2013 Kidding Season

Gearing Up for 2013

Here we go again, Yep it is that time of year. The pasteurizer, a WECK, is all scrubbed and descaled and in it's place in the milk room. (Thanks Kristy) The kidding stalls are now clean and awaiting their straw., The baby pads and towels are down from the loft in their foot locker. The baby basket is ready and lined with a clean towel, the gloves and lube are at the ready, the new bag of Blue Brew (YMCP+ for goats) is open and in its bucket for easy access. The hair dryers are at the ready and the does are in the homestretch. Here is a picture of our 8 year old, Zadee, who is due on or near the 7th. She is scary big and very, very uncomfortable....e new bag of Blue Brew (YMCP+ for goats) is open and in its bucket for

We plan on posting a kidding log for your amusement and perhaps, your education. The ground here is still snow covered and more is on the way on almost a daily basis but the days are getting longer. In its rare appearances, the sun is a bit warmer and the coming kids herald the arrival of spring in Eastern Washington.

We have put up pictures of a C-Section for you and for your vet. If you are interested just click on the link and check it out.  We are sincerely hoping that we won’t have any c-sections needed this year and that all three of our does who had them last year will deliver safely and easily as they are all confirmed as pregnant. The craziness that is spring time on the farm is about to begin so come along for the wild ride and delight in the birth and development of new life as we do. If you have questions or comments please feel free to e-mail me any time.

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Zadee Gives Her All

February 6, 2013

What a hard start to what is going to be a busy and long kidding season.  Zadee's udder was enlarged and a check of the contents showed colostrum so she spent the night in the kidding stall. She was quite unhappy about it but finally curled up in a elaborately made nest and went to sleep. The morning found her ready to get  into the milk room for her grain. She ate really well, and it was quite obvious that her kids had dropped so kidding was near. We let her go back into the herd and checked in her frequently. At 2:00PM she was standing by the gate closest to the kidding pens and asking to go into the kidding pen. She immediately put her head in the "kidding corner" and looked at me seeming to ask for help. LeRoy got home from town at just the right time and I scrubbed up, applied a lot of lube to my gloved hand and arm.  I checked and found a head and two knees ....Ok should be an easy fix here...I straightened out the legs and Zadee pushed ...Baby didn't budge.... more exploration and everything seemed perfect for delivery still after applying firm traction on the legs and lots more pushing...nothing moved.  There was plenty of room for this kid to be delivered but still no progress. Finally I pushed everything back and tried to deliver the head alone but that was impossible. The head came about half way through the pelvis and then stopped.

Got the feet again and had LeRoy pull while I felt the head and still no movement.  All the time Zadee was pushing very hard and when we would rest she would turn around and lick my arms and clean up the straw looking for her baby as she talked quietly to him... One more strong pull and no progress. By now Zadee was getting very tired and bleeding some... The baby was getting weaker.  Decision time, If we call the vet for a c-section the kid will not survive.  Zadee is 8 years old and has struggled through this pregnancy and had to have a c-section last year... logically there is only one answer and that is to euthanize her and take the kids. ...Logically it is a very easy choice but... we loved that old girl.  Don't tell Rhesa but she was my very favorite in the herd... Time is a cruel  taskmaster and the baby was fading fast... so I made the decision and LeRoy got the gun while I got the single edge razor blade and drew up a cc of Respirim.

I shot the old girl and quickly opened her up looking for the uterus... By the way the uterus is much harder to locate when a doe is laying down than when they are standing for a c-section.  I found the first kid and opened the uterus and handed him to LeRoy who began to rub the 8.1# buckling down as I searched for any other kids. I finally found the problem child... Zadee had a second kid that appeared to have died a couple days earlier. The kid was curled up in a ball like a hedgehog and lodged in his sack but between the first baby's front and back legs...up against his belly. The first baby was in good position but his back legs were trapped around the second kid...Since that kid was dead and offered no resistance to Zadee's contractions and wasn't moving, he effectively prevented the birth of the live kid.  Sadly Zadee gave her life for this lovely buckling who hasn't been preordered.  He will be posted on our sale page as soon as we are assured that he is going to be fine. He was badly stressed and needed to be tubed with his first colostrum. He is sucking now and his plumbing is working fine. We are hoping that he will soon be standing and moving around normally. He has a great strong heart and a good set of lungs so we are very hopeful.  

There is a big hole in our hearts and in our barn but time will heal both and we still get up every morning to take care of our critters...Rhesa is due soon and more kids will make the workload heavier...Zadee lives on in her beautiful daughter Zamar and in our memories as well as her granddaughters.  Zadee has lots of friends among our goat buddies. Her quiet, no nonsense, polite and loving attitude endeared her to us and many others. We miss her. Yes, being a goat herder stinks some days but most days it is a wonderful adventure.

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Viv Makes a Valiant Attempt

February 8, 2013

 Ok, I really would like to post a great outcome and happy pictures but alas, I cannot.  This morning Viv was discharging lightly and after milking I scrubbed up, donned gloves and coated my arm and hand with lots of lube and then went in to check Viv. I found a tail and soon located the hind legs and feet and pulled a very tiny kid up into position and delivered her.... Viv's kids were 10-11 days early and had died probably within 24 hours of  delivery.... They were tiny. I then went back to find the other kids and located a head and two feet but Viv had lost most of her fluid and her uterus was contracting  hard so no matter what I did I just couldn't get those balled up kids out. We had to call in the vet and they were very short handed at the clinic but Dr. Gay came out immediately after finishing up his surgery... Dr. Gay has hands that are smaller than mine and stronger. He applied an OB lube that is in a powder form and placed a handful in the uterus as well... It was amazing stuff and even with that slippery stuff he worked for over half an hour to get the second kid out and then the last kid was easier.  I had no idea that J-Lube Powder was so far superior to the usual gallon jug of OB lube we have been using for years. I had a canister on hand that I won  at a raffle and had never used it.  Needless to say it is now on hand in the kidding stall in case it is needed.  I highly recommend that you have some available. The great thing is that it never freezes so leaving it in the kidding pen this time of year doesn't hurt a thing.  Oh Dr Gay said the only bad thing about it is that it doesn't wipe off very easily...It comes right off with soap and water though. 

