Thursday, June 24, 2010

Midwife Delivery

What thoroughbreds these little ones are. Okay, maybe not Cracker Jack here. (The oldest wanted to name him Cracker. Why not he's not staying.) He has splashes of color here and there and looks a bit like someone dabbling in the paints. I told the kids they could handle him all they wanted but they could only pet the doelings.
Of course instructions were needed.
What I wanted to show and tell you today was the delivery of these three delightful additions. If you don't want to come into the delivery room I'll understand. You can just wait out in the lounge area until it's over. I'll have cute pictures for you in a couple days but those who don't mind and can handle the ER in the goat shed - hang around I'll give you a play by play tour of the blessed event. Sorry, no video and I didn't record the sound effects of Chicory's moaning and groaning but I figured you could figure out by the photos just when that occurred. Add them yourselves if you'd like when you scroll through these photos. Some of you have probably heard them often enough you can make a pretty good imitation of the actual sounds. Let's start with the goo. I'll back track to the labor and show the progression another day but I've always like to eat dessert first so lets get to it.

Some call this a mucous plug but can you really call it that when it runs more like a dripping faucet for eighteen hours? Never had such a gooey goat before. Oh it wasn't a constant stream but a dribble here and a dribble there, kind of like a geriatric Old Faithful. Being the attentive owner, I got up ever few hours to check on Chicory. Now that isn't a trot out to the door to the barn for me but a 3/4 mile walk one way if I was so inclined to do so in the middle of the night or a 2 mile drive since taking a road is a round about way. By the second trip at about 3:00 am my clothes were strewn down the hallway instead of in a neat pile by the bed.

The third trip it was early morning and I was pretty tired and disgusted with her. Michelle said that most goat's deliver around 3:00 in the afternoon and I thought at first maybe Chicory was confused about whether it was 3:00 am or pm but when five am arrived I knew better.

The wind was calm and the sun shown bright so I went fishing. You heard me. It is just a couple more miles from the corrals to the town's small pond. Couldn't cast worth a hoot but none the less I caught one fish and another bit. Good enough for me and then I dilly dallied around the house long enough until it was time to checked again. Alas, no labor. This was getting rediculous so I stuck two fingers inside, just a couple inches, to feel the pin bones to see if they had spread any and the answer was NO. That little move did cause her to go into labor, YEAH!!

My next move if she hadn't started would have been to milk her and saving the colostrum for the babies. Milking would stimulate the uterus to contract. Did that on a Saanen once and she went into labor 9 hours later. Don't know for sure it worked but milking does at this stage cause the utuerus to contract. And since Chicory was at 152 days something had to be done. Kids held inside too long may deliver fine but because the umbilical cords has begun to shrivel, less nutrients pass through, then the kid or kids are born weak and often die.

Feeling all happy I went home again and grew quite confused as Chicory labored harder and harder each time I came to check on her but not much progress was being made. What I learned as the morning progressed is that she only labored if I was present in the shed with her. My good friends Michelle and Lindsay helped me learn that little fact.
They came to keep us company and lots of the photos are curtesy of Lindsay since I can't do what I'm doing and photograph it at the same time.
When it was getting close to noon and she had labored hard enough to get something done but hadn't, I washed up with some Bentadine and stuck my arm in.
Hint, hint, This is where you moan really loud!!!
Actually, this photo is from the second kid I pulled but I had to pick the most explanitory photos. You can tell because their was no water bag before the first kid and of course no blood.
I could feel the kid with its front feet forward and its head laying on top just barely inside. So I worked the top of my hand in a circular motion stimulating Chicory to open up further until I could slip my palm around the top of the kid's head and down the sides.
Yes, this is the part where you moan really loud.
Then I worked the skin around the entrance.
Keep moaning!
It just wasn't stretching.
Take a deep breathe because your about to beller.
I broke the water bag with my finger and took a hold of the legs and began to pull.
Once again keep in mind this is a photo of the second delivery so no blood involved or hanging down water bag on the first kid but you can see me trying to peel back the skin as I'm firmly pulling.
Note the mucous, I've never had a goat so gobbly gooey. Now this is a photo of the third kid coming out but the point is I'm pulling firmly but not fast as at this stage I'm trying to make sure the head remains in the correct postion laying on the legs. If I rush this point, it will flip the head backwards blocking the entrance and can cause neck damage.
When the head begins to come out I begin to pull with more force. Especially pay attention to the angle I'm tugging on the kid.
Not out, but downward.

Oh yeah, you're suppose to be bellering loud at this point!!! I had to pull pretty hard but no ripping occured partly due to the angle I was pulling.

(remember - downward.)
This is a natural postition for birth. It is not natural for an animal to walk across a corral with a newborn flopping back and forth, the motion of the waddling gate causing the baby to flop out, the mother never missing a step as she travels - never stops and never returns to the lamb until forced to by the shepherd. Yup, that shepherd was me once at lambing camp. I was so ticked at that old ewe I could have shot her. Yes, she did except her offspring once confined to a small wooden pen. This has been known to happen on rare occurances.
But as you have already guessed by the photos, I had to pull all three. After the first kid we waited, Michelle, Lindsay, and I sitting on over turned buckets for 35 minutes, nothing. No real labor pains nothing. Oh I had threatened Chicory that I was going in again if she didn't get moving but that didn't make any difference. When a water bag came and still no little hooves, I went in, pulled the kid part way, broke the water bag to give me more room and pulled out Cracker Jack. Since I was all disinfected in again I went pulling the third kid, a doeling. The skin never did stretch any further than on the first doe. Next year, Chicorys getting some Blue and some Black Cohosh, both birthing herbs. 20 minutes between deliveries is what they told me at lambing camp. Oh I think you could wait a bit longer but don't wait around for ever. You just might get a dead kid as a reward for the hesitation. Going in isn't that big a deal. Especially if you're skilled.
By the second birth, my daughter and the grandkids had arrived. Chicory had a regular audience. She loves attention and is pretty laid back or this delivery would have been a private affair instead of 7 in attendance.
Chicory and I went to work cleaning up the kids and though I like wood shavings as a bedding, it is rather a mess when your kidding. Most straw available to us has a tendency to be moldy by this time of the year and difficult to find.
Before I leave, I always make sure everyone of the kids has a healthy dose of cholosterum via through a baby bottle

and they've nursed.
The afterbirth was starting to come out and the color inside the water sacks was good, not a deep red and bloody, a sign something inside ripped. That was my signal to go home. If that wasn't enough, a large swarm of bees in my yard back home was. I'd love to stay and talk but one of the doelings isn't nursing and I've been bottle feeding today. Grandma duty until eleven last night and this morning at 8 am so I'm off to see if I can't get that little doeling nursing well. Just don't have the time to fuss with her and the grandkids.

Also got to make somemore sugar water for the new hive and get some things done about proper hive boxes for them. So very much to do. I'll have to tell you the tale about capturing them. My daughter took photos. Yes, I haven't forgot about telling you what camera I'm using etc. So much to tell and so little time to do so. I'll try and get some better pictures of the kids tonight to show you. Have a wonderful evening.

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