared at Sarah. No more contractions. It seemed like she was determined to make a liar out of me. Mom and I traded off dozing until FINALLY I could feel a kid bubble. I popped it and then nothing. My mother and I were worried at this point maybe the kid just wasn't engaged in the birth canal or, maybe Sarah wasn't really pregnant and this was a cloud burst. It seemed like forever but, Sarah FINALLY pushed the kid into the birth canal. One foot. I pulled and Sarah pushed. I could feel a head. Then the head came out. More pulling. More pushing. We got a shoulders and the other front leg. The kid was out and not breathing. Mom cleaned his mouth and nose and started to swing him around. He coughed and it seemed that he had inhaled a bunch of birthing fluid. Sarah was baby talking and cleaning my hand for me, she was being really sweet in general.
The kid was a cute brown boy with a little splash on one side. He weighed 7.2 lb and once we got the slime out of his lungs he was very active. Sarah seemed to be done. I bounced her and couldn't tell. She started to pass her placenta. Mom took the little boy inside and fed him. I tried to go back to sleep but ended up staring at Sarah some more. Eventually, I went in and took a shower and went to bed. Mom stayed with Sarah until morning. It was a long night, all said and done, I got two hours of sleep.
The little boy is doing great and so is Sarah! :D
Our girls have been bred and we are looking forward to kidding! Our first doe is due in February. As always, I will post on this blog with each kidding. Keep an eye out for updates!
Most importantly, you need a kid! The kidding page is updated with new discounts we added this year! Hurry and reserve your kid! Remember that discounts will only remain until the kids are born!