IMPORTANT : THE BEST THING TO DO IN THE EVENT OF KIDDING PROBLEMS IS TO GET YOUR DOE
TO YOUR VET AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
But sometimes it simply isn't possible. ..... so, how do you know your doe's in trouble to begin with? Well, by watching her AND
the clock. If she's been having good, hard, steady pushing contractions for more than 30 minutes without producing a kid, then
something's wrong. If only one hoof apears, or a nose, tail or ear peeks out, you've got a problem. A hoof with the sole pointed up
means the baby is breech - coming backwards - or is upside down, a very, very rare complication. Old does, fat does, young
does less than a year old at breeding, does bred to a buck larger than they are, seriously underweight or copper deficiant does
are all prone to kidding problems. Pygmy does are also prone to problems, mainly because they have the tendancy to have
three or more at once, leading to tangles where two or more kids all want to be born first. Does who were bottle raised may
be slow to take care of the baby afterwards, since you learn how to BE a mom FROM your mom.
Most does spit thier babies out like watermelon seeds, and know how to take care of them after they're born better than we do.
But every once in a while, someone has problems, and when that happens you no longer have the luxury of being squeamish. If
you do not act, the doe and her babies stand a very good chance of dying....in some situations, they WILL die if you don't help.
HOW TO TELL WHEN SHE'S GOING TO KID
Does live by a strict code of honor that requires them to do everything in their power to drive you crazy before they actually give
in and kid. Here's one way we mere humans can out-fox them....checking ligaments. If you picture your hand with fingers spread
wide apart but with the thumb folded over the pinkie, that's a good example of the way the ligaments run out from the doe's spine.
Your middle finger is the spine, the outer fingers are her ligaments. These ligaments run from her spine to her pinbones (the bony
bumps on either side of her tail) and you can feel them just under her skin, like strong rubber bands. Spread your hand out flat over
her rump, with thumb on one side of her spine and fingers on the other, and gently but firmly press down as you run your hand from
the top of her rump to her tail. It's easier to feel them on a doe that isn't pregnant or isn't very far along. Once you know where to find
them, check your bred does often, and the closer they are to their due date the more often you should check them - ideally twice a day.
The closer she gets to kidding, the softer those ligaments are going to get...and suddenly they are going to completely disappear. When
happens, she will kid within 12 hours. Now it may be in 10 minutes, or it may be in 10 hours...but when those ligaments disappear it's
time to take your kidding kit and a thermos of coffee out to the barn!
The first thing to put in your kidding kit is your vet's phone number. Actually, when I have a pregnant doe that I'm concerned
about for whatever reason, I let Dr. Barlow know who, why and when she's due...just in case. I suggest you do the same. As for
what supplies you should have in your kidding kit, everyone seems to have a slightly different opinion of what needs to be in there
but here's my basic list.
RAGS : lots of clean, soft, absorbent rags you won't mind throwing away. Worn out tee shirts, towels, and the like are perfect. If you
don't have enough of your own, hit the local thrift store's bargain basement! Ask the clerk what the cheapest towels or teeshirts they have
are...one of my local second hand stores has older tee shirts they sell for a dime apiece - I cut 'em up so I always have plenty.
LUBRICANT : KY Jelly from the grocery store, powdered lubricant from Hoegger's or another vet supply company - doesn't matter
as long as it's slippery. (Warning - rather revolting story ahead; the squeamish may want to skip this...if you're surprised by a doe kidding
when you don't have your kit with you and realise that if you don't reposition that kid right NOW it is going to die, you can provide enough
lubricant to get the job done by spitting on your hand. I have done it. It's gross, but it works. Do give her some penicillen afterwards.)
PLASTIC GLOVES : Always best to wear gloves, but make sure they fit.
NASAL ASPIRATOR : One of those bulb thingies they use to clean out a baby's stuffy nose.
SCISSORS : to cut the umbilical cord.
7% IODINE : to dip the cut end of the cord in.
WRISTWATCH : to time her contractions.
FLASHLIGHT : I like the cheap square bodied spotlight style, my local Wal-Mart sells them for $4.00. Even if you have electricity in
your barn, it's a good idea to have one of these just in case.
SOMETHING TO SIT ON : if you don't you'll wish you had. Voice of experiance here, folks.
CELL PHONE : Preferably loaded with your vet's number and the number of a good friend you can call on for moral support as well
as "I can't do this without two sets of hands" help at three in the morning.
* IMPORTANT - WHILE SHE'S HAVING CONTRACTIONS*
Sneak in there and milk her a little bit. There will be a plug in the end of her teats that needs to come out; you may need to gently rub
the tip of her teat a little to loosen it. Just get two or three good strong squirts of milk from each teat; that way you know the babies
will be able to nurse easily.
