Goats/doe delivery

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QUESTION: My doe delivered unexpectedly yesterday evening and I think my son startled her. We dried the kids off, but the doe started acting very protective and obviously did not want us around her babies. This morning she was laying with the babies but has now left them on their own in the pasture. She won't let me near her which is unusual and won't eat her food. Her back is bowed up and her tail is down, she is walking around, laying down and standing back up..she won't settle down. Any suggestions? It's like she is abandoning her babies almost. When she had babies last year she stayed right with them. I wonder if us helping dry the babies confused her.

ANSWER: Are her pelvic ligaments still gone?  Does she feel like she has another kid inside, or did you see the placenta pass yesterday?  Does she seem like she is still pushing?  Any discharge from her currently?  Sounds like it may be difficult to check, but would feel for the pelvic ligaments and another kid inside (from the outside is fine) and, if possible, take her temperature.  It is possible she has an infection.  She may be constipated (sometimes happens after they eat the placenta).  Is she allowing her kids to nurse off of her? At this point in time I would advise taking the kid goats out of harms way - take them inside your house - perhaps a small dog kennel or box - start feeding them milk from the mom - use of a Pritchard nipple (yellow band with red nipple) works best for kid goats.  Would be sure the kids get colostrum - available from the mom usually for 2 days.  Doubt if your son startling her did anything to cause any of these items.  Have you seen her poop and pee?  Let me know - Donna

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QUESTION: I have seen her pee. Not poop. She is letting the kids nurse and is perking up a little bit. Her back is no longer bowing and she seems to feel better. She had 2 babies yesterday, are you suggesting there may be a third kid? She no longer has a discharge. She will not let me close to her at this point, and I have not wanted to push her because of the way she has acted so far. Very nervous today. I wondered if I should give her a penicillin shot just as a precaution and maybe B injection. Any advice? I am preparing to bottle feed the kids but wanted them to get the colostrum for a couple of days from her since she is so uptight.

Answer
Thanks for the update.  She may be constipated. Did you see the placenta in her pen? If you could get a temperature on her you could find out if she is indeed constipated - a very low body temperature - about 90 to 96 - would indicate constipation.  If so, a dose or two of mineral oil (human type) - 1/2 cup per 50 pounds of body weight every 4 hours for two doses, then wait until the next day, if pooping no more dosing, if not then another two doses of mineral oil.  You can certainly start her on penicillin 3 cc/100 pounds (these should be intramuscular injections - have you given these before) twice a day for 3 days to cover for possible infection.  If she is eating she does  not need B vitamins, if not eating then B vitamins (complex containing B1/thiamin) would be a good idea.  Probiotics are needed during the time she is on antibiotics, yogurt or gel or powder type once a day.  You could milk out the colostrum from her and feed the kids via the bottle too.  

Hope this helps - let me know - Donna

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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres

Expertise

All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.

Experience

27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

Organizations
NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Publications
Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

Education/Credentials
4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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