When does Kidding start?
For me kidding starts well before the doe is old enough to
breed and well before she is even bred. The health and maturity of a doe is one
of the most important aspects of raising good solid Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats.
Good health and a mature animal will cause less problems in the kidding pen and
A Nigerian Dwarf Goat
should be no less then 7 months old when bred and of good weight and height to
be able to allow the body to give nourishment to the growing kids and sustain
her own health and growth. She also needs to be in good condition; not too thin
nor too fat. I have seen does that can barely sustain themselves on what their
"keepers" are providing for them in nutrition and then they wonder why
there is no milk for the kids, or the kids die. On the other extreme are the "owners"
that kill their goats with love and feed them too much, causing more and different
problems due to overweight. The key here is have your doe in the proper weight
and size before breeding and maintaining that good condition throughout her gestation
and lactation periods.
gestation period in most Nigerian Dwarf Goats is 145 days and up to 150 days.
Do not panic if the time even reaches 157, but much longer then that it is advisable
to have a vet check for any complications. During the early months management
does not need to change at all. Keep giving your doe enough grain for the growing
kids with hay and water free choice for the first 4 months.
During the colder months of October through March, we choose to give our goats
warm water twice a day. This helps to keep them hydrated and flushes the excess
toxins produced by the kids through the elimination of urine. Our goats drink
more water if it is warmed then cold. This also helps the bucks keep their tract
Hoof trimming should be done
no later then 8 weeks prior to kidding. The pressure placed on the doe's abdomen
during hoof trimming is very uncomfortable, stressful and not necessary.
Month Five in the Gestation Period
Between 37 and 45 days prior to your calculated due
date, you need to administer the proper dosage of CD&T to your doe. This will
pass the immunities onto the kids inutero. Should you miss this don't worry, there
are boosters that can be given to the kids at birth and in the weeks following.
Just remember to inoculate your doe a while after she freshens. The time period
of 37 - 45 days prior is critical due to that research has found that either prior
or after this time, the immunities are not passed on to the kids.
5 weeks prior to freshening, start to increase the doe's daily intake of grain.
The major growth formation of the kids is in the last month, so it is important
that the doe receives enough food intake for herself and her growing kids. Her
daily intake of grain should double over a 7 day span and continue during the
last 4 weeks of pregnancy and continue for her lactation period to keep in condition.
weeks prior to kidding is optional to clip her udder and rear of hair. This enables
her to stay cleaner after she does freshen. Be careful not to chaff her by clipping
too close. This is also a time to prepare a "kidding pen" for your doe.
A kidding pen is a temporary secure area where your doe will be placed a few days
before she kids. It should be dressed in clean straw and large enough for 2 people
to move in should your doe need assistance.
Closer to Kidding
As your doe is days
away from kidding, you will notice changes in her. She will start to paw her straw
as if making a nest, this would be a good time to place her in her own kidding
pen. She becomes more agitated and looking towards her goatherder for companionship
and comfort. The importance here is knowing it will be soon and being on guard
to offer assistance as needed. This is where the baby monitor comes in handy.
A baby monitor saves you many trips back and forth to the barn to see how she
is coming along. Listen closely to her talking, as she will let you know when
she is truly in labor.
If you are kidding
out a doe for the first time make sure you have someone you can turn to if you
need help. I keep the phone number of my veterinarian and a close friend in my
kidding box on a 3x5 card. You can't depend on memory if you are in need of help
and trying to call someone.
that the time is close and the miracle of life in all it's glory will be seen
udder will fill slowly during the last 4 - 5 weeks of of pregnancy. As time approaches
her udder will fill with "fresh" milk, become firmer and sometimes have
a shine to it.|
hips. The kids will drop and your doe will appear to have lost a lot of weight
near the hip bones|
ligaments loosen. Even some seasoned breeders have trouble catching this one.
