As Luki's due date approached I began making more frequent checks on her. As a goat gets close to her time her udder will get fuller and the kids will drop into position. These things can happen several weeks before delivery. Then I watch for loss of the mucus plug and loosening of tail ligaments. These things usually indicate we're a matter of days away.
The first stage of labor is mild contractions which really aren't that noticeable, so I look for a change of behavior in the doe as a clue. Sometimes she'll go off by herself. Sometimes she gets spaced out like she's concentrating on something going on inside. Some paw the ground like they're making a nest. Some will lay down and look at their bellies as if wondering what's going on. When I see blood-tinged discharge, however, I know the show is about to begin.
Luki's only clue was that she was more talkative. I didn't catch that at the time, but thankfully I was checking often anyway. Going on chore time I headed out to the girls' shed and found her standing outside with a baby goat head sticking out of her rear end! Yikes! Kids are usually born feet first with a nose soon to follow. The delivery of an entire head without feet could only mean that the legs were bent and hung up somehow.
The first thing I did was to wipe the birth sac away from the baby's nose with my skirt. It sputtered and gasped which was a huge relief. I dragged Luki into the birthing stall and started trying to find feet. It was a tight fit and Luki hollered, but I finally managed to find the right front foot and pull it out. I couldn't find the other foot so I gently pulled on what I had and the baby slipped right out--a little girl.
Baby Girl didn't move at first so I massaged her vigorously with a towel until she roused. She remained lethargic and slow trying to get up, so I gave her a newborn dose of Nutri-Drench. Nutri-Drench is like an instant energy drink for goats or sheep, loaded with vitamins and electrolytes which assimilate quickly. I keep it as part of my kidding kit. Soon Baby Girl was up and and getting her tummy full of colostrum.
Within a few hours she was doing a pretty good job of trying to bounce around the kidding stall.
Luki was my last doe to kid, so our kidding season is officially over for the year. My final total is six girls and two boys. Not bad, huh?