Viv was very very sore and exhausted as were LeRoy and I. We gave her a bucket of Blue Brew and she drank about a 1/2 gallon during her ordeal. It perked her up considerably. She had a shot of Oxytocin and several hours later some Banamine and is on 7 cc of Penicillin given 2 times per day for 5 days.  By Saturday morning she got up on the milk stand with a little help, got her shots, was milked, and I applied a liberal coating of Hemorrhoid  ointment to her very sore vulva. So far so good. She has been active and nibbling on hay and her grain all day.  We are very hopeful for her full recovery.

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Rhesa Really Rejoices!

February 10, 2013

We sat around all day on pins and needles!  Rhesa was showing a small string of pre-kidding goo at milking time this morning.  Her udder was filling and she had colostrum in her teats. Today would be the day!  After milking I gloved up and got lots of lube and checked to find that her cervix was very soft but still like a long (4-5 inch) tunnel. It had not yet thinned down but I could feel a kid behind it. The kid felt strange so I was worried... Rhesa was royally Pissed Off at the intrusion and refused to look at me.  The day slowly went by and at 3:30 I started to get dinner ready to go in the oven aiming for a 5:00 supper... Well at 4:00 I slid a pan of potatoes into the oven and got the ham in its pan ready to join the spuds. I turned to look at the monitor just as Rhesa swung her tail around and revealed a nice rope of birthing goo. Out of the oven came the potatoes and off to the barn we went... Rhesa glared at me and had to be restrained so that I could check on the kid's position... it was pretty good. I just extended the folded front legs and then had to turn the head straight and in line with the birth canal... The baby kept wanting to rest her head on her right front leg rather than straight ahead.  It was a very easy fix and we very quickly had a nice large and robust kid out and on the kidding pad and covered with a towel... I checked on the second kid and found her in perfect position. Rhesa is a very nice, open, large, old doe and she had no trouble pushing this kid out... We were pretty sure she was a buck because of her size and width throughout but she is all girl!

Rhesa proceeded to clean me off nicely and forgave my intrusions and generally was a happy mom.  She gratefully sucked down 2 gallons of Blue Brew while we lugged the girls into the milk room for their welcome to the world party! The are amazing and beautiful doe kids. The first weighed in at 7.6 pounds and the second born, which we are keeping, weighed in at a strapping 9 pounds. Both were on their feet demanding food before we could get them dry!  Rhesa would probably have safely delivered those kids without intervention but she would have been pretty worn out and the kids stressed if I hadn't helped her. After feeding the girls and tucking them in to the newborn TiPi we headed for the house to get dinner in the oven for real now. Had to refill Rhesa's Blue Brew on the way. Rhesa returned to the doe pen after milking.

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Ariel is Amazing!

February 15, 2013

Got home last night from a lovely dinner out and got busy doing chores.  Ariel came in and hopped up on the stand for her grain. She had a softly full udder and faint ligaments and no fluid in her teats so we put her back in the doe pen expecting her to probably deliver this afternoon...  

Morning coffee enjoyed and sitting in the living room putting my shoes on to go out to do chores when I noticed there was a little black and white critter moving around the doe pen... I got the shoes on fast and hurried out to find not one but two kids being fussed over by Rhesa and Viv and poor little Ariel standing as close as they would let her.  

The kids were still wet and slimy and since it was 15 degrees this morning they were getting chilled. I scooped them up and lugged them to the milk room and immediately got the hair dryer blowing warm air on them... We had some frozen ear tips and tail tips but the kids were lively and strong... I got them thoroughly dry and tucked them into a basket with a 1/2 gallon milk jug full of hot water and covered them while we thawed and warmed their colostrum.  The frozen parts thawed well and seem to be ok at this point. There is no swelling and we are hopeful that there will be no lasting damage.

After milking Ariel she went into the kidding stall to clean and she eagerly slurped down her 2 gallons of warm Blue Brew. The twins got more warming and I tubed 3 oz of colostrum into each of them as they were active but seemed very reluctant to suck... Then we tucked them into baby Jammies and into a warm TiPi and headed to Deer Park for breakfast and errands.  The Kids were good sized for having such a young mommy and tipped the scale at 7.4 pounds for the brown doe and 7 pounds for the roan doe... Nice kids! Mom is doing well and stood like a trooper for her first ever milking. :-)


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February 25, 2013

Rida kidded this morning. She did a great job presenting us with 2 bucks and a doe. She was showing colostrum last night at chores and filling up nicely.  Checked her again at 10 and her cervix was soft but not very open so we let her go.  Checked at midnight and she was resting, checked again at 4AM and she was looking quite comfortable on the monitor. Woke up at 6 and heard some suspicious sounds and found our dog, Trampus, lying in the living room looking at the monitor and snow falling heavily!  Rida was getting busy so I dressed and watched her as I got my socks on and headed out just as she got up to tend to her newly born doe kid... We got the kid rubbed down and snuggled under a warm towel and returned to check for more. Yep another kid in perfect position quickly slid into the world. He joined his sister who was now breathing easily. Rida only showed 2 on the ultrasound in December but by then her kids were a bit too large to accurately see how many there were. A quick check found a 3rd kid nose and toes and ready to arrive. Rida pushed and I caught and together we safely delivered a second buck kid.  The kids were bundled up in the kidding pad and lugged off to the milk room for a good drying and breakfast. LeRoy presented Rida with her warm bucket of blue brew, swamped out the worst of the slime and started feeding for morning chores. I dried, weighed, fluffed and fed the lanky threesome and set up for milking.  Meanwhile LeRoy appeared with a cup of hot fresh coffee for me and all was right with the world! D-10 (Doe) will be offered for sale, D-11 will go for meat and D-12 will be raised until the buyer's first choice for a buck kid is delivered.  