The information below comes from www.goatbeat.com, a totally goat chat group I belong to and dearly love. This is used with
their permission. I hope you never have to use it.
so you think there might be a problem with the kid being born something is just not right. here is what you can do. it is a bit scary the first few times you do it but it gets easier as you go.
first trim your fingernails realy short and remove any jewelry you wear, rings watch bracelet as these can all cause tears and more problems.
next scrub your hands really good with a good soap (dish soap works good ) clear up to your elbows! fill a bucket with warm soapy water and a wash cloth and take with you to the barn. use the wash cloth to clean the does girl parts and tail.
have someone else restrain the doe if possible if not use a lead rope and tie her , use a slip knot so you can release it quickly if needed. you will have more room to work if the doe is standing but some will not stay standing up when they feel the pressure inside.
re clean your hands. put ob gloves on if you use them ( these are highly recomended to keep on hand and to use for this ,as they protect you and your goat from transfering bacteria through cuts on your hands or small tears that she may have. ), and some ky jelly or other lubricant on the gloves and on the outside parts of the doe. ( you can use veg oil or a mild dish soap like ivory if you don't have the 'official lubricants' )
now very gently one finger at a time reach inside, if she has not already had one kid you may have to 'stretch' her a little at a time to get far enough to tell what is going on, just add in another finger and then another . she will likely start pushing while you are doing this. you and she can get tired really fast so if you need to rest just stop for a minute and re lube and start again. once you are in far enough you will feel either the cervix not dilated fully or you will feel a bubble with a kid in it or just a kid.
the cervix if not dilated at all will feel like an outy belly button. if dilated a little but not fully it will feel like a rubber ring. if you feel that then back out and wait , the cervix needs to be fully dilated before birth can happen. if you are Certain that the doe is in trouble and needs help at this point get to a vet!
now if you got in probably past your wrist and you feel a bubble or a kid part and no ring then the cervix is dilated and the kid probably needs to be repositioned.
so first feel around and figure out what part of the kid you have presenting, then think how you need to push it to get it in a postion where it can be born , this can be confusing so take time and make sure what you are feeling. closing your eyes sometimes helps with this.
you need to get hold of both back legs, or you need one front leg and the head pointed out. ( i always try for both front legs but have never actually managed to get the second one before the kid is in the canal and born) once the kid is in a position that it can be born in the doe should push it on out , you still may need to keep hold of the feet and pull to help if the doe is exhausted and that is probably best for the kid also since it is probably stressed from being positioned wrong.
this kid is probably stressed and may have inhaled some of the fluids so hold it by the back legs and let it hang upside down for a minute while cleaning the nostrils so it can breathe. you can also "sling' the kid to help drain the fluids, this is just what it sounds like you literally gently swing the kid back and forth. just make sure you have plenty of room so it doesn't hit anything. you can also gently pat the back and rib area to help clear the fluids out.
if it has been a long hard birthing and you supsect another kid is present i would recommend going in and getting it out as quickly as possible the pressure of the contractions and not being born while it was stuck behind the first one can stress the other kids too.
once kids are all born let mom clean them just like a normal birthing .
the doe needs to be on a round of antibiotic for 5 days this is to prevents uterine infection. which is easy to prevent but very hard to cure.
penicillin is the recommended antibiotic given IM once a day at a rate of 3 cc per 100 pounds of goat. (IM= in the muscle)
La 200 can also be used for this and is given every other day , SQ at a rate of 5 cc per 100 pounds of goat. (SQ= under the skin)
PULLING A KID!
it is highly recomended that you first remove all jewelry, rings , watch , braclet, they can injure your kid or your doe. also use of latex, rubber, or ob gloves is recomended.
if you need to pull a kid, remember you want to work with the doe not against her. so you only pull during a contraction, not in between them. this is important because if you pull at the wrong time or to hard you can injure both the doe and the kid.
you should pull in a slightly downward direction not straight outwards.
if the hooves are pointed so you see the top of the hoof that is usually feet and head first presentation.
if the hooves are pointed so you see the bottom of the hoof that is usually backwards. ( i have seen this not be true 3 times in over 10 years of several hundred goat births, those 3 were actually coming upside down, which if you determine that is the case then you should change the direction of the pull to upward instead of downward )
if you have 2 feet showing then with the next contraction , pull gently on one foot . you will probably feel something give, that is the kids shoulder ( or hip ) coming unstuck . when the doe stops pushing you stop pulling till her next contraction. then with the next contraction do the same thing with the other leg if needed. if the kid is very big you may need to continue gently pulling with her through several contractions. though often once you have that first shoulder unstuck then you have a kid born on the next push.
clear the kids nose and mouth of all the slimy stuff. dip the navel in iodine, and lay the kid up where mom can start cleaning and getting to know her new baby!