Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wow... A helluva first day living with goats

I woke up yesterday morning and took a stroll outside with our new puppy for her morning constitutional and to check on the goats. Yep, there were still five there. I started letting them out of the shed to go munch on grass when I noticed the first problem of the day. Scraggly (it had to be her didn't it) apparently was stressed enough on the ride up here to go into labor... So yes, our first day of having goats we had to deliver a kid.

Lindsay was coming outside to walk the pugs right about when I noticed. I say she was going into labor, but I guess a more apt description is that there was a goat head hanging out of her ass. I was a little freaked out to be honest. I yelled to Lindsay to come help, so Finn got to have a bottle and watch some Disney channel. Daisy, the puppy, was trying to check out everything which was stressing the mama out so i took her to the house and called a vet to ask what you do when they are coming out head first with no feet first. He said "You're just gonna have to pull it out however you can get a hold of it. You might use some KY..." Lindsay hadn't even gotten a good look at all the goats by this point and she was about to deliver one.

It turns out that it had one foot forward and the other back, and it is possibly a boer baby. If mama is full grown then she is part miniature, so I'm pretty sure whatever bred her (the guy didn't know) was probably too big and she was probably too young. Lindsay did an awesome job, and managed to pull the kid out once the water broke (which I thought should have happened before the head was out). Mama wouldn't let the baby nurse so Josh held her to the side of the shed and the kid had a couple of 15 minute goes at it which seemed to really distress the mama. We don't think he got much of anything and tried to milk her a time or two to see if she had any milk, but we couldn't get anything to come out. We gave the baby some goat drench and tried for a while.

I flew to the Co-Op because I had seen some colostrum substitute and picked up a couple of bags of that, some beet pulp (for the mama), a bottle with what I think was a sheep or goat nipple, and 5 collars of varying neon colors for the goats. Our second problem was the fact that we'd put in part of the fence upside down without realizing it and the younger goats could squeeze right through the holes. Luckily they stayed close and whenever I went close to them they just went back through the fence. Later in the afternoon Josh and I used some of the 2' tall bird netting and went down the bottom of the fence to keep them inside.

While I was gone the mama birthed the placenta thank god. We mixed up some of the colostrum mix and tried for a while to get him to drink it and eventually downsized to one of Finn's older bottles. Josh finally got him to drink a few ounces later after the mama tried to but him away from her udder. She started acting a little more maternal as the day wore on, but I don't think she has any milk. I guess he could have been early, or she could have been malnourished or stressed. So I guess we are bottle feeding him homemade formula and colostrum.

We brought him up to the house last night and he is snug in his new dog crate in the utility room and getting a bottle every 4-6 hours. I hope he makes it, especially after how hard Lindsay worked to deliver him. Wicket seems to like him, and Daisy... They played tag last night and Finn about fainted from laughing so hard. The other goats, primarily the older goats, don't like her and seem to think she is a threat or something because Glowbug has butted her twice (I think we may need to rename her HellBug because she is mean to everything so far).

It seems the goats like the old dog house that is in the pen more than the shed we made for them. They all pile up in it together sometimes. Finn had the chance to pet Tolstoy when he and Aunt Liz caught them in the doghouse. He thinks they are funny.

In hindsight, I shouldn't have bought the pregnant goat for two reasons: she was pregnant and she was scraggly. I guess I just wanted to get some Lamanchas a little too much. I also should have thought about the fact that we probably could have used a little while to get used to them before we had to start kidding... I'll give you more info soon...

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I'm not so sure I'm ready for goats! "Adventures in goating", indeed.
    Way to go Lindsay, she's a keeper!! :)


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