Monday, March 30, 2009

Goat Kids Due This Week

This should prove to be an exciting week around Abernethy Creek Farm. We have a total of three does due to kid this week. There are two miniature dairy does - 50/50 full sized dairy with Nigerian - that are due. Kari freshened last year with quads and Wroxy with triplets. We also have another first freshener miniature dairy doe - 25/75 full sized dairy with Nigerian - who is smaller than the 1st generation miniature does. We are anxious to see the size of her kids. We're anticipating that they will resemble good-sized, full term Nigerian dairy goat kids. Pictures will be up as soon as we can get them once those kids are here.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

HPF Rose - Story of our unsuccessful Boer goat kidding

Now that it has been a week since our Boer doe HPF Rose unexpectedly kidded, and she's now on top of the game, I'm able to post about it. A little background is in order.

Rose's first freshening two years ago brought about a stillborn runt buckling, a live buckling, and yet another stillborn buckling. The first kid was presented butt first but delivered in that position with just a tiny bit of assistance. He was only about two pounds but fully developed. It was my first kidding by myself without CamoQueen to assist. GoatPrincess was there but we were flying blind. I blamed myself for the two stillborn kids as these were the prize kids that were to be delivered by CamoQueen's two-time county fair champion Boer doe. It just wasn't right. Long story short, the buckling was sold and kept as a buck and has thrown some great kids.

The following year we bred Rose to the same buck and brought about another pregnancy. She was as big as a house again this second year and all appeared normal. Normal that is until she got close to her delivery date and did not develop an udder. Strange we thought. During a cold spell near her due date she developed what we thought was ketosis, standing in the blowing snow - not coming in to eat - rather dazed in appearance. We noticed her backside was completely wet and thought that odd. We treated her for ketosis and watched her. No udder. No labor. It was then we realized that she had lost her baby belly and was back to normal size. What had happened? A little research brought us to realize that perhaps she had experienced a false pregnancy. One of those oddities of nature where their uterus will fill with fluid, they will not come back into heat, and take on all aspects of being pregnant only to deliver a burst of fluid. Very strange.

This last year we bred Rose to another buck fearing that the last two breedings were not bringing about compatable pregnancies. This time she came back into heat after the first breeding so we took her back for another weekend with the buck. We changed her due date and were hopeful. Last week, one day after her original kidding date, we heard her out in the goat yard. She was down in the shed pushing. All panic broke out and we decended with towels. The kid was delivered just fine but stillborn. We were devastated. Not being sure if there was a kid number two, we took her into the kidding stall to observe. During a quick trip back up to the house, she did deliver kid number two - stillborn as well. She had cleaned it off and was lying next to it but it gave no appearnce of having been born live. We were absolutely crushed. But our next concern was Rose herself. She did deliver her placenta but refused to eat or drink and continued to grind her teeth. No temperature. No ketosis (used test). Just looked poorly.

It was then that we made the connection between the way she was acting now to that of last year...same depression, lethargy, lack of interest in anything. Remembering that lavendar oil last year seemed to lift her mood, we placed a few drops on her forehead and left her in the kidding stall with our latest doe to kid along with her kid. We drenched her with a goat Power Punch and hoped for the best. It took nearly four days for Rose to finally perk up and seem interested in life again. Is there a medical term for this? Perhaps a bad case of baby blues and depression? Perhaps we will never know. And the question still remains, why did she come back into heat a second time and permit herself to be bred but yet delivered full-term kids from the first breeding?

Today Rose is backing to eating with the herd again. It is so good to see her standing there, finally contentedly chewing her indicator for a happy goat. I think I felt as poorly as her lamenting for her lost kids. There's no doubt in my mind that the maternal instinct in some animals is very high and they do mourn. I'd like to research this topic a little more and hear from other animal owners of their experiences in dealing with this.
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