Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tragedies of Kidding

Gosh.  I missed y'all. <3

My last post left off when I had to get stitches because I cut my hand on the chicken pen.  And had to get a tetanus shot....EVEN THOUGH THE TIN WASN'T RUSTY.   just sayin....

Eight days later, the farm changed.  The kids and I were getting ready to go on our weekly library, grocery, whatever-else trip when the boys came running in and said, "MOM! Annie had her baby!"  Annie is the milk goat.  So, I grab the camera and we run outside.  We get up to the fence and there's the baby......all nice and dry and gingerly walking around.  Mom and baby had bonded...which you LOVE to see after you have a mom that will not bond with baby.

Since my milk goat has always done SO well with her babies, I decided she had it under control and I left to go get groceries with Sarah.  About an hour later, one of my boys calls me and says something is wrong with Annie.  Just to put it out there, before I left I saw that she still had some discharge but I chalked it up to afterbirth.  She didn't act in pain or anything.  In retrospect, I should have never left.  I should have just put off errands for another time.
I came home and realized she had been trying to have kid #2.  Imagine my regret for leaving.  Kid #1 was fine... Annie was not.  So, I google kidding (WhatEVER did I do before Google???) and find out the different positions the baby can be in.  I go outside armed with gloves, lubricant, and iodine and say we have to go in.  My husband tried first to no avail.  So, I figured what the heck?  My hand and arm is smaller...maybe I can find something.  I pull a glove over my stitches... and begin to feel inside my goat for kid parts.  My first concern was that the fur on the kid felt a little dry inside.  Not good.  I felt around but couldn't seem to find the legs.  Now I know that sounds weird.  I mean, it seems like it should be easy to go logically from body down to legs, but it wasn't happening.  Initially, I thought that the kid was rump first because it felt so rounded.  Because I'm allergic to goats, my arm started welting up and itching so I had to quit.  Husband tried again with no luck.  I decided to call a friend and see if they could help.  By this time it was getting dark and I knew the only thing we were doing was trying to save my milk goat. My friend and her mom came over and they, too, had no luck.  They left to find someone else.  Eventually, we realized that the baby was coming shoulders first, but its head was back on its right shoulder and its legs were straight down underneath its body.  Late that night, my husband managed to pull the kid out.  Of course it had already died and the focus was strictly saving the mom.  I met a friend of mine in town who had brought me some electrolytes and Red Cell to aid in her recovery.  By morning, I originally thought she was doing better.  She had moved from her previous position and had her head up.  It quickly came to my attention that she was not doing well at all.  Even after the electrolytes, penicillin, and Red Cell, she began yelling loudly, her eyes were rolling back in her head, and her head was banging the tin wall.  It was absolutely gut-wrenching.  Sarah and I both were bawling our eyes out.  It wasn't long before she heaved her last and then relaxed in death.  It saddened me greatly.  I mean, I didn't go out and play with her like you would a puppy, so I can't really say she was a "pet"...but, Lord knows at the times I milked that goat and told her all of my woes.  She was an most good natured goat and a kick butt milker.
We ended up having to buy milk replacer for the baby that made it.  I managed to milk Annie before she died and got enough colostrum to give the baby a good start on life.  Another bottle fed baby.  sigh.  But, that's ok.  We named her Snowflake because of the markings on her back....looks like a falling snowflake pattern.  Hopefully, she'll grow up to have the disposition of her momma...and milk just as well.

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