Last night Sade welcomed two new doelings into the world. We welcomed Sade to the farm in July of 2012 and ever since then Sade has had a special place in my heart. We bought her as a single and since she was the youngest in the herd at the time the other goats picked on her quite a bit. Since I couldn’t stand to watch her be alone in the barn I often brought her inside the house so she could get her share of food and even catch a few movies. She quickly learned to come when I called her (watch the video) and she staked her claim on the right hand side of the sofa.
She has now grown quite a bit, but she is still the first to greet me when I come in the barn. I am extremely happy Ross and I both were home to be with her for her labor and in a way I think she waited until we were there. All day yesterday Sade ate happily in the pasture with Mama and Mae. She had developed a very nice udder and was looking rather uncomfortable so I figured she was close, but when I brought her in the barn for dinner and felt her ligaments I knew we were really close as they had pretty much disappeared. I then sat with her in her stall while she ate so I could observe her and it was then that I noticed her laying down, getting back up again, pacing and looking rather uncomfortable. However, she was relatively quite about her discomfort so I figured there was still time. I eventually got up to get some dinner and told Ross to keep checking on her.
Well about as soon as I sat down to eat, Ross came running over and told me that she looked like she was pushing. I quickly ran out to the barn and sure enough when I got there she had half a kid coming out. Immediately I knew something was wrong because I was not looking at hooves, but instead the black rear end of a goat, which is a sign of a breach birth. Sade was SCREAMING loudly so I knew that she was in pain and I decided to see if I could help her out. After a few big pushes and some pulling on my end, Sade delivered a beautiful buckling. However, when it came out it was not breathing and was very limp.
We immediately started trying to clear the mucus from his nose and mouth and rubbing him vigorously trying to stimulate his breathing. We then used a bulb syringe to try to suck fluid from his nose and mouth and while some came out it was not enough to get him going. We then tried to hang him upside down hoping gravity would help him start breathing. Nothing worked and we were panicked. Finally I ran to the house to draw warm water to see if a warm bath would help and Ross started administering CPR (have I mentioned I love my husband?). When I returned the buckling still had not taken a breath and Sade was busy pushing out her second kid. For anyone who has never helped birth goats it is hard to explain how fast everything happens. It seems that every time you turn around there is another kid on the ground waiting for you to place him or her next to mama. Luckily the next two kids came out kicking and screaming and we were able to hand them over to Sade and her motherly instincts kicked right in.
Despite all our hard work we were not able to save the buckling. Losing a kid is always very hard. Last year we lost EB’s first kid and it was very traumatic on us and we felt like there was more we could do, which is why this time we tried everything we could think of to give him a shot. And yet, we were not able to beat nature this time. I am not sure what happened, but I have a feeling the little guy died in the process of delivery. Somehow he lost oxygen while still inside. We will never know for sure but what we do know is we gave it our best and we still have two very healthy and absolutely adorable doelings to cuddle and Sade is a happy and healthy mama.
I cannot explain the satisfaction that comes from being a part of helping a goat deliver her babies. I honestly believe that me sitting with Sade at the end of the day giving her pets and talking to her helped her labor progress. To watch a new mama goat immediately become protective and nurturing is nothing short of a miracle. I have to say that now that I have been a part of the birth of both goats and cows, goats are my favorite. The fact that it is total guess as to how many she will deliver is always fun. Then watching the kids try on their legs for the first time and wobbling over to where nature tells them is delicious food is incredible. Unlike cows and horses who can take hours before trying to stand and eat, goats almost immediately start looking for food and will crawl, wobble or walk to get to it.
Below are some pictures I took of the new babies. As you can see goat kids are very active when they are born so they are very difficult to get good pictures. And although it all happened too fast to be able to video the actual birth I was able to get some pretty cool videos of Ross giving CPR, Sade cleaning her babies and the girls learning to walk. Sade is the first of four does we have due over the next month or so, so stay tuned for more birth stories! EB is waddling around quite a bit these days and is looking like she is ready to pop any day!
Video: Ross administering CPR while a doeling head butts him trying to find some milk 🙂 – Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6-RBemwl0A
Video: Sade’s kids learning to walk – Link: http://youtu.be/B7nDdKj1DeI
Picture Gallery: Sade’s First Kids