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Sharik SCORES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

March 1, 2013

 Sharik has a frustrating habit of holding on to her kids until day 155 of her gestation. Why is that a problem you ask? Well, they grow like mad the last week before birth and she is adding an extra 5 days so the kids get quite large and very difficult for her to deliver. Last year it resulted in a C-section for her and the loss of a beautiful doe kid, her first ever!  Sharik is 7 this year and I decided that I would induce her to deliver on day 149-150 in an effort to avoid problems. I administered 4cc of dexamethasone on the evening of the 27th followed by 2cc of Lutelyse on the morning of the 28th. The dexamethasone is to mature the kids lungs and the Lutelyse starts the hormone cascade that initiates labor.  Then it was a waiting game. The doe should start delivery 24-36 hours after her Lutelyse shot....

We watched on pins and needles as Sharik slowly began the process and her body prepared for delivery. A very quick run to town for groceries  and back to goat sit. LeRoy ran some more errands and we waited ... It appeared that she was ready to deliver and yet wasn't pushing so at 3:00 I scrubbed up and applied lots of lube and checked to find her cervix soft but not open as there were no feet applying point pressure.  I gently but firmly opened the cervix, located a strange feeling, bony kid and got two feet and a head engaged. Sharik labored well and still no movement... there seemed to be enough room but ..... I finally called the vet in and began to prepare the doe for another c-section. I gave her 2cc of Banamine and shaved the incision site but left her in the kidding stall to await the vet's arrival.  He opted to check her and concurred that she should be able to deliver this kid.  Finally he found the problem.  There was a mummified kid that moved up with each contraction effectively locking the live kid in place. He gently and quickly removed that bony and mummified kid. It appears that that kid, also a doe, had died 7-10 days ago. She was perfectly formed and had very short gold hair.  

Back to the other kid who now had room to be born.  Dr. Dean finally had to use a snare on her as she kept putting her head back to the side but he soon delivered a solid black doe kid. We thought she was dead but he detected a heart beat and with some vigorous suctioning and rubbing she started to breathe.  Off to the milk room for more rubbing and a drop of Respirum under her tongue and she started perking up nicely.  She was very stressed and needed some extra attention but soon her gums and tongue pinked up and she started moving around and holding her head up well... she wasn't up to sucking yet as her tongue and eyes were swollen so we tubed her with 4 ounces of warm colostrum and tucked her into the kid TiPi and headed in to get some dinner before chores. At chore time she drank about another ounce and we put some pink baby jammies on her and put her in the TiPi with Rida's kids for the night. Morning found her standing up and quite ready to suck down another 5 ounces of life giving colostrum.  

Here she is in her newborn pictures. Meet, much loved and coal black, Reuel Sharik's SIR Sukey.

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Radinka Rolls!

March 10, 2013

Radinka was a little sneak in more ways than one. She spent 2 nights in the kidding stall being watched closely but waited until 3:00PM Sunday to deliver her kids. She is really a silent kidder and I had made note of that in her kidding history notes. She also kidded on day 151 of gestation last year and that was noted so I was expecting her to deliver on Sunday.

We watched her all day and she was very content, doing a little pawing and generally eating, drinking and relaxing. We didn't even know she was in full blown labor until I glanced up from my pie making to see her deliver her first kid.  She never made any sound at all and she didn't even flare her ears when pushing. She delivered a nice 7 pound black and red and white splashed buckling. LeRoy went out to take care of the boy and I finished the pie while she licked her boy and tried to clean up the whole pen. When I arrived she looked at me and seemed to say..."about time, mom"

 I checked and her second kid was ready to arrive so I grabbed towels and she pushed him out... Her ultrasound said 2+ so I went back to check and found another kid with one foot forward and ready to arrive. Grabbed a clean towel wiped the face quickly as she squirted out. Got her with the two boys and made a last check only to find another kid! Little Radinka had quads! and they are BIG quads as well. Delivered the second girl and lugged them all to the milk room for their coming out party!  Mom was moved to the second kidding stall so LeRoy could swamp out her pen. Lake Radinka was quite impressive as were the 4 kids... They are hungry, healthy, strong and very active. Radinka gave us a 1/2 gallon of colostrum to heat treat and a 1/2 gallon for her boys. She is doing great and milking well.  Looks like we need a bigger basket for babies!

Radinka's kids weighed in at a hefty 7.0 and 7.9 pounds for the boys and 7.3 and 6.9 pounds for the girls...a pretty amazing 29.1 pounds of kids from a little 2 year old second freshener. Radinka is working hard and making enough milk to feed her 4 and she is pretty much eating non stop to try and keep up.

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Galen "Gits Her Done"!

March 17, 2013

How appropriate for a doe with an Irish name to deliver on Saint Patrick's Day! Galen certainly did deliver. Not only is her udder lovely but she had her kids perfectly lined up for ease in delivery and she delivered them at 4:00PM in the afternoon! Doesn't get much better than that and, oh yeah, they were both does in perfect nose and toes position!

 After milking Galen went back in the kidding pen to spend the day. Her udder was nicely filled with beautiful colostrum so we were sure today would be her day.  We headed to church and came home quickly to keep an eye on her. LeRoy dropped me off and headed to town for a paper. We watched her up and down restlessness all afternoon while I got dinner ready and in the oven.  Right on cue she started pushing and we went out to cheer her on. The first kid was well on her way to arrival and Galen got a little help stretching tissues around the baby's head but she had little trouble delivering a beautiful 7.3 pound doe! I slicked some of the slime off the kid and got her face wiped clean then put her on a clean pad and covered her with a towel...It is March after all and we were having snow squalls, rain showers, sunshine and wind ... I checked and found her second kid in perfect position and in a few strong pushes Galen delivered the head and front legs of an 8 pound doe!  A quick wipe of face and body and the two kids and I headed to the milkroom for drying and fluffing and feeding.  Meanwhile LeRoy headed to the chest freezer to get the colostrum and then a bucket of warm blue brew for Galen.  Galen is a first freshener and we certainly didn't expect her to have such big kids. While I was drying off the first one she was trying to stand on my lap and looking for food everywhere! While I was working on getting her sister dried off she climbed out of the basket and stood up on the slippery milkroom floor!

