GOAT KIDDING, that is.
For many new goat owners the prospect of kidding (giving birth) can be very daunting and even scary at times. There are 3 stages to labor;
The first, being when the uterus begins to contract. At this stage the doe may separate herself from her herd, act uncomfortable and restless, lie down and urinate frequently. This stage can last from 2 - 12 hours.
The second stage is the actual delivery of the kids. The first thing that you will see is the clear amniotic sac (or bubble) followed by the front feet of the kid with its head in between its front limbs and the kids should present upright (kid's spine closest to the doe's spine). The second stage of labor should progress quickly and be completed in 1 - 2 hours.
The all important question is... "When do we call the vet?"
Here are some good guidelines to follow for when to call Temecula Creek Veterinary;
- If the female strains for 1 hour and no kid is seen
- If a kid does not appear to be presented correctly
- If the doe is in distress
The third and final stage of labor is the passing of the placenta. The placenta should be passed within 6 hours. After passage of the placenta there will be normal lochia (reddish-brown discharge). If the placenta is not passed after 12 hours, contact Temecula Creek Veterinary.
The doe will lick the kids and stimulate them to breathe at which time they will begin to cry. You many clean out the mucous and fluids from their nose and mouth to assist them to breathe and stimulate them by rubbing them with a warm towel if necessary. Kids should be nursing within an hour after birth, this milk is the most important as it is colostrum which the kids will need to receive antibodies from their mother. Once the umbilical cord tears (do not cut it, they will tear on their own), they should be dipped in an appropriate antiseptic solution, such as diluted chlorhexidine/Novalsan, to prevent infection. If the kids are acting abnormal in any way, or are unable to suckle then contact Temecula Creek Veterinary immediately.
Finally, don't forget to take in nature's beautiful process of kidding out!