Thursday, March 17, 2011

A sad loss, followed by Zinnia's triumphant kidding

On Monday night we lost our little cream colored doeling. She had been very weak since her birth. I kept hoping if I could squirt enough milk down her throat she would perk up. I had thought that she just needed milk and rest and was overly weak from being cold and wet for too long. I don't know if maybe there was something else wrong as well. In the evening it seemed like she was getting weaker so I decided to bring her indoors for the night so I could keep a closer eye on her and feed her frequently with the drenching syringe. I gathered some supplies and waited for my kids to go to bed before bringing her inside. I went out to get her about an hour later and she was dead.

We don't take goat deaths lightly. I have never experienced much death. I use to cry when we'd lose a chicken. Now, several chicken, duck, and goat deaths later, well, I don't cry over chickens anymore. Goats are a different matter. I was very sad. Frustrated with myself for not bringing her indoors sooner. This is Roses fourth kidding season, second doeling and the first doeling we've had that wasn't black and tan, and our first doeling out of Zoro. We were all pretty excited to have a pretty little buff doeling. More lessons learned and taken to heart. Be there for kidding, get the milk and colostrum in to them immediately, pay close attention to them, and if they are not doing well; take action. I should have brought her indoors first thing, kept her warm and fed her by hand.

On a lighter note, Roses other two kids are doing great. They are very spunky and friendly. We've named the buckling Briar, Wild Roots Briar to be exact, and the black and white doeling is named Wild Roots Bramble Rose. We have a deposit for Briar and will be registering him as a buckling. I disbudded Briar today, the first time I have done it by myself. In the past we have taken the kids across town to have them done. Last season I decided it was time to step up and learn how, as unpleasant a job it is. I was dreading doing it, but it feels good to be able to do a good job myself. I think he has already forgiven me.

Zinnia, Roses first daughter kidded on Wednesday morning, after a very long labor. We noticed she was in labor Tuesday evening. She was in early labor but was progressing into consistent obvious contractions. I started sitting with her around nine p.m. thinking she might kid within a few hours and hoping my presence would be reassuring. Becca joined me shortly thereafter and we began a long night. Her labor progressed until she was just beginning to almost push, and then she started dosing off. I thought maybe I better see what was going on, but she was very energetic still, not distressed, and wanted nothing to do with my inspection. So we decided to wait and see if she could do it on her own. 

Deciding if she was actually in active labor was the key issue. I decided that she hadn't really gotten there and being a first timer, it must just be taking her a while dilate. She started dozing off and so did we. At six a.m. we came in to warm up and watch her on the goat cam. We decided to go to bed, but not before waking up Dustin and putting him on goat watching duty. After a couple hours of sleep, we headed back out. She hadn't progressed. I had been worrying all night that the kids weren't in the correct position and that is why it was taking so long. It is always a tough decision deciding whether to "go in", not wanting to jump the gun when unnecessary, but not wanting to wait until it is too late and be pulling out dead kids.

By late morning I decided it was time. Zinnia was still having contractions, dozing in between, and every once in a while giving a light push, but nothing was progressing. Becca held her in a corner, I lubed up and slowly went in, one finger at a time. The kids were pretty far in, so not close to coming out. I grabbed ahold of two hooves. I thought they were the front hooves but upside down, but I wasn't sure if I was feeling a nose or a sack of fluid. Turns out I had the back feet, the kid was backwards. Zinnia pushed and I pulled, pausing in between contractions. Finally we had her out. As much pain as Zinnia was in, she was enthusiastic from the get go about her new baby girl. The second kid wasn't far behind. Soon we saw a bubble, and then a head, a fairly large head. I debated for a minute whether she could push this kid out on her own as her mother had doe earlier this week. But this baby was bigger, and this was Zins first time. So I put on a fresh glove and went back in. I got her left leg out, but the right one was pretty far back. She gave a push and I was able to pull the kid out with just one leg. Another doeling!

 We spent a lot of time looking at this end of Zinnia.

First doeling out.

 Second doeling out!
 I'm wiping all the slime off, especially around her nostrils and mouth so she can breathe.

 We go through a roll of paper towels per birth just getting the slime off and drying them off. Once they are somewhat dry I finish up with old cloth towels.

Zinnia is extremely attentive over her daughters. She was not interested in her grain, molasses water, hay or eating her placenta. She turned to nip at Becca and I several times when her doelings would cry out as we were trying to get them to nurse. I've never had a doe this protective over her kids. The doelings are big and strong. We weighed them today, one was seven and three quarters and the other eight and three quarters pounds. They were standing on their own within minutes, and nursing on their own within a few hours. I haven't had to help them find teats or angle the teats for them at all, as I often have to do. Part of it is that her teats are small and higher up which helps their little mouths grab on easier. This is our first new mama in a while. I am relieved that she is doing such a great job with little assistance. She may have delivered them on her own, but it would have been a lot later in the day. I am giving her an immune support tincture twice a day, which will help with the inflammation, pain and prevent infection. The new family look like they are doing just fine. We are thinking Belladonna (Bella) and Bryona, (Bree).


Ginger said...

Thank you for sharing such unique and thrilling experiences, although I'm sorry about the doeling! You're very brave and they have a great caretaker, good job!!

Sandy said...

Congrats on the new births and condolences on your loss. It's difficult but we can't have one without the other.

Thanks for sharing.

Denise said...

Emily, so sorry about the doeling you lost. It's so heartbreaking! A hint for future need - a pinch of cayenne in the mouth of a weak kid perks them up astonishingly fast. Might not have helped that doeling, but keep it in mind.

Congrats on Zinnia and her kids! So wonderful for a first freshener to be a great mom!

It was nice to see you at the conference - wish we could have had time to visit, though.