The day she is due to kid her tail ligaments will "disappear", these
are the 2 ligaments that travel in a V from the base of the tailbone to the pin
bones, forming a type of peace sign. When these ligaments can no longer be felt
and the doe's rear end is very loose, almost feeling like broken, she is preparing
for the birth of her kids.|
moving. As long as you can still feel the kids moving within the doe, you have
about twelve hours to wait. The kids can be felt or seen on the right side of
the doe. As they move into position for delivery, Movement becomes almost nonexistent
as they line up so to speak to make their grand entrance. |
As mentioned above, she will become restless. As the time gets closer, you will
observe her getting up and down, moving, pawing and the thing I hate is the crying
and talking to her kids. It seems she is in such distress. You want to do something
to help her and all you can do is wait. This starts about 24 - 48 hours before
display of affection for her goatherdsman. She will look at you and lick your
hands and plead with her eyes for you to be with her. This is a great bonding
time for you and your goat. I have seen where if you are attentive to a usually
runner type goat that giving her the time during kidding will make good friends
back sideways and talking. She will put her head on her flank as she talks to
her kids. She may stare off into space for 30 - 60 seconds, this is early contractions|
breathing and a worried look. Her breaths will become very long and labored. This
is the beginning stages of labor.|
string discharge. There is a mucus plug that is released about 8 hours prior to
kidding. It is a natural lubricant. The string may come in short little lengths
at first. A long milky string is a sure sign that the time is fast approaching.
eyes. Within hours of kidding, if you pull gently down on her eyelids and they
are bloodshot, she is within hours of kidding.|
feed. She may refuse to eat or just nibble when she normally has a good appetite.|
lies down and vocalizes as the tail rising and falls. This signifies the beginning
of heavy labor|
teats fill. About 24 hours prior to kidding, the doe's teats will fill with milk.
You can check this by feeling the teat, but do NOT milk any out, as this will
release the natural plug that prevents bacteria from entering the teat and udder.|
breaks. The water sac around the kid may break. This is not a concern just one
more sign that the kids are at life's door and coming soon.|
As stated prior, a kidding pen should be made available
for the doe to kid in away from the rest of the herd. If you own more than one
goat, you are well aware of how curious they are and how difficult is is to keep
them out of what you are working on. Having a kidding pen allows you to concentrate
on the one doe without running interference for her.
pen should be well bedding with clean, deep, soft bedding. No water should be
placed in the kidding pen when your doe is in labor. It is dangerous, can cause
a big mess and she is not interested in drinking. If you dam-raise your kids,
make sure the water bucket is low enough for your doe to drink from, but high
enough that the kids can not drown.
It is important for you to stay calm during all the final
stages of labor. This will allow you to make any necessary decisions should the
need arise. Most deliveries go off without a problem and the miracle of life occurs
without assistance by us. In those few instances that help is needed, remain clam
and decide; is this something I can handle? if yes, go on and handle it and don't
look back. If no, call your friend or your vet to help with the delivery.
It's now time for her
to really start going into heavy labor. She will push and some will throw their
head backwards and "scream" (don't let this unnerve you). The contractions
will start to come closer and stronger, she will stretch all four legs out as
she is lying on her side. Within 30 minutes of this starting, visual progress
should be evidenced. You will sometimes see a bubble come out and go back in with
each contraction - this too is normal. As the contractions and pushing become
stronger you will see two little feet and then a head come which is resting on
the feet. As long as progress is being made, there is no reason to assist. Another
good push and the kids shoulders with body following, come out.
is your chance to help with a soft clean towel. Make sure the sac is broken and
taken away from the kid before wiping down. Most Nigerians deliver their kids
lying down so it is critical in assistance to get the kids out of the water created
by the birth. Don't be afraid to rub vigorously to stimulate the kids and get
air into those lungs. Present the kids to the doe so they can bond if you are
dam-raising. If bottle-raising, whisk the kid away from it's dam as quickly as
you can to prepare for the next kid out.
with dam-raising your kids, your doe will "forget" there are more kids
still inside wanting out. Try removing the kid from under her nose, but not so
far away to cause her anxiety.
all kids are delivered, make sure all soiled bedding is removed and fresh bedding
placed down. Provide a "Goat-Tea" for your doe. Goat tea is a warm water
and molasses mixture. This helps replenish lost body fluids and provides an energy
Your doe is in hard labor, pushing with nothing happening for over 30 minutes.