Both girls and strong, active and eating like there is famine coming :-) They finished off 17 oz of colostrum each this morning.

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March 19, 2013

We checked on Brisa via the camera several times during the night and she was resting quietly in the middle of the stall.  At 5:15 Trampus started scratching at Leroy's side of the bed. Leroy told him that he had already been out and wasn't going out again. He persisted and refused to get up on the bed when invited. I finally told Leroy to go up and check the camera to see what the doe was doing. She had started hard labor and had a kid 1/2 out. I jumped up and got dressed and arrived in the barn just as she stood up and started licking off a very pretty, brown, 8 pound, buckling.

I got him cleaned off a bit and put him on a clean pad and covered him with a dry thick towel, it was 18 degrees, then checked to see if the next kid was positioned right. Found just the head engaged, Brisa pushed out the head so I went in along side and retrieved one leg. The 6.9 pound doe came right along and quickly joined her brother under the warm towel.  I checked to be sure that was all. Brisa spent the day in the secondary kidding stall to clean. She was a bit lethargic and walked dragging her back feet a bit so this afternoon I gave her 50cc of Cal Dex sub Q. By this evening she was clamoring to get out of the kidding stall and she jumped on the milking stand. She got another 30cc of Cal Dex and returned to the doe pen where she is eating happily. We will keep a close eye on her but she seems to be doing much better tonight. The buckling is our new Junior Herd sire and the doeling will join the others in our keeper pen.

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Rosette has it Rough

March 21, 2013

Rosette has been struggling for about 5 days. She was moved into the kidding pen three days ago.  She hasn't been eating well and has been pawing up the bedding like she wanted to kid. She hadn't laid down for at least 3 days. I checked her once a day but couldn't get my hand in and her cervix still hadn't opened or even thinned out.  This morning I decided to induce her and gave her 2cc of Lutalyse.  All day she continued to paw and only nibble hay and goat cookies... She did drink well and stayed hydrated.

At 4:30 she started true labor, she started stringing good clean birthing goo.  Her pelvis was still quite tight but she gradually opened up and I found a large head and retrieved both front legs.  This was a good sized kid and he wasn't moving or struggling at all. Rosette pushed for all she was worth and I  pulled with her, trying to readjust the kid's head to the best position for delivery. Finally  Rosette lay down and that shifted her pelvis just enough that it allowed the head to pass. The nice big and beautiful buck kid weighed in at over 9 pounds and was dead on arrival. Apparently he had died in the last 24 hours. 

I checked Rosette again and found a second kid. This doeling was lying with her head all the way back on her rump and wasn't about to straighten out without a lot of work.. I finally managed to get her head out and went back in along side her neck to retrieve the feet. She was also dead and had died at the same time as her brother. She weighed in at abut 7.5 pounds.  No idea what caused the death of the kids. I do know that her prolonged labor was because the kids were dead.  Delivery of dead kids is always difficult because they do not offer any resistance to the doe's pushing therefore they don't open the cervix or the pelvis. Rosette drank 4+ quarts of Blue Brew and cleaned. She is exhausted and starting to eat. Hopefully she will recover well. I gave her a dose of Banamine to help her rest more comfortably.

3/22/13 Update: I spent this morning reflecting on Rosette's symptoms and actions prior to her kidding yesterday.  I made a grave, and for her kids a fatal, error in judgment.  Last night I had some of my helpers milk Rosette's colostrum and I didn't handle her udder until this morning when I milked her. As soon as I did the wheels started turning...Rosette had been, and continued to be, miserable, she was standing hunched and very still, she didn't want to walk around and didn't want to be bothered. She stopped eating and spent a lot of time pawing and shaking her head.  All those symptoms looked very much like she was just a very uncomfortable, and possibly Ketotic, pregnant doe... After I milked this morning I discovered that the right side of her udder was very tender, a bit warm and didn't milk out. I recalled that when we moved her to the kidding stall her udder had been small on the left side... The light dawned as we finished breakfast. I now believe that Rosette had an acute mastitis. Her symptoms could all be accounted for by a  very sore udder and a systemic infection. I made some very wrong assumptions  and that infection cost the kids their lives. It could have also cost Rosette her life as well.

Rosette is now being aggressively treated with Banamine for the pain and inflammation, Excenel for the infection and Today inter mammary infusions. She is much more comfortable but her udder is probably too damaged to recover this year.  Let this be a warning that sometimes things may not be what they seen and it pays to take a few minutes and examine all the possibilities.

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Goldie Goes About Her Business!

March 25, 2013

Goldie came in for her grain last night and had a nicely full udder and her ligaments were all but gone. She ate her supper well and was allowed to walk around to the loafing pen before being put in the kidding stall for the night. She was looking good and moving fine.  This morning she happily came in for morning grain and ate most of it but she was walking "lumpy" and her udder was now quite full. She walked around to the loafing pen and had a few bites of hay before happily retiring to the kidding stall for the day. She labored quietly and productively throughout the morning and soon started stringing followed by a thick ropey birthing goo.

A quick check with a gloved and lubed hand revealed two large feet and a wide nose properly aligned and ready for delivery. Goldie was nicely open and pushing well and soon a very large head and legs emerged.  The buckling weighed in at 9.9 pounds of feisty boy.  Another brief check revealed more feet and a nose all lined up and ready to arrive. A few strong pushes later and a nice big 7.8 pound doeling arrived, protesting all the way.  Mom was a lot lighter and very happy to entrust her two slimy packages to us. She proceeded to do some major house cleaning while I lugged the twins to the milk room for their drying and first meal and LeRoy scooped the majority of the goo from the kidding stall and got the colostrum from the freezer.  The kids got a couple ounces of colostrum and were tucked into the warm kid tipi to rest.  This afternoon Goldie cleaned nicely and returned to the loafing pen with the rest of the herd.

