Goat-O-Rama Kids of 2017
Delilah's kids are sired by Rambo (the black buck) and Jezebel's belong to Rocky (the red buck). But by the looks of them they could all have the same daddy!

Our pasture is incredibly lush at the moment! We mostly have brome grass but also a mixture of buffalo grass and other high altitude grasses. The front pastures are mostly brome, which is our lushest grass. We also have quite a few weeds in the mix, but not enough to make the pastures unhealthy for the number of critters we have.
Three more babies last night! (Late last night, I might add.) Nubbin looked ready to pop all day but she took her pretty time about it and didn't actually get down to business until around 8:30 or 9:00. It was a looong delivery. Nubbin has had kids twice by herself unassisted, and the last time she had kids she made it look very easy and the whole thing was done in well under an hour. But we've not been blessed with easy kiddings this year. I wonder what we're doing wrong.

The water broke, and after a very long delay the first thing we saw coming toward us was a little black tail. I had to go in and fetch out the hind legs before "Tornado" could make an appearance. Then labor stalled for a very long time. Nubbin only pushed a few times, but she seemed to sense something wasn't right and she wouldn't get on with the job. As she's a very capable and roomy doe, I decided she wanted help and had to reach in once more and explore. "Storm" was coming head first with no legs and he was sideways and very angry about it. When I found a front leg it was on top, over the head and I had to do some twisting to get him to come out the right way. It was reassuring to feel him kicking and struggling as he slide into place. When I reached in for Storm I could feel a dome-shaped third head bobbing around in the background. Thankfully "Lightening" was smart and he came out the proper way all by himself. He was also the first kid up and nursing.

I'm not up for loading pictures tonight, but we've got three very Nubian-looking black kids, two with white splashes. They basically look just like their papa, Rambo, except they have sundgau markings, and one of them (surprisingly) has no white at all. Tornado was a dumb-dumb and couldn't seem to figure out how to nurse all night. I eventually milked Nubbin out into a bottle and gave him that before bed (which wasn't until almost 1:30 a.m.). He still hadn't figured it out this morning so he got another bottle before he finally learned how to get his own meals. Whew! I never knew a kidding could take so long! This was also the messiest kidding we've ever had. I sure hope Tigerlily has an easy time because I'm tired of fishing around for stuck kids!
Photos finally! I was up very late Saturday night and into the wee hours of Sunday morning with Nubbin's crew, but they're cute enough I can forgive them. 

Look! It's a fuzzy bucket o' love!  

Tornado was the cork that stopped the whole delivery and kept us up so late. He was a strong kid and was up and walking in the usual amount of time, and he had no shortage of determination to nurse, but for some reason he just couldn't find those teats. He adamantly refused help, and if I forced the teat into his mouth and squirted it full of milk, he would turn his head away without swallowing or latching on. He wanted nothing to do with nursing as long as I was interfering. But as soon as I'd set him down he would toddle around bumping the udder and suckling on everything at head level. He couldn't figure out that he had to reach DOWN to find the milk spigot. Eventually I gave up trying to help him nurse and filled a bottle for him instead. That settled the matter and at least he went to bed with a full tummy. Next morning he still hadn't caught on (even after watching his brothers), so I bottle fed him again. He was very hungry! It was Phil who finally got him nursing later that afternoon. Now he's eating like a champ!    

Little Storm was a bit of a sorry character that first day. He's very bow-legged and his knees won't straighten so he had trouble standing and did better on his knees. It didn't hinder him from nursing, and maybe it helped because it meant that unlike the other two, he didn't have to reach down to find the milk bar. He was a little straighter yesterday, and if he's not a lot better today I plan to splint his legs for a while each day and see if that helps. His legs are straight and proper when I flex them, but it feels like his tendons are very tight and causing the legs to curl back. He cried a bit the first time I straightened them, but the next morning he only whimpered, and last night when I straightened them he stayed quiet and relaxed so I think he'll be fine. 

Lightning is perfectly fine with nice, straight legs. This guy really lives up to his name. He shot into the world without help, immediately started crawling toward the udder on his belly, got himself a drink without guidance, and next thing we knew he was on his feet and walking around.  

Streeeeetch, Tornado! 