Time to go inside and help her or if you can not handle it yourself, call that
friend of yours or the vet. A doe should not be in hard labor for over an hour.
If she is, exhaustion will take over and she will not be able to the deliver the
kids. There should only be about 15 - 20 minutes between multiple birth kids,
if the time between extends longer then that, assistance in needed.
you need to enter the doe, just remember - STAY CALM, you can do this. You may
think, I can get my hand in the doe, it's too big and she's so small. There may
be the rare case of this , that your doe just hasn't dilated enough and she can
get the kids out, but for the most part, your hand will be able to reach into
her with no problem.
First, make sure
your nails are clipped very short. This should be done a couple days prior to
your goat kidding so they become rounded with no sharp edges. Clean your hands
well and put on sterile surgical gloves, making sure you don't touch ANYTHING
except going into the doe. Lubricate the doe and your hands with KY jelly.
it's time to go in and see what is happening in your doe. Gently enter the doe
slowly with a couple of fingers first to see how wide she is. As you enter, she
will try to push your hand back out. Continue in slowly until you can feel what
is being presented in the birth canal. Become familiar with the anatomy of the
kid so as you feel blindly, you can tell what you are feeling. Closing your eyes
helps your hands to "see" what they are doing.
you know how the kid(s) positioned, start to work it out as explained it the diagrams
further down in this section.
Your doe will pass an
afterbirth or placenta after all kids are delivered. Usually this will occur within
2 hours for delivery, but should happen within 12. Do NOT assist in taking the
placenta from the doe. If you pull on it, you can cause permanent damage to the
uterus and possible internal bleeding resulting in death. Sometimes when the placenta
is passed the doe will have contractions as if delivering another kid. Some does
will eat the afterbirth. There are 2 schools of thought on this. One is let them,
the other is don't. For those that let the
doe eat it, they feel it is the natural thing the doe does and provides nutrients
to the doe. For those that don't, they feel it can cause disruption in the rumen
and you end up with problems after, as the afterbirth is not sanitary. We choose
to sit with the new family until the afterbirth is passed and all are content,
fed, and sleepy. Then it's time for us to take a well deserved nap as well.
a few days after kidding, your doe will will have a bloody discharge. If it is
flowing and looks like hemorrhaging, call your vet ASAP. After a few days of the
bloody discharge, your doe will continue discharging fluids, but the color and
consistency will be that of reddish-brown pudding. This too is normal and can
start and stop over the next 3 - 4 weeks.
care of the kids
The kids need some care right after birth. Make sure
all are healthy and suckling from their mom. It is important for Nigeria Dwarfs
to get colostrum into them within a half hour to an hour after birth. Standard
size dairy goats take longer, so don't get confused and wait too long. We make
sure all our kids have nursed from the udder at least twice by forcing them on
to it and once on their own before we leave them. Make sure the milk plug is released
from each teat prior to getting the kids on the teat. You do this by milking out
a couple squirts of colostrum. The smell of the colostrum will help in stimulating
the kid to find the teat and suckle.
kids come out looking for the udder. Within minutes they are up on their feet
and nosing towards the udder. Try to keep the first born away until all kids are
delivered. Once all kids are out and you have a pretty clean area to work in,
by laying down or squatting near the does udder, place a kids mouth on a teat
and hold there while it suckles. I know you may feel this is extreme, but it is
faster to teach the kids this and know they have gotten colostrum in them, then
to wonder if they will find the teats and survive. Even though the bucks are the
gluttons, they are the slowest to learn where the teats are, so have a little
more patience with them.
Once the kids
have had a good little fill of colostrum of if there is time between the kids
being delivered, navels need to be dipped in 7% tincture of iodine. At this time,
it is good to check their sexes and for any abnormalities in your kids. The first
feces of kids comes out in a black tarry type consistency, after a couple of days
this will change to a yellow looking stool for a few days and then finally to
the greenish black color of the adult goat. When it changes to this color, the
shape can also be very similar to that of rat droppings, so don't think that unwanted
vermin have moved in.
kids legs are pinned in the womb in some strange positions and they are born with
their legs looking a little strange. One of the most common is for the rear legs
to have an almost double-jointed appearance where the hocks bend in the wrong
direction. Leg problems generally work themselves out over the first week or two
as they get to running around and strengthening their muscles.
everyone is well set for the needed rest, place a good pile of hay near the doe
so she can get some food. She is tired and exhausted and placing hay within her
reach so she does not have to stand will help her regain her strength. Offering
some grain to your doe will be good also.
the kids closely over the next 3 weeks to make sure they are receiving enough
milk and the doe is doing a good job mothering. Check the doe's udder periodically
to make sure it is being nursed evenly and no it has infection.
