A New Little Doeling Struggles Her Way into the World

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Posted by Leah on April 17, 2002 at 18:46:04:


Today my very first kid was born! It was very exciting, but terrifying too.

I thought the doe was having a bit of trouble early on, but then thought, "No, I am just overreacting. I'm new at this but goats have been having kids for longer than I've been around, and my book says 95% of the time everything is fine." Well, I guess I should have listened to my first instinct.

After the left front hoof and head emerged, I realized that the other hoof was nowhere in site. Unfortunately, the bag of waters had already broken and this kid was breathing air! I was mad at myself for not realizing the mistake earlier but figured nothing could be done to correct that now. I had to act.

After a quick call to another goat breeder, I scrubbed up and reached in, trying to free the other leg. It was curled up and difficult to bring around. It seemed like hours went by, but it was probably only seconds. I was able to get a firm grasp on the leg, and pull it out while she pushed. I was careful to pull only when she was pushing.

Once the leg was free, the baby came tumbling out soon after. I waited for more kids to arrive, but none came. About two hours later, the placenta was delivered. Mom and baby seem to be okay.

I went ahead and started Mom on antibiotics to combat any infection that might result from my messing around in there.

My question is this:

The doeling is unable to walk very well because of her leg. It doesn't appear to be fractured and she can put weight on it, it is just a little bent. Almost like she is walking on her first joint instead of her hoof. Will this correct itself in time, or should I apply a splint?

Second question:

She doesn't seem to be able to nurse for very long periods. She is interested, just doesn't seem to be able to get the hang of where the teat is and how to stay latched on. I had originally wanted to put this kid on CAE prevention. However, I was unsuccessful in getting her to take the bottle. Mom was CAE negative last fall prior to breeding, so I feel okay about letting her nurse. And I have already decided to keep the kid anyway. Will she get the hang of nursing? How concerned should I be? Do I need to consider feeding with the weak kid syringe? If so, how long should I wait to see if she gets it on her own?

Sorry for all of the questions, but being new at this I want to make sure I don't mess things up! I've already learned today...if there is a 5 in 100 chance, it WILL happen to me! :oP

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