here.) Since a majority of our goats are sold as breeding bucks, we made the hard decision to cull out two of the four does of that line, leaving two others who will be kept back with the hopes that we can successfully bottle feed their kids to prevent CAE and keep the line in our herd. The disease has essentially wiped out half of our milkers.
Next, after that crises had been dealt with, came our first delivery from Dixie, an older doe who would be retired after this years kidding. She delivered two beautiful, healthy kids, but had barely any milk. The little buck didn't make it past the second cold night. Then Asha delivered healthy twins, but again, the buck out of the set didn't know how to get back into his warming house and didn't make it through the first night. At about this point I felt like the worst farmer ever, and vowed to never have kids due again in February/March (forgetting all of the successful past years of raising babies).
Lucille's due date came and she started out perfectly. There were obvious early labor signs when I checked her before going to bed, so I brought her up to the old wood basement to deliver her babies in the warmth. She let me sleep a couple of hours each in between checks throughout the night, and even let me finish a cup of coffee before she got serious about pushing. Little feet soon appeared, although they were the back feet, but being they were in the proper position I wasn't concerned. Within two pushes I became very concerned when all of a sudden out came a monster of a baby, a second tiny baby buck plus her uterus all at the same time.
We hurried to make sure the babies were breathing and taken care of, took a big breath ourselves, and looked again to try to determine exactly what had come out and if it had gone back in yet. Nope. I headed upstairs and did a quick search on the internet for "prolapsed uterus" and verified my original thought. Yep, that's a prolapsed uterus. I called the local vet, only to find out that nobody was available and had to call the office further away. The nice vet at that office wouldn't be available for a couple of hours, but calmly proceeded to instruct me how to put it back in myself. Alrighty then. Good thing I had had my coffee already.
Following his instructions, I grabbed the extra bag of sugar from the cupboard and headed back down to the basement. As I was dowsing the uterus with sugar to reduce the extra moisture and trying to figure out how to pull the after birth off without breaking the buttons which could cause her to bleed to death, the girls were in the background vowing to never birth children. After a few meager attempts, in dreadful fear to push with my palms and not my fingers lest I burst a hole through the uterus, I called the vet back in defeat and scheduled him to come out after his current clinic procedure.
Baby number two, the beautiful spotted buck, wasn't doing so well. Momma was able to get up and allow the little guys to get some colostrum, but he didn't have the strength yet to nurse. We dug out a bottle and nipple and milked some colostrum, then worked on getting it in him. He struggled weakly throughout the night, sleeping in a basket between the girls who blessed me by babysitting and multiple feedings so that I could get some sleep.
The vet eventually made it out, gave us all an educational, hands on science day and expertly reinserted the uterus and stitched her up with instructions to watch her so that she didn't push it out again. Right, wrong or otherwise I kept the momma goat doped up on some pain killers/muscle relaxers that I had for when I put my back out over Christmas and anxiously checked her rear end for protrusions. By day number three she came out of her stupor and was obviously tired of being in the basement. She wasn't very pleased with us, either, when we had to remove the stitches, but we appreciated her fiestiness.
Both bucks are thriving in the barn as of chore time this morning. But now Dixie is in the basement with supposed milk fever, another new goat issue for us. She lost all of her milk, which leaves us bottle feeding her month old doe. Only three more deliveries to go . . .