Should the umbilical cord not break during delivery,
tie it off about two inches from the kids stomach using sterile dental floss and
then about 4 inches past the first tie. Using your surgical scissors from your
kidding box, cut the cord between the two ties.
the cord be long as it broke on delivery, tie it off as above, about two inches
from the kids belly with dental floss and cut the cord about an inch from the
Leave the floss on the cord and
trim close to the knot. Proceed to dip the cord in iodine.
dip the cord, place the 7% tincture of iodine in a teat dip cup (a baby food jar
or used film canister will also work). Pressing the cup firming onto the kid's
belly with the cord placed in, rotate the kid towards its back to make sure the
cord is fully immersed. Make sure whatever cup you use is snugly placed on the
kid for dipping so the iodine does not leak. The iodine may burn your eyes and
nasal passages as it is a strong chemical so you don't want to breathe it in for
long. Pat the area a wee bit to take up the excess, but not so much as to take
it all off again.
The importance of
dipping the cord is to prevent bacteria and disease from entering this very vulnerable
area resulting in joint ill and possible death.
NOT wear clothing in kidding that you do not want ruined. Kidding is a messy procedure
and formal wear is not appropriate. Neither use good bath towels for wiping down
kids. Old towels purchased at yard sales are the perfect towel.
following diagrams will help in illustrating the different positions that kids
will find themselves for delivery. I have put them in increasing difficulty to
deliver as I have experienced myself. Keep in mind that most kidding goes off
without a hitch and the miracle of life happens without much assistance.
assistance is needed or you need to invade the doe, extreme sanitation measures
should always be taken. Use of sterile surgical gloves to be used only once going
in and thrown away - NEVER re-enter a doe with the same glove - will keep
infection down to a minimum. Wash hands and arms thoroughly with antiseptic/disinfectant
up to your elbows. When reaching in the doe, lubricate the glove so as to make
it easier on her as you go in.
you are concerned about what is happening with your doe CALL A VET! Remember,
you know your does better then anyone else and time in kidding can prove fatal.
of kid presentations:
Presentation - Single Birth |
This is a very typical normal presentation for
kids. As the kid comes through the birth canal the front legs and head are presented
first in a diving position. The head appears outside the dam prior to the umbilical
cord getting possibly pinched and air getting cut off.
or no assistance is needed in these births. If you do assist the only assistance
should be to GENTLY pull the kid out and DOWN towards the dam's
hocks and make sure all breathing passages are clear of fluids and mucus on the
Presentation - Multiple Births
As with the above presentation, this is normal
when multiple births are occurring. The first kid will present itself while those
behind will maneuver themselves to be in the correct position for their turn.
Again, little or no assistance is needed. You
can assist as in a single birth by GENTLY pulling the kids out and DOWN.
Once the first kid is delivered, the others should follow within 20 minutes
Presentation - Hind Birth
As with the above presentation, this is also considered
a normal presentation. Assistance may be needed in getting the kid out quickly
as the umbilical cord may be pinched prior to the head coming out. The pinching
of the cord causes a natural reflex in the kid to breathe, thus the kid sucks
in water and mucus.
Assist as in a single
birth by GENTLY pulling the kids out and DOWN. Once the kid is delivered,
make sure all breathing passages are clear. This is very critical.
a standing position, hold the kid by the rear legs and support the back as you
gently swing the kid in a forward/backward motion through your legs. This will
dispel any mucus that was not able to be discharged.
