As I headed out to the barn this morning, I couldn’t help but shiver and think ” I hope no one kids this morning!”. The thermometer was reading -1 and it felt every bit of it! One of my does wasn’t due until March12th, so I wasn’t worried about her. My first freshening 2 year old I didn’t have a due date on though. That meant I needed to keep a close eye on her.
As I dumped the goats’ grain in their dish, I saw a sure sign of labor- mucus- hanging off the backside of Liana, my goat due in two weeks. Why??? It is supposed to be in the 30′s most of this week and she chose the day it was -1. Off I went to fetch the heat lamp, towels, and toolbox with my emergency goat medical supplies. While I was at it I put on an extra pair of gloves and another coat to try to keep warm. Both goats were terrified of the heat lamp, so I sat under it instead! Liana did get used to it and I kept easing it toward her as she started to feel more comfortable. My biggest worry was that the kid’s ears would freeze due to the cold. Liana took her sweet time getting down to business. After about 45 minutes ((brrr!)) she got down to the business of pushing out a pretty white doe kid.
The towels I had brought down were warm since I was sitting on them. I whisked one out and helped clear her face and rubbed her down. She had some meconium staining on her hind quarters, so I made a note to keep an eye on her. Not long after came another pretty black doe kid. She got the same rub down treatment as the first. Both were put under the heat lamp while Liana gave them a cleaning with her tongue.
While I was making sure they were warm, baby number three came out. I could tell as soon as he hit the ground something wasn’t right. He was not moving. I pulled the sack off and gave him a good rub down, but he must have died before labor started- maybe even a few days ago. He was wrapped in a towel and taken out, so Liana would focus on the two live kids. The two doelings were doing okay but not walking yet. I used a syringe to give them a little bit of colostrum while they sucked on my finger. They looked cozy so I headed up to the house for some lunch.
About an hour later, I head back down to make sure they were up and walking and warm enough. They were neither. I bundled them up in my coat and brought them into the house. A big box was pulled in front of the wood furnace for them. It felt nice and toasty, but it wasn’t warming them up fast enough. For extra warmth I added a heating pad, and since they were getting hungry I mixed up some electrolytes and syringe fed them. Their suck reflex was not good enough for a bottle. You don’t want to give milk to a very chilled kid. They can’t digest it.
After a nap, they were looking a little better and feeling warm enough for a quick visit to Mom out in the barn so she wouldn’t forget them. Since then we have been going back and forth to the barn. They suckle a little, but not well yet. They are taking a bottle now and are looking so much better. Both are doing a little standing and manage a step or two before collapsing in a heap. Their tummies are full and they are tucked in with their heating pad for the night.