Birthing and Labour

Fifi was happily grazing with the other goats on the morning she kidded. Some goats will slowly start isolating themselves from the main herd, to try and find a quiet spot to birth. If you notice this, it’s best to pull them into a secure and safe area in preparation for kidding.

(Fifi kidded 2 hours after we pulled her into the isolated kidding area)

Depending on the goat, sometimes we bring them into their own area about 1 week out from kidding. Some cope ok with this, others like being with the rest of their friends.

We keep feeling the ligaments when we know the due dates are nearing and always do our best to be present for the births. Notice how the ligaments are gone and you can almost wrap your fingers around the tailbone.

   

From side on her hips are very sunken and tailbone is high.

Within 1 hour, there was a long mucous string, so we knew delivery was not too far away

Some goats will lay down to deliver, or some may stand. Fifi did both. Often a change of position is a way of getting the kids into the correct spot for delivery.

                 

The bubble starts to appear on each push, and gradually you should see 2 white hooves with a nose sitting on top.

 

This means the kid is coming out in the perfect position. Don’t break the bubble, it will break on its own as the contractions and pushing continue.

Once the head is out,

the body will pretty much slide out quickly with the next few pushes.

Generally the mother will immediately lick the wet mess on the ground. Just clean the goo away from nose to allow the baby to breath.

Sometimes if there’s another kid (or 2) coming, they only lick a little before going into a second birth.

                 

In this case, we help dry off the kid so it keeps warm. Encourage mum to do most of the cleaning as this is her babies scent and VERY important for bonding.

Kids are generally up on their feet within 5-10 minutes and searching for the teat.

                 

It takes a while for them to get the knack of suckling, but most get it straight away with a little help.

If there doesn’t seem to be any milk, check the teat for a small blockage and milk udder until a small amount of milk comes out. DON’T squeeze too much, as this is the Colostrum and it’s extremely important to a newborn in the first 24-48 hours. Colostrum provides all the important antibodies and immunity that their systems need to fight disease in the early days. Without it they are susceptible to picking up an illness. Now sit back and watch the bonding continue.

Give mum a nice drink of warm molasses water to give her energy and also provide good quality hay and grain.

We use small coats on the babies if weather is cold, otherwise just a nice enclosed area with straw or some form of bedding to stay snug.

Enjoy your new additions.


© The Dillons 2015