Presentation - Two Together
This is where the presentations get a little tricky
and help is needed. As with all kidding procedures, it is essential that you remain
calm when assisting in any form.
two kids are presenting at the same time, you need to assist by going into the
doe and GENTLY pushing one kid back while trying to hold on to the other to pull
Make sure you have grasped the
correct kid so you are not pulling and pushing on the same one as you try to get
the positions straightened out.
Abnormal Presentation - One Leg
This presentation calls for more invasive procedures.
In this you need to go into the doe by pushing the kid back far enough so you
can grab the leg that is bent back and GENTLY pull it forward to a normal "diving"
As always make sure you
have the correct parts to the kid you are working on.
Presentation - Two Legs Back
This presentation is similar to the one above
where the two front legs are stretched back on the belly. Again, you will need
to enter the doe and GENTLY push the kid back while feeling for the front legs
to pull them into the "diving" position.
always make sure you have the correct parts to the kid you are working on.
Presentation - Breech |
This presentation is often referred to as the
breech birth, where the rump or back is presented first. Some does can deliver
this position easily.
Going into the
doe, GENTLY push the kid forward and grab with your fingers under the rear legs
as illustrated and continue to deliver in the breech position. If you have a lamb-puller,
you can slip this around the rear legs and pull.
a standing position, hold the kid by the rear legs and support the back as you
gently swing the kid in a forward/backward motion through your legs. This will
dispel any mucus that was not able to be discharged.
Presentation - Head Back |
This presentation sometimes proves to be the most
time consuming in trying to correct. The head is stretched back over the shoulder
and has probably been in that position for quite some time. The difficulty here
is that as soon as you go in to straighten it out and start pulling the kid out
the head snaps back into the position, if not held firmly.
is where a lamb-puller comes in handy. Going into the doe, GENTLY push the kid
back to allow room. Loop the lamb- puller around the kid's head behind the ears
and GENTLY pull the head forward. Reach in and grab the front feet and simultaneously
pull the kid out.
|Abnormal Presentation - Side
This for me has been the worst presentation to
deal with. This is the side presentation with multiple births. The first kid is
presenting ribcage and the others are piling up to get out, causing a tangled
If caught early enough you may
have room to push the kid either aside to allow the "jam" to be released,
or to position the kid to be delivered first.
problem here is that the "jam" often does not allow for sufficient room
to work. If manipulation can not occur, call a vet for assistance.
Photographs of a delivery
The following section contains actual photographs
from Mally kidding this year. We have tried to capture the significant stages
in Stage II labor so the novice will have a visual of what may be expected during
a typical normal kidding. Malley presented us with two kids and we were able to
photograph parts of each birth. This was a "textbook" delivery and she
made it so easy for us. We will try to get more photographs during the duration
of our kidding season to enhance the material here.
having a hard contraction here. She is laying on her side, looking towards her
abdomen, pushing hard with her legs stretched out.
is a little hard to tell here, but as she strains with each contraction, her tail
is raised over her back.
is a very strong, typical, mucus string. This string helps to lubricate the birth
canal. A mucus string can appear and within eight hours a kid is born. Mally started
presenting within a half hour of this photograph.|
kid is coming. You can see two little hoofs encased in the sac on their way out.
The kid is presented in a classic dive presentation.|
is now seen||The
kid's head is now just presenting it self. You can see the sac in intact.|
|Head and hoofs are seen||It
is a little difficult to see here, but the kid's small hoofs with head resting
in a dive position is seen here. |
The kid's head
is fully out at this time. She is still encased in the sac and her eyes are open.
One more push and the kid was out.
needed to help clean the kid off so we stopped and rubbed the kid down.
|Cleaning off the kid||With
the kid expelled from the dam, we take towels and make sure all mucus is gotten
from around the head so the kid can breath without taking in fluids or suffocating.
There is mucus still on the legs and hoofs in this photograph.|
you are dam-raising your kids, do not wipe the kid completely of mucus and fluids.
Present the kid to the dam so she can clean the kid and start the bonding process.