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Zamar Interrupts our ZZZZZZZ's

April 4, 2013

Last night we juggled goats in the kidding stalls and out...We tried to get those who appeared to be closest to kidding in the vicinity of our audio and /or the video system.  We finally settled on Taffy on camera, Taku next door, and we left Zamar next door to Taku in the Yearling pen.

It was a good plan because at 3:00AM we very clearly were able to hear Zamar start pushing hard. We dressed and headed out to find her stringing a good rope of birthing goo.... we let Taffeta out of the kidding stall to roam the barn and quickly moved Zamar in.  I got the birthing towels and pad out, donned gloves and did a quick two finger check. I found a foot and close behind a head... That was great except ... they felt quite large in relationship to the doe... Well, Zamar pushed like a trooper and her pelvis and cervix opened nicely. after about 20+ minutes of good pushing and a bit of a tug and lots of stretching we had a head and one leg and a lively kid.  More pushing and stretching failed to deliver the kid so a quick check and I felt the kid's right knee as he had his right leg folded under and impeding his progress.  A little walking around, a little extra OB Lube and a helping tug and a 6.8 pound gold and white buckling arrived.

 His eyes were a little swollen and his tongue too from being squeezed so hard.  Mom gratefully slurped down her Blue Brew and the boy ate about an ounce of colostrum and we headed to the house for a few hours of sleep.

Zamar came in for her first milking at the normal chore time and she stood beautifully. My hands are going to be very happy when she gets on the milking machine. :-)  Congratulations Linda, he's going to make a wonderful wether for you.

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Taffy Finally Triumphs

April 4, 2013

Taffy started showing signs of real labor about 7:30-8:00 last night.  She quietly went about the long process. We milked and fed grain to our close up does and cleaned up the milk room, all the while we kept a close eye on the antics of Taffy.  After a quick change of gloves and preparing the kidding pads and towels I lubed up my hand and forearm and checked on the kid positions. I found a terrible tangle... There were 3 heads and 7 legs and feet all vying for the honor of being the first arrival.  A long and complicated session of sorting finally isolated the head and feet on one of the kids and delivered a lovely and strong 6.8 pound doe kid. Next I sorted out another lovely 6.9 pound doeling and returned to find the third kid resting upside down with his head down and to the left side of the doe. He seemed quite comfortable and not very willing to be rousted from his private hot tub. After a lot of sorting, pulling rearranging I finally gave up and put a call in to our wonderful vets. Dr John was on call and he lives a couple miles from us so he arrived in 10 minutes or less in his own car. He worked for 20-30 minutes attempting to pull the last kid.

Finally it was decided that a c-section was necessary. Dr, John didn't have a surgery pack with him but we had everything that he needed on hand.

Taffy had to be loaded onto a hand truck to get her to the milk room and then shifted up on her side onto two milk stands. She could no longer stand at this point and was looking pretty much out of it. Things were not looking good for Taffy.   Dr. John did a very fast C-section entering through the upper left flank area just as he would have if she had been standing.  He finally found the kid and delivered an enormous buckling who weighed in at 12.8 pounds!  Unfortunately he was dead by now.  Taffy was quickly closed and John administered 150cc of Caldex sub Q.  Taffy immediately revived and walked back to the kidding stall with some assistance. This morning Taffy  had cleaned and was up and clamoring to be let out of the kidding stall. I milked her and she returned to the doe pen where she immediately started eating. She is on 4cc of Excenell once per day for 4 days and her temperature is normal. She gets Banamine 2X per day for pain but is doing really well. We are very hopeful. Infection is the danger now. She clearly has the fight to make it if we can avoid infection. 

5/3/13  Update:  Taffy has certainly been a tough goat.  After her civil war style surgery and her seeming Resurrection she hasn't looked back. Three days of Excenell weren't quite enough so Dr. John said to give her 3 more days worth.  She continued to get the antibiotic and on the last day I called Dr John again because she was still running a low grade fever (103.8-104) He told me to give her a different antibiotic and let him know how she was doing.  I took her temperature the next morning and amazingly it was 101.5 and she was doing great!  No more antibiotics for her...  Her suture line was swollen still and remained so for another week when she was due to have the sutures removed... It was obvious that her suture line was infected.  When I removed her sutures the lower 1/2 of her suture lined opened up.   After flushing out the open wound I could see the muscle layer. I continued to flush the wound with saline solution and fill it with antibiotic ointment twice a day.  The picture shows the wound about 4 days ago. You can see how much it has filled in and although you can still see a sliver of the muscle layer it looks wonderful. Today it is filled in all but completely and there is new skin forming.  I still rinse it with saline and fill with Neosporin but it is closing rapidly and although she is sure to have quite a scar she should heal completely by next week at the latest. She is eating her grain very well and on her first milk test of the lactation she milked an astonishing 10.3 pounds of 5.5% butter fat and 3.8% Protein milk.  She is amazing and must have the most amazing immune system on the planet! We expect her to be back in the ring at the spring show in June.

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Taku Tries a Stealth Maneuver!

April 4, 2013

 Taku has been spending nights in the kidding pen but we always let her walk around to the loafing pen after giving her her evening grain.  We were very busy with Taffy and had left her in the doe pen while we worked with Taffy. After we called the vet LeRoy went to get Taku put up for the night only to find her lying silently by the outside door with one robust red doeling already delivered. He checked her just in time to catch a black and red doeling. I scooped up the slime covered duo and LeRoy got Taku into the kidding stall. By this time I was well slimmed head to foot so a bit more didn't matter.  We put the 4 newborns (Taffy's and Taku's into separate totes in the milk room and went to assist Dr John. While he worked on Taffy I checked to find that Taku had another kid ready to arrive and arrive he did in one good push. Taku silently and easily delivered her triplets which  weighed 8.3, 8.2, 8.8 pounds . She milked 3 quarts of beautiful colostrum and cleaned and returned to the kidding pen to keep Taffy company.  Both does ended up having about the same weight of kids but Taku certainly did distribute it much better than Taffy. We got the milk room cleaned up from the surgery, the kids dried and collared and fed then brought Taku in to milk her. During the process of milking she cleaned and we had to re clean the milk room before dragging in to take showers and crawl into bed... I am getting way to old for these kinds of adventures!

