Birth Defects in Goats

Occasionally bad things happen when working with goats. Birth defects are rare but not unknown. Below are pictures of defects. Caution! They are not pretty pictures.

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In 2017 a doe at Black Mesa Ranch kidded with 2 and a half kids. One normal doeling, one doeling with twisted legs, plus a pair of legs connected to some guts. (Pictures and info by permission of Black Mesa Ranch)

The first born doeling was weak but physically fine.
The second born doeling had twisted legs so rear hooves actually faced backwards
Only a partially formed kid part

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March 13, 2018

SIGH,well, a sad story tonight. Our pretty little black doe is dead....I managed to sort out and pull her first kid. A cute black with white ears, cap, and splashes, buck. Then went after another kid....worked for an hour and couldn't for the life of me figure out what was going on...thought I might have 2 kids tangled up but just couldn't budge them...We called Kerri and she graciously came up.

She gave it her best shot and neither of us could get anything to budge.  We figured that Sukey had torn by now so I euthanized her I immediately took a scalpel and cut out the uterus and extracted a very large schistosomus reflexus kid....It was also a buck and he was about half again larger than his brother.  His belly was split open and all 4 of his leg were up over his back and his head was down toward his open belly... there was no way that the kid could have ever been born without a C-section....and Sukey had torn trying to have him...Sadly she tried so very hard and worked so long.... She wasn't my favorite doe and she was a brat, but with Sukey you always knew what you would get and she did her job as a milker. We will miss her. 

So we are sad tonight but, also relieved that there wasn't anything we could have done for her or the kid...We are exhausted tonight as well, but the morning will find us back in the barn and milking as we await the arrival of Juno's kids.  This is only the second time in all my years that I have seen this rare and devastating deformity.  Both time it has cause the loss of the doe. It was an exhausting ordeal for all of us but the process of growing a kid from a Zygote is unbelievably complex and intricate.  There are bound to be problems occasionally.  Thankfully they are very rare.

Back to the Kidding Log

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Now there is something you don't see every day. Along with perfectly healthy triplets (one doeling and two bucklings), came a hairball complete with its own umbilical cord. The hairball was found imbedded inside a placenta once the doe had cleaned. (Picture and info by permission of Black Mesa Ranch)

A hairball with umbilical cord

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