It is thought that if all fluids are removed, some dams may reject the kid.|
doe will get up at times between delivery of kids. Sometimes they get so involved
in cleaning the kids they forget there are more to come. Try holding the kid away
from the dam to get her attention back to the delivery. If this upsets the doe
too much, place the kid just in reach of the dam so she can see the kid, yet get
back to work.|
the first kid is born, you may get the sac coming if it did not fully come out
with the kid. Some blood can also be expected, this is normal. Any hemorrhaging
type blood will need immediate attention from your vet.|
|The second kid is coming||
This is a very
classic "Bubble". The kid is encased in this. You may have this break
prior to the kid coming out. This is not a concern as long as the umbilical cord
is not constricted in any way preventing oxygen flow from dam to kid.
bubble is filled with fluids and if punctured by the doe or any other means, it
is considered the "water breaking".
is the bubble from Mally's second kid. Her first kid is wrapped in a towel and
peering over at mom.
placenta or afterbirth||
Mally has very
easily and quickly delivered both her kids. This is the placenta being expelled
from her. The color and texture are different from the sac as photographed earlier.
you can see that the afterbirth is almost all out.
You should NEVER assist or pull the placenta
or afterbirth from the doe. Just let time take it's course in dropping. On average
this takes about an hour.|
The color and texture should be that of healthy
tissue. Very little, if any, blood is on the afterbirth. It is also quite dry
My hands are stained from
dipping the umbilical cords in 7% tincture of iodine.
The placenta's attachments
Mally has successfully
passed her afterbirth. The dark spots shown here are what secures the placenta
to the uterus. This is why it is so important NOT to assist in removing
the placenta, as you can tear the uterus.
it up and throw it out if you choose not to have your doe eat it.
Should your doe require a C-section, the placenta is left in the doe and not removed.
Your vet needs to stitch her up with it inside her. She will pass it as though
it was a normal delivery.
following article was originally written from a meeting in which a local Veterinarian
from New Jersey presented a workshop to goat enthusiasts on kidding. Some information
is repeated from above, but I felt it worthy to be printed in it's entirety. Keep
in mind that it was a presentation and I have tried to make it flow as best as
I can without detracting from the original content. Editorialized by: Barb Halligan:
KIDDING As told by Dr. Reynolds on February 11, 2001
Kid comes out like divers
with both front feet stretched out and head facing front resting on legs. Contractions
of the uterus cause the kid to be pushed up and out in a U shape. When assisting
the kids out, do not pull straight out, but pull kid down towards hocks in a slow
steady movement. 80 – 90% of goats that kid quickly will kid in a lying down position
and the kids will just “fall out” of the dam. The fluid in the sack works as a
lubricant to help expel the kid. The hoofs generally break the sack. In breech
births, hind legs appear first in a reverse dive. This is also considered by many
to be a normal birth, but some extra attention by the goatherder may be warranted.
With breech births the main concern is the umbilical cord. In the normal front
presentation the umbilical cord is flexible and long, with breech births the cord
gets stretched and air flow can be constricted. Kids will then gulp for air and
suck in uterine fluids. This puts fluids in the lungs and the kids die. With breech
deliveries it is important to get kids out quickly. In normal births, the breaking
of the umbilical cord is what triggers the breathing response, so in breech if
the cord is collapsed in any way it causes the kid to breathe inutero and hence
death will follow if not removed quickly.
that your doe is going into labor:
Milk coming into teats. If no milk
in teats the teats are floppy
Hollowing out of the hips. This means the kids
have dropped and are getting into position to be born.
Vulva bigger and redder.
Signifies doe is dilating in order for kids to pass.
Pelvis area comes apart.
Seams in girdle are fibrous and they come apart for kids to get through.
Talking to babies
Affectionate towards owner
Some does wait to chore time to delivery - BEWARE
Nutrition needs of pregnant of doe
Hay needs to be of the best quality in the last month of pregnancy. A tender,
well cured, third or fourth cutting is desired. The doe has little room for food
intake during final stages of pregnancy so what she ingests needs to be of the
highest quality. Hay intake also effects the early stages of lactation so the
best should be supplied at that time also. It takes three times as much hay to
maintain proper health of a goat in lactation. If you want a top producer, you
need to feed the best hay with high digestibility. Increase feed quantity and
quality gradually during last trimester and throughout lactation.
