"Not doing well...brought them both in...see if we can save them..."
These weren't the words I wanted to start my week with, but that's how things got started Monday morning around 5:30AM. Let me back up and say that Emma surprised us by kidding before Nickel. I caught her in the pushing stage on one of many checks to the goat pen on Sunday afternoon. I was able to sit with her as Abe & Moses were born. It was a fairly normal delivery, except for one thing. Goats are usually born in a diving position with their two front feet by their heads. (Both back feet first is also considered a normal birth position, but I've never seen this.)
When Abe (brown one) was emerging, I only saw one hoof and a nose, which isn't good. Before I intervened, I saw his second foot just back a bit further. Because of his "off" position, Emma had a bit of a hard time getting him out. It was also her first baby, too. Moses (black one) was born minutes after in a perfect position.
Emma is a first time Mom. So, we watched to see if she would take care of her babies. They were quite tiny at birth, but otherwise healthy. Emma began licking Moses right away, but didn't seem too concerned about Abe. She would lick Abe if we placed him under her nose, but then would soon be off to Moses again. Moses was a bit stronger from the start. We made sure the boys nursed and let them be to bond.
We checked on them periodically through the day Sunday. Abe didn't seem to be doing well. He was weak, but he would nurse well when we hooked him up. Emma seemed increasingly annoyed at the babies nursing and would kick them off.
We decided, since she was a first time Mom, to give her a few hours to adjust. We got up twice during the night Sunday to check on them. The first check was promising, but the second check found Abe pretty weak. Again, we decided to try to let Emma handle things.
When we checked them early Monday morning, Abe was very weak. He could no longer stand or hold his head. Moses, too, was showing signs of losing strength. Thus, the words I heard at the beginning of this post on Monday morning from my husband who found them this way.
He brought them inside to the wood stove, and we began rubbing them with towels to warm them up. We milked Emma and tried bottles. Abe couldn't suck, but Moses could. Soon, I realized the wood stove and towels weren't warming Abe enough. I gave him a warm bath in our laundry room sink and moved his legs to get his circulation going. This seemed to really perk him up. I also gave him 5ml of fluids subcutaneously (under his skin) and rubbed molasses on his tongue and cheeks. Slowly, but surely, he showed signs of improvement. In a few hours, he could weakly suck a bottle. He took small (0.25oz to 1oz) feedings all day Monday while Moses drank double that each time. But, this morning, they both downed over 2oz! Abe can now stand and take steps-a dramatic turn around from where he was yesterday morning. They are now enjoying a life of luxury in our basement by the wood stove. I had to put them in a laundry basket because Moses was getting quite curious and wandering all over!
Aaaaand, in other news, Nickel the goat has beat April the giraffe!
We decided to get up once during the night Monday night to feed Abe & Moses. After feeding them, I went out to the barn to check Nickel. I found her cleaning off her first baby - Jefferson (darker brown one). I was able to watch her deliver Jackson (light brown one) & Little Penny (black one) minutes later; all in beautiful diving birth positions. Little Penny was the first one I ever witnessed completely in the sack after being born. I helped tear the sack off, but Nickel did the rest. This is Nickel's second batch of triplets and her third kidding.
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
Independent Field Representative