Feb 25, 2011

O2 kids...without me there!

Kidded on:  February 23rd, 2011

As I was coming home from picking up 20 bales of hay at a friends' house, the thought of O2 kidding didn't cross my mind at all.  A storm was headed our way and I had money in the back of the truck, so I was focused on getting home.  Me and my family had planned to leave early in the morning for a whole day at an auction, so I had this big plan of what I was going to do when I arrived at the house (at 11:30 p.m.)

When I got home, it was work time!  I told my younger sister to just peek in at O2, after she was done checking on her bunnies.  So, off she went to the barn and me to unload and stack hay!

As the last bale was unloaded, and the truck pulled away, we heard someone screaming from the barn, saying something...but it was so far away and muffled that I thought she said "Bada is dead in the fence!" (Bada is one of our junior does).  I jumped off the truck, and ran, stumbling toward the barn...in the dark of course, yelling "what??  Bada is dead?!!!", and then I heard more accurately, "kid on the ground!".  Then I proceeded to ask (as I was running), "Is it alive??  Is O2 ok??!!!), of course the only response I got was stuttering and shouting!  I finally stormed in the barn and there laid the pure white, ball of fur...it was a beautiful, healthy buckling, all dried off and laying near his mom.  I was floored and really...just astonished at the size of him!

As we pulled the big buckling away from mama goat, she cried and screamed...it was very sad (he's a bottle kid, which means we feed him by hand, that way he'll be more people friendly).

She was still HUGE and I was sure she had another baby in there, so my sister went ahead and stuck a couple fingers up in there, but felt only the placenta.  About 15 minutes after that, she flawlessly dropped the whole placenta and there was hardly any blood.  She still looked really big to me, so me and some of the family stayed down at the barn until about 3 a.m., when...I decided to just give up watching her :)

Then yesterday (the day after birth, February 24th) at noon, still nothing, after about 24 hours...and that's when a bit of concern started to creep in.  I was worried that it was turning out like another Indy case (you'll know what I'm talking about if you read the previous blog post), with a dead kid up inside.  I didn't want to stick my fingers in there, as she tore in 3 places when she gave birth to the buckling, just for her comfort...her stress level was already sky high.

Today, as I went out to milk, I peered into her stall and saw a big brown something in the corner.  My heart jumped (as I thought it was a kid)...but as I went closer, I saw that it was a BIG goat patty, lol!  That's why she was so huge, so now her belly is pretty small.  Since that, she's pooped a couple of those big goat patties.

So, what's the lesson from this experience?  Always be prepared for a doe to kid in kidding season and consider constipation as a factor when you think there's a kid in there 24 hours later!

Thanks for reading!

Feb 21, 2011

Indy Kidded (Con't...)

Ok, so the happy part was in my last post, when Indy's kids were born!  But now the story switches to a more serious part...

On the 17th (the day after she kidded), at about 10:30 p.m., I could tell that Indy was going down hill...And if a goat could have bags under their eyes, she would have them!

I went out to drench her "real quick" before me and my family ate dinner...of course, not knowing what was going to happen.  As I opened the gate to Indy's stall, I saw what would be called a goat keeper's "worst nightmare"...Indy coughed and when she did, blood spewed out and sprayed all over the barn wall!  I was shocked, concerned and a bit panicked...balling my eyes out at the same time, just praying that she would not bleed to death.  Now, I had an herbal tincture called "Shepherd's Purse" on hand (as I always keep it in my birth kit).  Why do I keep it on hand?  Here's a short history on why...
Shepherd's Purse is used to stop or lessen hemorrhaging in people and animals.  I've had experience witnessing a goat bleed really bad after birth...and also 2 of my friends.  It saved their life!!!  So, I have a "policy" here at the farm that we have Shepherd's Purse on hand at ALL goat births.
Anyway, now that you've seen the history on why I have it, continue reading...

As I stumbled through the barn, searching for this tincture, my mind was racing and thinking of what I should do, what the best way to save her would be and what kind of herbs do we have in the cupboard to slow down the bleeding!  I found it and rushed in her stall to squirt some down her throat.  There was a tilted trash barrel beside her stall (I didn't realize it wasn't sitting flat on the ground).  In my chaotic scramble to save this poor doe's life, my shaky hand reached for the tiny bottle of tincture (the only one in my possession) and knocked it off the trashcan onto the dirty barn floor!  My heart sank as the tears rolled down my face...I felt hopeless and disheartened, as you can imagine!  (I did get four dropper fulls of tincture in her)  It was so bad that when she squatted to pee, it looked as if she was "peeing" pure blood.  It looked like a crime seen in the barn, lol!

My whole family came down to the barn, trying to figure out what to do.  We called a friend, they didn't know what to do...then we called another goat person and she knew how to slow down the bleeding!  Here's the recipe and what we did...
This recipe is for a Cayenne pepper douche:
1. Mix 2 tablespoons of Pure Cayenne pepper into 2 pints of warm water (not too hot!)

2. Attach an enema tube to the hot water bottle (it's gravity fed)

3. Hold the doe down (pet her, talk sweet to her, that way it won't be so traumatizing), insert two fingers in and feel around, just to make sure you know where the cervix is.

4. Then insert the enema tube into the doe's vagina and let gravity push the mix in. Don't squeeze the water bottle!! (the doe will probably scream and try to get up, so just make sure you hold her tight.)

