An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Doozey of a Kidding Year

 It's been a doozey of a kidding year so far, and we are only half way done. The vet's number will soon be on speed dial, and my yearly farm budget is already in the negative. It all started a few weeks ago when we received news of a positive CAE test on one of last years bucklings.  CAE has been a new experience for us, but obviously has been a part of the goat world for quite some time, and with many varying opinions on the handling of it. (FiasCo Farms has a great post about it 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 . . .




10 comments:

DFW said...

All I can say is Wow!

Brenda said...

Wow! You've had your hands full.

I pray that everything smooths out for you and the rest of your kidding season.

Dicky Bird said...

No one - unless they have lived through some of these horrible things...would understand this. Good job with your "hands on" midwife duties...good luck with the next ones. I'll be praying for you. Blessings from Ringle.

Renee McCausey said...

I think I just had an anxiety attack reading this post! LOL Hope all is better and look at the spots! I have been the worst farmer ever a couple of times this winter, so you can have the "title" for now! We all go through it. Love seeing the pics and post! Spring is coming.

Red Gate said...

Yikes! Sorry to hear! I just helped a neighbor pull a kid from a doe whose labor stopped. After I inspected, I suspected a ruptured uterus. The next day, the doe went downhill, so the neighbor asked my hubby to put her down. She allowed us to open the doe, an dour suspicions were confirmed--torn uterus with afterbirth, mucus, and tons of fluid all in the abdominal cavity. My first, a first-freshener, is due in 2 weeks. I'm praying for easy deliveries this year!!!

A Primitive Homestead said...

You have had your hands full with all the birthing. Both the mamas & kids are beautiful. Hope you are getting some rest by now. When mamas have no milk what do you bottle feed their kids. We twin male kids some hears ago for our children. Shortly they went from lively to weak. After the second vet visit one passed away. We were then told they were unable to relieve their urine completely. We were told to notify the breader they shouldn't bread the parents with each other again. After the vet visit I gave the little one pain meds to make comfy until it passed. We have never had goats since. It was really hard on the children. Wishing your heard speedy recovery. Blessings! Lara

OurCrazyFarm said...

You all make me feel so much better:)) Yep, it's been crazy around here!

Blondee said...

Thank you for the prayers and good word during this difficult time. So nice to come to your page and see the new little lives coming. We aren't meant to understand His choices on this side of eternity, but it doesn't help us to not wonder.
Kidding sounds so stressful and heartbreaking, they are blessed creatures to have such a loving home and 'Momma' to guide and care for them. Best wishes for healthy 'kids' and prayers for no more loss.

*~*~*~*~Tonia said...

Those are some Gorgeous Spots!!! I had a year like that last year.. felt like I was one step forward and 25 steps back.. This year in spite of some of the losses has been much better and we have a clearer direction...

OurCrazyFarm said...

Isn't he a dandy! We plan to keep the black spotted buck as a sire for what's left of half of our herd this fall with the hope of adding some more black kids to all the brown ones next spring.