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Gingham Goes for Broke!

April 6, 2013

Gingham has been shuffling around like a fat duck for the past week. She has been eating like there is a coming famine and has been very uncomfortable. She was put in the kidding stall last night and was very happy there eating and drinking and generally rearranging every stem of straw in the place.  This afternoon I found her stringing some pre birthing goo so decided to check her cervix.  She wasn't open so we decided to let her work on the process for the afternoon.  Tonight a half hour before chores we went out to check her cervix again. I found it still closed but a light pressure and it opened really quickly. I found a kid somewhat folded up with her head down and to the doe's right side... There was no point pressure on the cervix so that is why I had to gently open it. I found and unfolded the two front legs and spent a few minutes realigning the head. Gingham helped and pushed nicely and we soon had a nice 7.9 pound tan girl. A bit more fishing and I located the second slightly smaller kid. She was well positioned and arrived in a big hurry. She weighed in at a healthy 7.8 pounds. More fishing and a very small doe was located and retrieved. This was a tiny 3.5 pound fully developed doeling but on close examination we found that she had no anus. We euthanized her quickly.

Meanwhile I made a last check and discovered that Gingham had yet another kid deep in her uterus... I got her in line and she quickly joined her sisters for their coming out party and Gingham was a whole lot lighter.

The kids were deslimed, dried, and fed. Gingham came in for milking and returned to the kidding stall to clean. Congratulations, Nicki, you finally got your doe!

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Abigail Ante's Up

April 8, 2013

We have been watching the Big Doe pen closely all day as there are 4 does in there that are due this week.  We made several trips to the barn and watched the doe pen on the closed circuit TV.  Everything seemed normal all day and the does paraded out to pasture 4-5 times today enjoying the sporadic sunshine and fresh green grass.  Imagine our surprise when we discovered an 8.3 pound buckling dead in the yearling pen and a very confused Abigail cleaned and ready to be milked. Now Abby is a little yearling... her ligaments were soft this morning but hey were there and her udder was filling but her teats weren't full and yet some time late this afternoon she managed to deliver a big boy. He wasn't cleaned off so we guess that he either died during birth or soon after. We are sad that the buckling died and thrilled that Abby delivered such a large boy without any help. Abby is doing well and seems none the worst for her ordeal.

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April 11, 2013

 Kira was reluctant to come in for her evening grain and her udder was softly full. I checked her ligaments and found that she had none.  Ok Kido into the second kidding stall you go!  You are surly going to get me up tonight! We finished off with milking and cleaning up the milk room and LeRoy went out to put Kira into the kidding stall.  He laughed because she was lying in one corner and Jael was in another corner. He put her into the stall and put Jael into the other stall and I finished up washing the buckets.  Before leaving the barn we checked on Kira who by then was stringing her birthing goo.  Got the pads and towels and gloved up and checked to find a foot and a head. So far so good...straightened out the foot as Kira pushed and the kid kept jerking his foot back...I finally found the second foot and adjusted the head position slightly as Kira really pushed hard and finally the head moved through the pelvis... a short rest and Kira pushed out a beautiful cream and white buckling that weighed in at a hefty 9.8 pounds!

We got the boy snuggled under a towel and made sure his face was clear and turned back to the doe.  I checked to find another kid engaged and on her way... straightened out her legs and discovered that she had one foot against the pelvic bones. retrieved that food and Kira pushed hard and her 8.8 pound girl arrived in a hurry!  Kira was a bit dramatic but her kids were quite large.  Her doe kid is staying here and her boy is heading off to be a herd sire. Kira milked a nice amount of colostrum and returned to the kidding stall to clean and rest for the night.

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 April 11, 2013

 Jael has been threatening to kid all day long but it seemed that she was just preparing but not really serious. Jael didn't eat her grain tonight so it was looking like we were headed for a short sleep and a long night.

Apparently Kira inspired Jael. After tending to Kira's kids we checked the position of Jael's kids...A quick 2 finger check revealed that he kids were ready to be delivered! Surprise.... Jael was pushing well but the kid didn't seem to be moving....Hummmm...I found one leg and extended it out but still the head didn't seem to move. I located the second foot up under the head and making it difficult as this was a fairly large kid... Jael pushed and I pulled firmly, a little adjustment of the head and some good traction and then Jael lay down. As she did the kid shifted a little and her good pushing managed to get the head through the pelvis and soon we had a stressed but healthy 9.1 pound girl! A little TLC, suction, a rub down and a snuggly towel made her a happy girl.

Back to check Jael again, yep there was another even though the ultrasound said one... This one was hiding... a little assistance and a good push and a more average sized 6.5 pound active and hungry girl. Mom milked an ample supply of colostrum. The girls ate well and everyone was tucked in for the night. We were very apprehensive when trying to deliver the first kid...She was very big and it was a tight fit...much prayer and a good pull and she arrived safely.

Jael had a very hard kidding last year that resulted in her needing a C-Section.  We were greatly relieved that all went well this year and that she gave us such beautiful daughters.

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April 12, 2013

 Corrie came in for her morning lead feeding as usual and jumped up on her stand with a little coaxing. She had a nicely full udder and faint ligaments.  She ate her grain nicely and headed out to walk around to the loafing pen.   All looked good and she appeared to have a while before she would kid.

LeRoy watched her and she appeared to be isolating herself a bit and had a very spacey look about her so she went into the kidding stall so we could keep an eye on her.  Meanwhile Josee came in and got on her stand but had no ligaments and a full udder and colostrum so I had singled her out to go into the kidding stall. We figured we had until this afternoon before any action would take place so we headed to town to get a few groceries and have our weekly breakfast out. 

