Busy day today.
First thing this morning, checked that no-one has kidded overnight, and that toxemia #3 is still hanging on. Everything ok. Coffee.
Fed the goats, and when they all went out to eat breakfast I saw one that was in labour, with part of the amniotic sac hanging out. She didn't look quite right so decided on an internal exam. The sac had broken but the goat had barely dilated and the kid was still way back inside. Had to manoeuvre him into place in the birth canal and pull him out. He was stillborn. Back inside found another kid who came out alive. Antibiotics and dexamethasone for the goat who's feeling sore. The kid is doing fine.
Then we had breakfast and did the milking.
Several goats kidded in the meantime, so afterwards we checked all the new kids to make sure they had suckled. Some of the goats have such enormous udders that the newborn kids can't latch on.
^^^ "am I well endowed or what? "
^^^ smart kid has discovered that it's easier to latch onto those teats if you're lying down.
Then high emotion. Toxemia #3 had broken waters! Time for another internal as she is far too weak to be having contractions or pushing. The first kid was ENORMOUS. And very weak. Male.
Explored further inside and found number two. Also enormous and male.
We thought no wonder that she was having problems with those two giants inside. The first kid was too floppy to suckle, The second was ok and we adopted him out to another goat as his mother is not in shape to stand up, much less raise a kid. The adoptive mother was suspicious but has accepted him for the moment.
^^^ "you don't smell quite right...."
^^^ "this is MY baby"
^^^ "I'll take care of you anyway but I know you're not REALLY mine"
Went to have lunch. There was a goat that went into labour while we were milking but still hadn't kidded after lunch. She was just hanging out, bleating and looking awkward, but not pushing at all. And then another goat kidded in her vicinity, so she decided it was better not to bother with labour and all that pain and discomfort, and just take one of the other goat's kids. So after lunch I discovered the two mothers sharing the two kids. Separated the real mother and her lovely spotty kids:
Then time for the third internal of the day. The goat had been in labour for hours with nothing to show for it. I could barely fit three fingers in she was so tight. Hadn't dilated in the least. But feeling my hand in the birth canal was enough to make the contractions start. After five minutes I could fit all my fingers in. I decided to leave her to it and see if she continued to advance on her own.
Time for more coffee.
When I went back to check on her, she was lying down writhing and bleating and pushing like ****. That was one big head and one tight hole to push it through! She did it on her own though, stood up and the kid suddenly slithered out. And then a second kid. Both crossbred black and white, but both male.
Went back to check on toxemia #3 and was shocked to see some cleats emerging from her backside. Unbelievably there was still a third kid in there
It came out easily enough - she's just too weak to push - and was equally as enormous as the first two. I was 100% sure this third kid would be female. After all, what are the chances of three males? (I think 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2, ie: 1/8). Well, we got the one chance out of eight, and it was another male. Such a shame. The crossbred males aren't destined for a long life, and seeing as that poor goat has almost killed herself getting those THREE giant kids into the world, I would have loved at least one to be a female. But no such luck.
Fortunately another goat was kidding at the time, just one kid, so toxemia #3's third kid rapidly got adopted. By this time her first kid, the floppy one, was strong enough to suckle with assistance so I plugged him into an amenable goat and he filled his belly with colostrum.
Poor mum looks like a stuffed animal that's lost all the stuffing from the ribcage backwards. Just a mound of loose skin and bones. She deserves a gold medal. Although she'll settle for a good night's sleep without three bolshy little boys kicking her guts out.
Today's tally of newborns:
Crossbred (spotty) kids: 6 males, 5 females.
Murcian (black or brown) kids: 5 males, 4 females.