Once all is gone out of the water bottle, gently pull it out of her and you're done. Don't freak out, the doe may begin pushing violently (worse than if she was pushing a kid out). After her ordeal, let her take it easy for a couple of minutes and then proceed onto the next step...

This recipe is for a Cayenne pepper oral drench:
1. Mix up 2 teaspoons of Pure Cayenne pepper in 30cc of water (preferably warm)

2. Suck it up in a drencher and shoot it fast down the doe's throat (that way it doesn't burn her so bad)

3. Then, drench her with some fresh water right away!

And you're done! This was a very good learning experience.  This goat lady (Emily Dixon) was great!  I called her at around 11 p.m. and she talked us through what we should do (the above recipe was from her).  Here's her link:  www.ozarkjewels.net
This Cayenne pepper worked great!  After almost 24 hours of bleeding like this, the volume of blood decreased a lot, the color was much lighter and she started to bounce back a bit after administering it to her.  I also gave her TONS of Red Raspberry leaf to eat raw (Red Raspberry helps strengthen the uterus), B-complex and iron injections.  We also started her on 6cc of Penicilin (she's a big goat) due to the dead kid and to prevent infection.

This was the first time I've seen Shepherd's Purse not work, but I'm still trying to figure out what the problem was.  I'll write on it later if/when I get a diagnosis.

We leave this story with a happy ending, 3 healthy kids and a mama goat that is doing GREAT and not bleeding anymore :)  Praise God!

Hopefully this will help someone if they have the same incident.  This was a good example of the reality of farm life...It ain't always a picture-perfect herd of carefree goats, grazing on the grassy hillside...but it's a good life!

The buckling is for sale and comes registered with papers and disbudded.  I'm asking $100 for him.  He comes from a wonderful line of high milk-producing LaMancha dairy goats!  If you are interested, please contact me at:  bannerbonanza@yahoo.com  -  Here's a picture of him...
He is such a sweetie and would make beautiful kids I'm sure!

Have a great night everyone!


Feb 20, 2011

Indy Kidded!

All I can say is WOW!  It's been a very exciting, yet stressful week here on the ranch.  Emotions have gone from high to low...to high again.

After a week of waking up every hour, round the clock to check on Indy (the pregnant doe), that grueling schedule finally ended on February 16th, 2011!  I was out milking, then noticed her acting a little stranger than usual.  It was at 11:30 a.m. that she went into full blown labor (my guess was that she was going to throw triplets).  At about 12:15 p.m., she started to push.  Then, the bubble was out and I was on high alert, checking to see what we were dealing with, ie.  breach, normal presentation, one leg, etc.  I saw a little nose and one foot, but not the other.  A healthy little buckling landed in my arms (the other leg was just folded back) and the barn erupted into screaming, yelling, laughing and...sighs of relief from me!  But it wasn't over yet...

Less than 5 minutes later, a second bubble came out, this time it was back feet first (we've never dealt with that before).  After me giving it a little tug, a beautiful and colorful doeling saw outside of the womb for the first time!  It took about 15 minutes after that for the third bubble to come, and that kid came out fast!  Another little doeling, brown just like her brother.

There's a trick called "bouncing", and this is where you wrap your arms around the doe's belly, latch your hands together and pull the doe's stomach up towards your face.  This is used to see if another kid is still up inside the doe.

So I did this on her a couple of minutes after the 3rd kid was born, and felt another kid.  I was so excited and happy that she could produce that many kids!  Anyway, my excitement started to "flush down the drain" after about an hour and a half of waiting.  Indy didn't have much strength left to push the fourth kid out.  A doe can wait a couple of hours in between kids, so I had that in the back of my mind.  Now 2 hours had passed and I decided to stick my hand up there and see what's wrong.  All lubed up, I was in, up to my wrist in her and felt bones, a head and...I don't really know, but it felt like a jumbled mess in there.  I had to pull it out, no matter if it was alive or dead.  I pulled and pulled, and then saw a leg hanging out, lifelessly...then I knew that it didn't make it :(  My hopefulness was at 0% when I saw that.  It came out wrapped in a membrane attached to the placenta.  The kid wasn't fully developed...It kinda looked like a dinosaur/bird...weirdest thing I've seen in a while!

I bounced her again and there were no more kids, thankfully.  I was more than thankful with the 3 that survived!  This was a huge learning experience and I hope other people will learn from this as well.
Here are some pics of the new arrivals!  (LaMancha goats naturally do not have ears, so don't worry, nothing's wrong ;)
Roxy (foreground)
Snickers (2nd kid)
Buckling (far right)
She just looks like a little brat, doesn't she?
The second part of the story will continue in another post.

Thanks for reading!  Hope you all enjoyed :)

To be continued...

Feb 1, 2011

Beautiful "Disaster"

Take a look at all the snow we got!  It's so pretty, but looks are deceiving....especially when you're trying to do farm chores!  Here's a few pics of the snow today.
trough heater is barely keeping up

The weather channel said that this was going to be one of the top 5 biggest snow storm in HISTORY!  I believe it, lol!  Just going out to do chores was really tough....especially when the wind chill is below 0 and hitting your face at a direct angle.  Anyway, I got to scrape 8 inch deep snow off the roof (looked like it was caving in).

The day isn't over yet though....still have to go out and milk in the cold and snow.

Stay warm!