We were gone for about an hour and a half and came home to see babies in the kidding pen and mom standing at the feeder eating away... The groceries waited while we went out and tended to the newborns. After getting the doe and buck tucked under a warm towel I decided to check to be sure Coromell was done and lo and behold that was another kid just waiting her turn.  She arrived very quickly and the happy trio went off to be dried tagged and fed. Mom promptly turned to the feeder after slurping down a gallon of her warm blue brew.  Corrie gave us about 2 quarts of beautiful rich colostrum. The babies weighed in at: 6.3# for the black doe, 6.6# for the red roan buckling and 6.8# for the white banded doeling.

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 April 12, 2013

 Josee allowed us to go in and get the groceries put away and about 3/4 of a mug of coffee drunk before getting serious. LeRoy revved up the rototiller and was working up the potato patch for a while. He decided to take a break for coffee and checked Josee on the way in to the house. Josee was stringing a lovely string of proper birthing goo so out we went to gather the towels and pads and attend this beautiful first freshening doe.

Josee is a good sized 2 year old and her udder was looking fantastic so we were anxious to have her kid.  I checked the kid's position and found one foot and a nose...The foot felt HUGE but Josee seemed to be large enough to safely deliver a big kid... I straightened out the leg and felt the head position while Josee pushed for all she was worth... The head seemed like it should fit but it wasn't moving very much...I then went exploring a bit and located the other foot right up under the kid's cheek...OK this is the hold up as that foot was taking up space the head needed to move.

We worked together, Josee and I, she pushed while I tried to get the foot between my fingers.  After a couple of tries I got the foot and held on as I slowly extended the leg.  The work wasn't over yet as Josee is a first freshener and her vaginal tract wasn't stretched out and that coupled with the nervousness of a first birth and her inability to relax was making the last few pushes hard. I got a handful of OB lube and applied it to the kid and left extra in the doe then had LeRoy pull along with Josee's pushes as I stretched her around this enormous kid... Finally the head was out and I told Josee to wait and rest but she would have none of it.  She pushed like mad and shot the rest of the kid into my hands.  It is a beautiful and half grown buck who weighed in at 10.4 pounds.

He was pretty stressed but after suctioning and a good rub down he managed to voice his disapproval with the cold world.  I checked for more kids and there were none. Off to the milkroom where we dried, fed, and suctioned the boy and then milked another 2 quarts of colostrum from Josee.  Josee was returned to the kidding stall to clean and I gave her 2cc of Oxytocin. You should never give Oxytocin unless you are sure the doe has no more kids as it may cause the doe to tear the uterus trying to expel a badly positioned fetus. Oxytocin can help to prevent excessive bleeding if a doe has a small tear so is advisable in cases where there may be a vaginal, cervical or small uterine tear.

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April 15, 2013

 Tobi waited all day to have her kids and went into strong labor at 7:15 PM. Yep it seems to be a bit of entertainment to the goats to go into labor just before or after chores. I think they conspire together to see if they can get us to stay out in the barn longer than usual. Tobi was a good girl though. Her first kid was coming butt first so I had to retrieve a back leg and went back to get the second little foot.  Carefully cup the foot and pastern in the palm of your hand as you bring them up into position so that you don't risk damage to the uterus as the doe is pushing. 

One very strong push and the first doeling arrived sputtering and encased in copious amounts of slime.  She took a little work to clear her face and mouth but soon was sneezing and fussing so I went back to check the doe.  Found a second larger kid in pretty good position with one foot up under his head. Retrieved the leg and went searching for the second foot.  Found the leg and extended it out. Tobi pushed really nicely and very quickly delivered a nice big strong buckling.  Got him covered with his sister and checked to find another kid all curled up in a wad... a little sorting and she was very quickly in position and Tobi pushed her out very quickly. 

LeRoy gave Tobi her Blue Brew and I gathered up the kids and lugged them to the Milk Room. We quickly processed the kids and tucked them into the baby basket while we started milking the does. The kids rested while their colostrum thawed and the rest of the starving kids were fed.  LeRoy soon was ready to feed the newborns and they were very ready to eat.  Chores got done just a little later than usual and the babies were tucked safely into their warm Tipi for the night. Morning found Tobie had cleaned and was eagerly awaiting milking.

The girls weighed in at 7 and 6.4#, the buckling at 8.3#.

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April 23, 2013

 Kona spent yesterday in the kidding stall and sure wasn't very happy about it for most of the day. She settled down along about 7:00PM and at milking time she refused her grain and asked to walk back to the pen rather than around and into the loafing area. It appeared she would do her usual thing and kid during the night.  At 2:00AM I watched her on the monitor and she spent about a half hour walking around her pen pawing and being very uncomfortable. At 2:30 she finally settled  down and appeared to be resting comfortably so I went back to bed.  Several other night checks found her looking as if she was uncomfortable but not in heavy labor. 

At 8:45 this morning I checked her and found that she was stringing birthing goo. A quick glove up and application of lube and I soon discovered that she was ready to be open and her cervix was open but deeper exploration found a backbone against the cervix...No wonder she wasn't progressing! I quickly found one back leg and worked it into position went back and retrieved the other back leg. Kona pushed hard, we helped a little and very quickly a nice but stressed doe kid arrived (6.7  pounds). Our friend Laurie had come over to meet her new baby and got a lot more than she bargained for as she was assigned the task of desliming kids.  The next kid was nose and toes and bigger (7.3 pounds) Kona had her pushed out very quickly and I went fishing to see if there were any more. I discovered another kid deep in the right horn of the uterus. I could barely reach her but with a little more pushing Kona got her head up within reach. There was no movement so I was pretty sure that this kid wasn't alive. I couldn't locate the front legs so I carefully delivered the head then fished out a front leg.  Kona pushed hard then I pulled firmly but the kid seemed to get hung up at the hips... OK this is a bit strange...Kona pushed hard again and I tugged harder. Finally the kid came loose and was out. We had another doe  but she was not alive, We discovered that her back legs were drawn up under her belly and wouldn't extend completely...It is like she was in rigor and she may have been. This girl weighed in at 7 pounds.

