Birthing Baby Goats
We had 10 Baby Goats this Spring!
Goats have always been a part of our farm life...
We have always lived on a farm. In later years, we downsized to a little over 3 acres. Which, isn't a lot, but it is plenty for my dad of 82 years young to keep up with, and to get all his chores done. I admire his stamina. He loves his animals with a passion, and he especially loves his goats.
In years gone by, he never needed help birthing goats when they would have trouble having their kids (babies); however, this year was different. My dad isn't as strong as he once was, and this was a year that several goats had trouble giving birth. Living in the country, we're not able to get veterinarians very easily. We have always treated our animals, and kept them healthy.
When I was growing up, we had no vet to aid us. We had to do everything ourselves. My dad knew a lot about taking care of animals, and I have watched him many times help deliver calves, horses, donkeys, goats, dogs...when the mother wasn't able to have them, he would help them...if he didn't help...the mother and the baby(s) would die.
This is what I was faced with this spring when our goats couldn't birth their babies on their own.
Romping and Playing
I had to help the moma goats, or they and their kids would die...
I had to help three goats give birth this spring. The first was so hard for me. The moma goat was about to die. My dad did not have the strength to pull out the little baby, and I had to help. The mom was in labor way too long, about 3 hours...which is unheard of...It usually takes only an hour or so for them to give birth once they are in labor. We knew she was in trouble, and I knew my dad couldn't do it alone...
I had to take over, and pull the little one out of her moma. It was so pitiful listening to the moma "cry," and I say "cry" because she was hurting so bad she sounded like she was screaming. I had to put my arm inside her. To reach the little one, I had to put my hand up to my elbow inside her.
I knew it was dead...I just felt it in my heart. I knew it would come out dead. It took me 15 minutes to pull him out...he was so huge...I knew why he was dead...he was trying to comedy out breach, which is butt first. A goat is supposed to come out of it's moma nose and front feet first...I just knew this one was dead, because it took me so long to turn it around and grab onto its feet...I grabbed the hind-feet...and pulled with all my might...I knew he was dead...just felt it, and it made me so sad.
It was a huge relief for the moma when the baby finally came out...she wasn't in so much pain anymore, and she wanted to clean it up, but she started having another baby, and I had to pull it out as well. This baby wasn't as hard to help out of it's moma...it was alive! I had to get the sac off of it, and clean it's nose, so it could start breathing, and the mom took over the clean up. She had a healthy baby girl...then I noticed...yes...another one coming out...and I pulled only slightly, and it came out very quickly...she gave birth to another little billy...boy...so she had two babies that survived...all 3 babies and the mom would have died had I not went in up to my elbow to pull them out. I had to help her have her babies. I knew she, and her babies would die if I didn't do something.
...it is an awesome experience...and a sad one especially when one dies...but she and two of her three babies lived!
The other two moms I helped exactly the same way. I had to put my hand all the way to my elbow and pull out the little ones. There was one I knew was dead. I had to pull it's head so hard that I thought I was gonna pull it off. I cried when it finally (after 15 minutes) came out and was alive. I just knew I had pulled it's head off...I had to pull so hard...I just knew it was dead...but it wasn't...it's moma with each contraction wouldn't dilate, she would constrict and squeeze my hand so hard with the contractions that my hand would go numb. This is why the baby couldn't come out...she wasn't opening up...she was constricting...and like I said...when I finally got the baby out...I cried...it was alive! I was so thrilled...she had 2 healthy babies.
Usually when you get the first one out...the other follows a lot easier...this was the case with the third goat...she had two baby boys...and they were very healthy once we got them here...
When the safety of moms and babies are at stake, we have to do what we gotta do...my nieces were trying to help with water and towels, etc...I tried to get my great-niece to help with one birth because her hands are a lot smaller than mine, and I knew it wouldn't hurt the mom as bad...she replied..."I ain't gonna put my hand where its not ever been before!" I laughed so hard...she is so funny...a typical 14 year old response I guess...but she also cried when the baby was alive...it's a wonderful feeling to help one of God's little creatures survive...