This disease occurs within two weeks of kidding and 2 weeks
after kidding, also known as ketosis. The doe uses her own fat to feed her kids
and herself, giving off ketones in the system, causing the doe and kids to become
toxic. Ketosis is brought on by an imbalance to food intake. This can either happen
if fed too much or too little grain. Be careful with how you feed during the late
stages of pregnancy.
Problems in presentation
Even with proper management and feed, you can still have
problems with kidding. The first key to any problem delivery is to make the kid
smaller. As you are assisting in getting the kid out, give yourself a mental picture
of what you are feeling in the doe and how you can position the kid to make it
smaller for ease of presentation. If you need to, take a few seconds and actually
position yourself as you feel the kid and then think through how to manipulate
limbs to reduce the kid's size. Remember to stay calm and focused in helping your
doe through delivery. For a five pound kid, you can exert ten to fifteen pounds
of pressure (in pull) to assist them out.
First and most common are the
elbows getting caught on the pelvis. Position is like “praying” instead of front
legs extended in a “dive”. If you can, get a string tied around one of the front
legs (a lock knot – not a noose to cut off circulation) and pull it out gently
but firmly. Hold the string with leg out as you go in for the other front leg.
Once both legs are out, pull as in a dive position. If more then one kid is presenting,
hold on to the string and push the other kid back in.
and one leg presentation, meaning the one leg is back alongside body. Put string
around leg that is presented and reach in by sliding hand down the side with the
other leg. Gently try to get leg forward to place in dive position. Cover hoof
with hand as best you can so as it will not tear anything. Use the same procedure
for both legs being back and head presenting. The use of string on the legs prevents
the kid from slipping back and delaying getting the kid out. If you can keep control
of the kid by just using your handgrip, then the string will not be necessary.
Remember these kids are well lubricated and can continually slip from your grasp.
Legs forward in normal dive position with head turned
back on body. Usually these kids are not the healthiest so you need to work quickly
to get them out. One thing to remember in this type of presentation is that the
kid has probably been in that position long enough that when you get the head
pull forward, the muscles have a tendency to snap it back in a backwards position
again. For this procedure it is important to tie the legs so the kid does not
slip back in as you try to maneuver the head in position. You need to reach in
and try to locate the head. The easier way to figure this out is to locate the
neck and shoulders. Try to grab the lower jaw, cup hand over head and kind of
push it out towards the front while pulling on twine at the same time. Legs are
the easiest to get out, head is the most difficult. Use of milk machine cleaning
tubing is very helpful in these presentations also. It enables you to get it around
the kid’s head behind the ears and pull to to kid out.
of all deliveries is where the doe is in hard labor and nothing is presented.
This is generally a backbone presentation. Reach in and go for hind legs by feeling
for tail and hocks. Grab hold of hind legs, if possible attach cord and pull the
Should you have four feet presenting at
the same time you need to figure out which legs belong to what kid and make sure
you have legs attached from that kid. Try to push one back making sure there is
not another one behind it and cause damage to the doe. Pull the first kid out
and the others will generally follow naturally.
are times when a doe has been in heavy labor for an extended period of time that
she may go into uterine inertia. This results in the inability for the doe to
push anymore. You will need to reach in and artificially deliver the kids. Do
NOT invade the uterus unless absolutely necessary, the vagina is stronger. The
uterus is thin and can be damaged more easily. Make sure finger nails are clipped
short when assisting in delivery. Cutting them a couple days prior to enable them
to get smoothed out is preferable.
Make sure during
an assisted delivery all kids are out This is essential where multiple births
are involved. Looking towards the doe’s rump, wrap your arms around her and bump
her belly to see if any kids are still inside. Another way to check if
there are kids still left inside, is to place the doe over a bale of straw. This
will force the kids to either side of the abdomen where they can be easily seen.
This brings the kid up in the uterus and you can reach in to get them. Sometimes
during an assisted birth a kid will fight back to better position itself for presentation.