"Just look at that there bow-legged cowboy! Should I give him a push?"  
Phil splinted little Storm's front legs this afternoon with pieces of cardboard from a paper towel roll. I removed the splints this evening and I'm thrilled to report that he's almost completely normal now! He was immediately better with the splints and started walking more than we'd seen him walk up to then, and he even started hopping around with his brothers a little bit (in a very stiff-legged manner!). He had a hard time laying down though and was uncomfortable with his legs stuck out all the time, so I removed them for bedtime and from his improvement in just a few hours' time I'm thinking we probably won't have to splint them again in the morning like I thought we would. Yay Storm!! He has beautiful, long legs now that they're straight!
Introducing Phil Hassey: Goat Pediatrician Extraordinaire! 

Phil cut up a paper towel tube, rolled a piece around each of Storm's bent legs, and vet wrapped it securely in place. 

"What are these things?"

He had to inspect both sides. 

Then it was time to go back outside with mama.

One of the first things Storm did after receiving his new splints was he started leaping! This poor little kid had been crawling on his knees or walking pathetically in a kind of downward dog position with his feet out in front of him, completely unable to stand up straight, let alone hop around. The splints offered him a whole new range of activities!  

Today Storm is walking just fine. His knees are still slightly weak and buckle more easily than normal, but within a day or two we'll never be able to tell there was anything wrong! Props to Phil for fixing our poor broken baby!
What beautiful little kids Nanno, you must be so pleased! Was Storm's legs bowed because he was one of triplets and there wasn't much room inside Nubbin before he was born? Isn't it amazing how only a few hours of splinting can do the trick. That second photo of them all in the bucket is hilarious - I can't tell which head belongs to which body!
Happiness is a baby goat snoring in your lap
Sad day at Goat-O-Rama. Tigerlily finally went into labor this afternoon, and she couldn't have picked a nicer day for it. It was sunny and warm with a cool breeze, and her water broke around 2:30, so I was anticipating a wonderful kidding in the outdoors on the clean grass. Unfortunately things did not go so well for poor Tigerlily. This has been a terrible year of kidding for us. Everyone has needed help, and I'm going to have to review our nutrition and minerals and see if I'm doing something wrong.

Anyway, Tigerlily wasn't making much progress. Even when she pushed, not much was moving and she would give up quickly. But she wasn't weak or tired. She was more like Nubbin--her body knew something was wrong and labor was stalling. Her bubble burst and she kept pushing out fluid but no kid. When I reached in, she wasn't very dilated and I couldn't get my hand in at all. We waited about twenty minutes to see if she would dilate any more. She did, and I was finally able to get my hand in but it was a very tight squeeze. It took me only a short time to find the front legs, but the head was nowhere to be found. I had to reach in up to my elbow before I located it far away in the depths. The kid was on his side with his head on top but turned completely backwards. I was able to reach along his jaw and find his nose and I was able to bring it toward me with my fingers in his mouth, but that's as far as I could get him. His head simply refused to come my direction.

I'd only been trying for about ten minutes when my vet friend, Kathy, drove up to check on her horses, which I've been boarding at my place. I flagged her down and she came over to see what she could make of it. Long story short, we both worked for a good hour and maybe more, taking turns as our arms got numb. Tigerlily had plenty of strength and "push" in her, but she was way too tight for such a large kid and neither of us could get our arms in quite far enough, and that little head simply refused to turn. Kathy finally gave up and said we needed to take Tigerlily into the emergency vet clinic for a C-section. At this point it was a matter of saving her and not the kid. I decided to try just once more.

I pushed the feet completely back in (they'd been out up to now), and I went in as far as I could for the head. It took me a while, but I finally managed to cup my hand around that big, nobby head and bring it round. The only reason was that by now Tigerlily was so exhausted that she didn't have the strength to push my hand away, and she had finally dilated just enough to allow my elbow to fit past the opening. I got the head to the surface and then found a foot. From there I was able to pull baby out, but sadly there was no life in him by then. We sucked out his nostrils with a big syringe, slapped his ribs, rubbed vigorously, swung him back and forth, but to no avail. A lot of fluid came out of his lungs but he never gasped for air and we never felt a heartbeat.

