February 27, 2020

Triplets For Miracle

On Tuesday, Miracle spent a lot of time in the barn, even when the others went out. Her due date was March 1st, so we were well within her expected labor and delivery time frame. Dan and I prepared the kidding stall, and at afternoon chore time I moved her in.

At suppertime she finally started pushing. I always watch to get a clue as to how the baby is presenting. Two feet is normal, followed by a nose if the kid is head first. I saw neither feet nor nose, so I gently tried to feel what was going on. This baby was trying to be born tail first—no good! I managed to find one leg and foot and pulled him out. 

Miracle's first buckling.

The second seemed to take awhile. This time when she started pushing there was only a nose. I felt around for front legs but couldn't feel them—no good! The baby's head was huge and Miracle wasn't able to make much progress on her own. First-timers are often tight. I knew I had to get that baby out, and somehow I managed to get my hand over the head and hook it at the neck with two fingers. Miracle screamed and it took a lot of pulling but she managed to deliver a huge black buckling.

Interested onlookers

There was no time for a picture, however, because the third kid was right behind him, also nose first, also no legs, also no good! This one was smaller so easier to pull out. It was a doe, but she was still and not breathing. Trouble was, kids #2 and #3 were still firmly attached to their umbilical cords and a yet undelivered placenta. Dan ran to get my surgical scissors and I cut the cords. The black buckling was sputtering, but the little doe still wasn't breathing. 

Black buckling was second, little doeling was last.

I spent the next several minutes furiously massaging with a towel and clearing the remains of the birth sac and mucous from her airways. She started to squawk and pant, and I noticed her tongue was bluish. That's a sign of not enough oxygen—no good! She had a lot of mucous down her throat, which I was able to pull out in strings. She continued to pant and cry and eventually, her tongue became more pinkish. She still had trouble breathing, however, which was worrisome. She was shivering. She needed to conserve her energy to breath, so I put a kid coat on her, even though the temperature was mild.

Being born is hard work!

Trying to help them get their first colostrum was a challenge too. The black buckling finally managed on his own, but the other two were slow. The little doe was still panting through her mouth and wouldn't suck. Between trying to get her on her mom and trying to bottle feed her, she got a little down. I started her on a lung tincture, just drops per dose.

The next day her breathing was better. She wasn't panicky and was able to stand on her own.

She and her littlest brother both still had trouble finding and latching onto a teat. They wouldn't take the bottle, but they would swallow half-droppersful of Miracle's milk, so at least I know they're getting something down until they are steadier on their feet and figure it out. It's funny how some kids catch on right away, while others are less steady and take longer.

So, all's well that ends well, but it was definitely not an enjoyable kidding, nor one that I want to repeat.

UPDATE: I'm sad to have to say that we lost the little doe. What happened? Click here.

Triplets For Miracle © February 2020


Cockeyed Jo said...

Yeah!!! For the doeling. She's a trooper.

Sam I Am...... said...

I'm sure Miracle would agree with you! Poor gal but she was lucky to have you there with her. Congratulations to both of you!

Frank and Fern said...

I know from experience that you are almost as tired as those two kids. Hope they come around and are able to gain strength. It's hard to have expectations for doe to be a good producer, then have an experience like this.

You just never know how things will go, even for an experienced doe. We sold a four year old doe this year that was a great mom, good udder, lots of milk. Then she had a retained placenta and mastitis. We treated and treated, then thought we had her ready to go for kidding this year. Nope, the mastitis was back, one side was ruined, then the other side got it as well. You just never know.

Hope Miracle and kids do well. Get some rest! Fern

Mama Pea said...

Ugh, what a difficult kidding! Just reading this post, my emotions went right back to a couple of bad ones we went through when we had our goat herd. Funny how you never forget the frustration and near panic of times when you know you have to "do something" to help one of your animals during a situation like that. I know your breed of smaller goats frequently do have triplets but gosh, couldn't they be satisfied with one nice, big kid or even two normal sized ones?? ;o)

Ed said...

First timers always made me nervous. If things went wrong, it was mostly with them. Fortunately you were there to help out.

Leigh said...

Jo, let's hope so!

Fern, oh so true. And no matter how prepared you think you are, there's always something to challenge that. Some things can be overcome, but others can't. Mastitis can be something that refuses to be beaten. That happened to my best Nubian when we had them. It was frustrating.

Mama Pea, well, we've had a number of years of no problems, so I reckon I can't be too surprised to have them now. I have to say that I'm glad it's behind us! Hopefully, Ellie's kidding will go smoother.

Ed said...

I suppose you have a small enough population, you don't/can't cull your mother goats based on birthing/mothering abilities. When we had pigs, we did that off an on over the years mostly for mothering problems.

Leigh said...

Ed, I've found that to be true as well; first-timers have the most problems. It's also why I feel it's vital to be present. Had we not been there it's possible the big guy could have been stuck and I'd have lost mother and two of the kids. Thankfully, it wasn't that way!

Helberg Farm Stories said...

We raised Cashmere (Boar/Kiko cross) goats and you made me remember one spring where almost every one of our ladies had triplets - EEK! That was a ton of goats bouncing around our fields but loved every minute of them. It was fun to sit down in the field and have babies climbing all over me. Ahh, those fun days. Thanx for the memory!

Nancy In Boise said...

Good that you knew what to do! Hopefully they'll all thrive

Kris said...

Nothing but respect for ya, lady. Wow. Good job. (P.S. sent you an email....) Take care, Kris

Boud said...

You certainly earned your stripes as a midwife. What an ordeal for everyone. You must be wiped out. I hope the mom is doing well. Looks as if her kids are.

tpals said...

That was a nerve-wracking read! So glad you were able to save them all.

Leigh said...

I so appreciate everyone's lovely comments, and am sad to say that we lost the little doe. See "Newer Post" for what happened.