If you suspect a dead
kid there will be no movement and contractions will be poor. You will need to
go in and remove the body. Dead kids are usually dry and have no lubrication to
help expel them. Use of a good lubricant like KY jelly can help. If the kid should
still be in the sack, the fluids will be dark and smelly. You don’t need to be
concerned about the kid, think about the doe. The kid needs to come out and generally
it will fall apart as you try to get it out. Try to get out as much of the kid
as possible so infection will not occur. This is by no means a pleasant process
as you pull the kid out piece by piece, but if you want to save the doe it has
to be done.
After removing as much of the dead kid
as possible, draw out 10cc of Penicillin G into a syringe. REMOVE THE NEEDLE!!
and syringe the penicillin into the the uterus. Boluses have a tendency to pop
out so getting the penicillin in by syringe is better.
If you experience a weak kid birth, stimulate by rough quick
rubs to feel heartbeat. Make sure nose is unclogged to let air in. Swinging the
kids, by grabbing the hind legs in one hand and resting the chest in the other
and proceed in a pendulum motion will help dislodge mucus in the respiratory tract.
Continuous rubbing with towels will keep the kid stimulated, keep this up until
the kid is standing on it’s own.
If you don’t feel
a heartbeat, do CPR on the chest to stimulate the heart. Kids are tough so don’t
be afraid the be rough if you want to save the kid.
If you have a chilled or cold kid that needs quick warmth, place the kid, unclean
in a plastic bag leaving the head out and place in a bucket of 120 degree water
to bring temperature up. DO NOT SUBMERSE THE KID, keep the head above
water. Keeping the kid in the water tight bag, place kid in water, up
to neck, for 10 - 15 seconds, remove for a few seconds and keep repeating until
kid warms. Trying to get the kid to nurse in between placing in water will help
build up strength. Once the kid responds you can give it back to the dam to bond
if dam raising.
placenta of a healthy birth will be glistening and slippery and have the look
of healthy organ tissue. During normal births all the placenta should come out.
Dark smelly placentas are associated with births having dead kids. Use of oxytocin
to help the uterus contract is recommended only if the doe comes in with little
or no milk, or if you believe there is partial retained placenta. Oxytocin will
help in milk let down. It takes about 20 minutes to work and then 20 minutes to
contract the uterus, which reduces the uterus to about 2/3 it’s size in about
40 minutes. USE OXYTOCIN SPARINGLY and only after 48 hours has elapsed after a
The majority of births are normal and
as breeders you should be striving towards that in your breeding program. Breeding
has a lot to do with how easy they kid. If you dam raise your kids leave some
mucus on the kid after toweling for the dam to bond with the kid.
Iodine the naval with 7% Tincture of Iodine. Use of a dip cup
is more effective then spray. If kids are dam raised, make sure the teat orifice
is open, giving milk, and kids suckle. Nigerian Dwarf goat kids sometimes need
assistance in finding the teat and making sure they suckle. Make sure kids are
dry and warm and sheltered. Make sure kids have colostrum in them within 30 minutes
of birth. The kids can only process the colostrum for their first 72 hours.
can freeze colostrum which preserves it for three to four years.
bit on BoCe Trivia
Custer lost the battle
of Little Big Horn, because his horses were selenium deficient and could not perform
in battle. Research to find out if you live in a selenium deficient
area. The cause of this deficiency are heavy rain areas that wash away selenium
from the soil. Also check where your forage is coming from, if your hay is not
deficient then you will probably be fine. Another source of selenium is in commercial
grains. Read the label on the bag to see if it contains selenium for your area.
If your forage or grain is supplying ample selenium then you will not need to
supplement as an overdose can cause deaths.
feel you need to give selenium shots after researching your feeds, then 1/2cc
to 1cc is needed on Nigerian Dwarfs. Do not give during pregnancy as selenium
has been seen to cause abortions. If kids contract white muscle disease from selenium
deficiency they will get weak and referred to as floppy kid syndrome. You have
a couple days to reverse this. CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY to save the
A note on hay
F for those
of us that are fortunate enough to have facility to store hay, place your best
hay (3rd – 4th cutting) in an area you can access during the later stages of your
does pregnancy so she is getting high quality feed prior to delivery and during
lactation. Try not to feed 1st or 2nd cut hay during this time as the nutrient
value is less.