We buried him near Nubbin's 2014 kids at the back corner of the property. There are some pretty stones marking his grave, poor baby. He was the prettiest kid yet--red with lots of roaning, white spots on his sides, white lacing around the edges of his ears, a beautifully marked face, and black legs and dorsal stripe. He was quite big, as one might expect from a week-late delivery, but a doe as large as Tigerlily should have had enough room for him. I'm a bit mystified why she was so tight in there. She doesn't look narrow.

One small mercy is that Tigerlily is not mourning. She was in a lot of pain and was in shock for a while after the delivery. I don't think she knew or cared about the kid at all. I gave her banamine, vitamin B complex, probiotics, and of course she'll be on antibiotics for a while. I don't think she'll mourn like Nubbin did. I'm the one that's mourning the kid. He was a lovely boy. Here's hoping things are better next year.
I'm sorry to hear that. I've experienced similar dissasters-- I don't remember what though because I built a mental block on purpose.

Seems like having something to relax the mom might be just the trick for this situation?
As much as I hate these rough kiddings, I find them fascinating. I don't want to build mental blocks because I learn something new every time, and the things I learn even in these sad kiddings may save one down the road. I keep replaying this one in my head and thinking about what I might do differently if presented with it again in the future. I'm fortunate I'm fairly ambidextrous. That's where our vet had a hard time. She's very right handed and this kid's head was way to the left, making it very much a left-handed job. My left hand and wrist are quite bruised this morning from Tigerlily squeezing the life out of them yesterday! If I ever have to do this again, I plan to find the head before I look for the feet. Once I got the feet out, there was no pushing them back against Tigerlily's contractions, and there was so little room that the head and feet couldn't fit in the passage with my hand in there at the same time. It wasn't until Tigerlily ran out of energy that I was able to put the feet back, reach in just a bit further, and finally bring the head around. A nerve block to stop the contractions would have been helpful in this case, but of course we didn't have anything like that.

It's comforting to know that even a qualified vet with many years of experience can't always set things right. If it had just been me I might be blaming myself this morning. But in the end it was me who got the kid out after the vet gave up, and we did not have to have a c-section so I'm very grateful that I gave it one more go. My wrist and hand are nicely bruised this morning from Tigerlily squeezing them to death. Both me and the vet kept giving up when our hands went numb. We tag-teamed that way.

One thing I learned was the value of a straw bale. Phil and his dad (yes, my in-laws are visiting right now) broke their backs holding Tigerlily up in a standing position against her will. When Kathy showed up, she suggested we use a straw bale underneath her so she couldn't lay down. It worked a charm! She still kicked Kathy and I in the face a few times, and all five people there besides me got knocked down by her at some point. She's a big, strong goat is Tigerlily! But the straw bale helped immensely despite the occasional rodeo.

Sad as it was, I'm glad I had a little time to hold baby. We dried him off and cleaned him up well and I was able to cuddle him for a while. He looked asleep. He was so pretty! All those beautiful colors and roan spots with a little white tip on his tail. He was perfect. This was the most-anticipated kid of the season for us, and I was so wanting a buck. And he had one wattle. Just one. It was adorable. Phil said he was too cute to be allowed on earth so God had to take him back. I said he's going up to be with Cuzco, who is probably giving everyone in heaven a really hard time by now and needs something to distract him. Cuzco always hated baby goat season and timed his exit perfectly (so he thought). Apparently he's not getting off so easy! Now the one-horned Wonder Goat has a little one-wattled sidekick to keep him occupied.

In reflecting on our many blessings, the other seven kids are all doing marvelously well. Delilah's udder is staying healthy (clear CMT this morning!), and she has more than enough milk for her babies. Nubbin's kids are starting to get really fun now. Everyone is bouncing, bouncing, bouncing! Racing from one place to another, then ricocheting off rocks and trees and walls. Jezebel and Delilah's kids were nervous of us for a while because they all have overprotective moms. Also, the bad weather has kept us from being outside playing with everyone as much as usual. But this past week we've had nice weather and I've taken time each day to play with the kids and get them playing with me. Now they're coming up to me and letting me catch them. When they start jumping on me I'll know they have no fear, and then I can start training them to stay down. Tongue
I am so sorry Nanno.  You did everything you could. Even under the best of circumstances, these types of difficult births are bound to happen to everyone that breeds goats, sooner or later.  And as you said, you will learn from the experience. I hope Tigerlilly heals up quickly and that the rest of your kids continue to be happy and healthy-- Heart Hugs  Heart --Irene

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