Monday, April 8, 2013

A Sad First

I got a call from a friend of mine this afternoon.  Her doe was in labor and I had previously said I'd come by to watch and help.  We had actually thought she was going to kid three weeks ago as that was the due date according to her first breeding.  But she seemed to go back into heat several weeks later so she brought the doe back here for Pan to try again.  Apparently the second breeding is the one that stuck.

This was the doe's first pregnancy so I was kind'a anxious to see how things were going.  When I got there, there was a nose already presented, but the doe wasn't really pushing in earnest.  I didn't see much movement from the kid, but I didn't want to just go right in.  It wasn't my doe and I didn't want to seem like a Mrs. Know It All Goatlady.  In hindsight, I should have.

After about a half hour of no more real progression, I went in a bit and tried feeling for feet.  And didn't find any. The doe was finally starting to really push, but there seemed to be no life in the little nose and tongue sticking out.  I waited a little bit longer, hoping for stronger contractions, but ended up going in and searching for the feet.  Which were both bent backwards.  By this time the head and neck were totally out and there was no sign of life.  But regardless of the kid's prognosis, it still had to come out and it wasn't going to happen without assistance.  I was able to work both my hands inside the poor doe, hook my index fingers in the armpits of the kid and pulled the feet forward and with another contraction pulled the lifeless body out.

We cleared the nose & mouth, dried & vigorously rubbed it's little body.  I even tried to compress it's chest for a while and gave it mouth-to-mouth.  Not sure if that hurt or not, but I figured it was worth a try.  After about ten solid minutes of massaging and rubbing, we gave up on it.  The mother was licking the little body and talking to it, and it was a sad sight.  It was a pretty little doeling, all black with a white spot on her forehead.  Rhiannon was with and asked what was wrong with the baby.  I had to tell her that she was dead.  She asked if we were going to take her to the hospital so she could get better.  I could have cried.  Needless to say it was a sad afternoon for everyone involved.

We had to get back to the house so I told my friend to keep an eye on the goat to make sure that there were no more kids and to watch for the placenta.  I just  now got off the phone with her and she said the placenta passed shortly after I left and that the doe was doing ok.  She milked out the colostrum and saved it in the freezer.  Since I had my hands up her back side, I also told her to get a dose of antibiotics in her just to be safe.

Technically, the real reason for having her doe bred was so that my friend would have milk.  So the the kid was actually just a "side effect" (yes, I know that sounds horrible), but it's still sad to see a little life ended before it was even born.  I guess I jinxed myself.  Just a few days ago I was thinking how lucky I was that I've never had a difficult kidding.

Farm life.  Not always rainbows and ice cream cones.

14 comments:

  1. What a sad story :( I'm so sorry for you guys and the poor baby that never made it. But I'm sure your friend was glad to have you there. And sweet Rhiannon! She is such a good girl.

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  2. Carolyn,

    I'm sorry to hear your friends little baby doe didn't make it. You did absolutely everything you could possible do. Obviously, mother nature had other plans. Mama goat is okay? Rhiannon, is she okay after seeing this birth and the baby doe?

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  3. Dayum... just... dayumm....

    Hugs Girl

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  4. You are absolutely right about Farm Life. We have to be prepared for the bad things because they do happen.

    Do you wear disposable gloves? I keep those long armed ones like the vet uses. I makes it safer for you and the animal.

    At least your friend now will have her milk so that is a very good thing. It is also a good life lesson for Rhiannon.

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  5. Yes, you are right. Not all rainbows.

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  6. OOhh soo sorry :( This makes me even more nervous :/ I've tried not to be all up in my does hind end lately, but I don't want her to labor alone. I'm pretty sure she has about three weeks left maybe more. I can't remember when I noticed she was in heat but it was around December. I feel so dumb thinking she could have kidded months ago. Her udder and teats are finally getting big, what was I thinking before (face palm)
    Anyways its too bad about the baby. It's soo sad to lose one.
    Rhiannon is going to be a tough little farmgirl ☺

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  7. Aw, I'm sorry to hear, and sorry that Rhiannon was sad... I remember the first time I saw a dead lamb on our farm and I was about her age, unfortunately that year was bad and I had to see one of my favorite ewes die giving birth to triplets shortly thereafter. She'll be okay and kudos to you for getting in there and doing what you could. Hindsight is always 20/20, don't let that bother you.

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  8. I hate when that happens. I isn't my favorite part of farming.

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  9. I'm imagining your friend was so, so, so very glad that you were there to help. I don't think you could/should have done anything differently. You never saw any life to the little doe so there was probably nothing else you could have done. Even though it's hard, I think having children see the truths of life and death on a homestead is much better and more of a normal thing to accept than never having seen anything like that until they are adults.

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  10. That is very sad but an unfortunate fact of life on the farm. Mama Pea is right about learning about life and death at a young age homesteading, she is a very wise woman.

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  11. That's too bad, Carolyn. You did your best.... thinking of you.

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  12. That is so sad! There is nothing you could have done but sad nonetheless. Poor little one.

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  13. I don't think there was a thing more that you could have done. It is the downside of farm life, but a side of it, nonetheless. I'm glad the doe is okay and hopefully her second time around will go much better. I am sure your fried was very glad to have you there - I know I would have needed the support.

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  14. So sorry! I've experienced two very sad goat experiences this spring, and it was awful! I hate that helpless feeling, and having to be the one to make hard decisions about when/how much to interfere. However, we learn something with each experience that will hopefully help us in the future.

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