Goodbyes are always hard. Recently we have had to say goodbye to two of our farm critters: Charlotte and Brie. Brie recently passed away after complications from her c-section. I haven’t posted all the pictures yet because they are stuck on my mom’s phone but I promise I will post the pictures and very graphic video as soon as I am able. To make a very long and sad story short, Brie gave birth to an adorable buckling who is now named Deets. We weren’t there for the birth of Deets but caught her trying to push out her second kid, a large doeling. After a few minutes of laboring with no progress, which is uncommon because the second and third kids usually fly out once everything has been stretched out from the first, I decided to scrub up and go in to see if I could help.
I realized right away that the head was stuck and one leg was folded back. I tried my hardest to get the leg out and help pull the head but was unsuccessful and very frustrated. After a little effort we called out 4H leader, Judy, and local vet to come give us a hand. It was after hours so the vet took a while to contact but Judy came as soon as she could. When she got there she also tried pulling the kid out, but was unsuccessful so we decided to give Brie a break and wait for the vet.
As soon as the vet arrived he also tried pulling but quickly realized that the kid was stuck and a c-section was needed. We rapidly set up an operating table and got Brie ready for surgery. Finally the kid was delivered via c-section, but after such a long delivery her baby doeling did not make it. She was beautiful, but almost twice the size of Deets. The vet sewed up Brie and left us with post-surgical instructions. We spent that night feeding Deets left over colostrum and checking on Brie, although she slept most the night. Pearl our Blue Heeler farm dog was also very helpful with Deets. When we brought him inside Pearl finished cleaning him up by licking him and then cleaned him up everytime he went to the bathroom just like Brie would have done if she was healthy. It wasn’t long before Deets was looking for Pearl’s udder and following Pearl around looking for attention.
In the morning we checked on Brie and found her awake but shivering. After taking her temperature we realized she was in shock so we brought her inside to try to warm her up. After providing her with her own personal heater and covering her in towels from the drier we get her temp back up to the normal range. We also put Deets in with her to see if she would try to nurse him. She was uninterested, but by the end of the day she was up and walking around, was eating and was at least cuddling Deets so we felt confident she was on the road to recovery.
Over the week Brie was able to slowly move around and was trying to feed Deets so we had hopes for her recovery, but then at the end of the week Brie took a turn for the worse and started acting very lethargic and was no longer feeding Deets. We checked her temperature again and it was low so we called the vet and brought her to Ross’ parents house so they could watch her and help keep her warm while we were away at work. The vet ordered blood work to see if that would diagnose her complications. That afternoon Brie passed away with Ross’ parents by her side.
Deets is now living with Ross’ parents and is being bottle fed every 2-3 hours. They have been taking great care of him and he is growing fast. He does come back to the farm to visit on occasion and I get to cuddle him and Pearl gets to play with him. We learned a lot through the process and feel like we did everything we could for Brie. In the end I just don’t think her body recovered from the c-section. We did not do an autopsy so we may never know what happened to Brie and why she couldn’t recover. We will miss her like crazy but we are glad that we have little Deets to help keep her spirit alive. He is so cute and has the best home a goat could ask for. He will always be a very special part of the Cunningham family.
As for Charlotte, she is alive and well, she just went to a new home yesterday. Charlotte came from a commercial organic dairy when she was only two days old. We bottle fed her for a few days and then let Mama take over. Since she is almost a year old it is now time for her to start earning her keep and be bred so she can start making delicious milk. Since we are crazy busy on the farm with goat kids and a human kid on the way we decided it would be best if she went back to her home at the dairy. We completely trust the dairy she came from and know she will be well taken care of with lots of other cows to frolic in the field with. She taught us a lot about raising a calf and I am so happy she got to be a part of our farm for almost a year. I know the rest of the herd will miss her!