Kona was exhausted and a bit shaky but she really wanted to tend to her babies. I gave her 65cc of Norcalciphos (A calcium and phosphorous supplement). She was milked and returned to the kidding stall to rest for the day. After milking she was doing well so I gave her 2.5cc of Oxytocin and within 15 minutes to a half hour she delivered 2 placentas.  She is doing very well and cleaned very quickly. So far all is well. We will keep a very close eye on her as she had Hypocalcemia last year after kidding.

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Cuddling with Kittens

Our barn cats work hard to keep the place free of rodents.  Now there is another generation of our "crime fighters" being raised by a very good momma.


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May 5, 2013

 The soon to be milking yearlings were penned with their respective bucks last December. We watched them carefully and noted breeding dates for them but the dates can be off several days one way or another so we aren't positive as to the exact date they were bred. We watch them very carefully and can generally predict their kidding day pretty accurately. Today Coffee fooled us completely. LeRoy checked on the close up does at 3:15 and all was well, no discharges or suspicious behavior. At 7:15 we found Coffee with a very lively little buck kid dry and fluffy and standing in the Yearling pen. Coffee had delivered him by herself and all was well.

The little guy weighed in at a very acceptable 5.8 pounds. Mom and son are doing great. Mom hadn't yet finished cleaning at milking.  Laurie, your little soon-to-be wether has arrived. :-)

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May 6, 2013

 Sommer's little udder was filling and her ligaments were gone at the mornings milking. We sent her off to the kidding stall so we could keep a close eye on her through out the day. She was a bit befuddled at first but soon settled down and spent most of the day looking out the open door and playing in her water bucket.  About 5:00 she settled into the corner of the stall that is most difficult to see and seemed to relax there.  Dinner was cooking and just about done when we heard some very quiet enh-enh-enh sounds and I sent LeRoy out to check on her while I finished up dinner.

Sure enough he exclaimed, "We have a baby,...and it is a doe!"  Well I left dinner in the capable hands of our friend LaNette and headed out. A quick face wipe and removal of major slime and I checked Sommer to see if she had any more. Sure enough a two finger check revealed two feet and a nose on the way. Sommer pushed and I caught a nice red baby who was also another GIRL! We toted the girls to the milkroom and I dried them and fluffed them while LeRoy got their colostrum from the freezer and gave Sommer her hard earned Blue Brew. The girls were active and hungry and easily sucked down a couple ounces of colostrum.  They weighed in at 5.5 and 5.1 pounds, perfect size for a yearling and they were tucked in to their TiPi for couple hours to rest and recover before another meal at the end of milking.  Meanwhile Sommer worked on cleaning and cleaned before milking at 7:30PM She returned to the pen with her buddies after giving a nice amount of colostrum. Congratulations Karen! Sommer came through for you :-D

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May 7, 2013

 This morning Kess' udder was pretty full and her ligaments all but completely gone so she went into the kidding stall to spend most of today getting up and lying down and walking in circles.  Poor little darling had no idea what was going on with her body. Finally at 2:30 she lay down and started pushing hard.  Kestrel isn't a silent kidder by any means.  We got the towels and pads ready and checked position on the kid...It was perfect nose and toes and the foot showing looked mighty big for a yearling. Kess continued to push and soon a nose appeared on top of the feet... Kestrel had no trouble getting her kid through the pelvis but the soft tissues were reluctant to stretch to accommodate this size kid...She worked hard and soon we had a nice big kid alive and well and gasping for his first breath.  I helped by straightening out one leg and then the other so there was a little more room and kestrel pushed like crazy. The baby boy weighed in at 7.9 pounds! He is beautiful and will be off to the wether-man soon.

He drank a full 8 oz of colostrum for his first meal. :-)

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May 12,2013

Yep that little Rayna sure knows how to celebrate Mother's Day! At morning milking we brought Rayna in for her morning grain and checked her over.  Yep her ligaments were almost gone, her udder was quite nicely full and she had colostrum...So into the kidding stall she went. Interestingly she was very content and relaxed and never made a bit of noise. She laid down and rested and was obviously in early labor... At 11:00 AM she just started pushing hard and quickly was stringing proper ropey birthing goop.

 A quick check with a clean gloved hand with 2 fingers and there was a kid in perfect nose and toes position... YEA! by 11:15 we had a beautiful and very large 8.1 pound doeling safely on the ground and a mom who was somewhat shell shocked and trying to figure out what the heck had happened... Mom soon jumped up and started nickering to her baby and licking me :-) understandably she as a little confused but she did great.

I tended to baby and got her colostrum thawing then went to get Rayna to milk her. She came right in and hopped up on the stand and stood like a pro for her very first milking ever. She milked a lot of nice colostrum and I returned her to the kidding stall to clean.  Baby was now climbing out of her basket by the time I got back to the milk room to feed her!   She quickly drank down 8 full ounces of colostrum! She said she wanted more but I felt that she needed to digest a bit before overloading her system. She is a big strong and tall kid. Congratulations Katelyn your girl sure is pretty!

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   June 8, 2013

 Well, Kidding Season has finally come to a delightful close here.  Last night Kimel came in for her grain and was walking a little .."lumpy"  She hopped up on her stand and showed a little filling of her udder but no colostrum and her ligaments were very faint. I had a suspicion that she would deliver today... LeRoy had just cleaned the doe pen so we left her in with the herd for the night. About 4:30AM or so Trampus went up to the living room and started barking...We had the windows open and figured he was warning coyotes off. This morning I headed out to milk and was greeted with a chorus of calm but persistent voices... A quick check of the dry lot revealed Kimel lying by the fence with a little kid snuggled against her side and 8 does gathered around her and talking to me... Baby was dry, fluffy, and very clean and Kimel had cleaned as well... All was well with the world.  I scooped up the lovely 6.6 pound doeling and headed in to set up for milking while the baby's colostrum was set in the water to thaw... Trampus greeted the new arrival with a few "welcome to the world licks" and we got busy milking... Baby slurped down 4 oz of colostrum and was tucked in for a good warm nap. Kimel came in for milking and is resting happily in the clean straw with the rest of the herd... GOOD JOB! Kimel!