Sunday, February 2, 2014


Paul was outside yesterday evening around dusk and put the chickens up for me.  Then he comes in and says that he thinks Nettie is in labor.  

WHAT?!  I exclaim with an expletive or two thrown in for good measure.  I wouldn't have been so surprised if he had said it was Pickles or Lily (who have gone past their first kidding date) but Nettie wasn't due for another month.  I hastily throw on jacket, boots & grab my head lamp and on the way to the barn wonder how I would handle a premature goat birth.  

I get to the barn & Paul is in one of the open pens and Nettie is in laying down in the corner, head craned out and moaning a bit.  I check her backside and other than being a little more puffy than usual, she isn't dilated, there isn't any goo and she doesn't seem to be straining from labor pains.  But she is in pain.

I make her get to her feet, check her ligaments (still there) and feel her udder (no new milk).  So I'm pretty sure she's not in labor, but has bloat.  I'm not sure what she would have gotten into that day.  They all got the same ol' same ol' hay that morning and fed the same grain rations just hours earlier.  For whatever reason, Nettie seems to be predisposed to getting bloat.  I think she's had it four or five times.  At least now I've got the routine down and I head back to the house and break open my animal med kit and start preparing a drench for her.

I put a cup of vegetable oil in a jar and then add 3 Tablespoons of baking soda to it and mix it up well.  I brought that, the drenching gun and a thermometer back to the barn and had Paul hold Nettie so I could drench her with the oil / soda mixture.  We got a good ounce down her then Paul & I took turns walking her around, massaging her stomach and drenched her again until I got all the oil / soda mixture down her.

After about five minutes of walking her around, we got some gurgling, a burp and a fart.  Paul and I continued the walking / massaging for about an hour and drenched her once more before leaving her be for a while.  I went out later that night to check on her and found her in one of the goat huts.  I got her up, walked her around, got another couple good farts out of her (yes, I know I could say "gas", but fart sounds so much more phonetic, and let's face it, saying ffffarttt like it actually sounds is fun) and let her rest for the night.

I got up before dawn this morning to check on her and she seemed much improved.  She saw me wielding the drenching gun and made a bee-line for anywhere I wasn't going.  I got her in to the milk stand with a promise of a handful of cracked corn, locked her in the stanchion and drenched her with 5ml of Probios and 5ml of Vitamin B complex.  

It's all fun and games until somebody can't fart.  (Fffffaaaaarrrtttttttt!)


  1. Carolyn,

    Poor Nettie! It's a good thing you and your husband were able to take care of her. What caused the bloat? Were you able to figure it out.

  2. I swear, CR, your goaties give you more little problems than any others I've ever known! But, as I've said before, you are a great goat momma and have things under control. Poor Nettie! What is more uncomfortable (sometimes to the point of real pain) than being bloated? (Lucky for her she didn't have tight jeans on.)

  3. Poor Nettie! I'm sure she felt much, much better after all those ffffaaarrrtttssss!!

  4. I sure know IBS is. You done good girl. I hope Nettie doesn't get this often.

  5. Very seldom a dull week with goats. I have 28 and 14 are preggers and due in March. Let the party begin!

  6. Do you feed Sodium Bi-carbonate free choice? Our Goats all love having the option.

  7. What D. Hausmann said - I have a free choice container of baking soda for my girls. You are really on top of things, CR! It's true with goats, that it is always when does kidding start?

  8. Sandy, I have NO idea why she bloated. Maybe just to tick me off.

    Mama Pea, Naw, I think everyone else has just as many goat related problems, I just complain more about them :)

    Candy, she was a farting machine there for a while. And each time I laughed. Man, am I childish!

    Nancy, I think Nettie is the ONLY one of our goats that has had it. Guess she's predisposed to it or something.

    Mama Bear, remind me to tell Paul how many kiddings YOU have going on so he knows how easy we have it!

    ME Masterson, yep, thanks :)

    D. Hausmann, they have free choice soda, protein lick, mineral block, personal masseuse........

    Susan, It appears that kidding will not start until the 1st of March. Lily & Pickles first breeding apparently didn't take.