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What an absolutely wild day having goat kids! A set of triplets and 2 sets of twins in the last three hours! Well, It all started last night as I was settling in for the night and my sister called. Her phone call was to let me know she had a ewe in labor and having problems. She has Katahdin sheep. She also had a stroke two years ago that makes most activities difficult. I had just taken my shower and was ready for a relaxing evening getting some knitting done.
So I went over to her place, which is about seven or eight miles away, to see what was going on and tried to help. The ewe was older and had lambed several times without difficulty. The only problem was both lambs were trying to have a race getting out. Both heads were trying to come out and a couple of legs. Not sure what leg belonged to what head.
I went in the ewe, but I couldn’t get them untangled. I just couldn’t picture in my mind what was connected to what. We decided my sister should call the vet. They quoted her almost $500 for an emergency visit and whatever else they had to do. Not within the realm of reality.
Then she called her closest neighbor to see if he could help it being he had cows. He explained he has never gone in a cow and his hands were rather large to go in a ewe. He did give the name of another neighbor that had helped him in the past turning a calf around. That neighbor said sure and came over and worked with the ewe. He had to push them back inside, untangle them, and pull one out at a time.
It was a great thing he was able to get the lambs out. You got to love the neighbor hotline. We could not have saved that ewe or lambs by ourselves without their help. We love our neighbors!
Oh, that wasn’t the end of my excitement. Today it started again.
I have Rambouillet sheep and dairy goats. I usually breed my goats to kid before the sheep. There are usually a couple of lambs I end up bottle feeding and it makes it easier when I’m milking the goats.
Well, three of my ewes lambed two weeks ago and only one goat. Today they made up for their lapse in activity. I got a little busy in the house with doing some cleaning and tax work. When I looked at the clock I realized it had been a while since I checked on the girls. So I went out to see if anyone was doing anything and they never cease to surprise me.
One of my does delivered triplets, but another doe, who was still very large and still pregnant, was standing over them and not letting the mom come and clean them. I went in and pulled the imposter mom out and put her in another pen. Picking up the babies I put them in a pen and I put the mom in with them. The babies were very cold. Oh, guess what, another doe was hiding in another corner and experiencing the last leg of her labor. I looked over and plop! A baby was delivered.
I was torn between going and making sure she was good and taking the three to the house to warm up. I dried the three as much as I could and left the towel on them to keep them a little warmer. Thank goodness for Idaho weather. It was 54 today!
Anyway, I went over to the doe delivering her baby and dried off that one, and made her comfortable. Oh, the imposter mom escaped and was trying to take these babies now. Ok lady, out of the barn you go! Back to babies, I went.
I grabbed two of the triplets that were very cold and not moving much and ran to the house. Then I called my sister to come help with my chaos and got my phone. After the phone call, I put the two goat kids in the deep sink with very warm water. I’ve found that if my hands think it’s hot, it’s just right for kids. I grabbed a thermometer and took their temperature.
The determining number is over 91 degrees you can usually save at that temperature but under that, not so much. They were at 93.9. I had to get them to at least 98.5 or better, 100 is ideal. I finally got them to 98.9. Took them out of the water and got the hairdryer.
If you make a tent over them with a towel or something and heat it with the hairdryer they get dried off and warm pretty quickly.
Ok, so now the two triplets were warmed up and they needed to get back with mom. Out I went and put them back with mom.
Then back to check on thief mom (Brighty). She decided she was just going to have to have her own babies to add to the chaos. Except she was kind of stuck. I went and got a towel and went back to pull the baby out. One arm and head showing so here we go. It was a very big boy. Dried him off and went to check on the second doe that kidded.
By this time I needed to find places for them to stay. I had three pens set up but one was being used. So I needed to build a couple more.
Last summer I had bought a bunch of new pallets just for this reason. I also found an extra piece of wire panel. This particular doe (Brighty) is one of only two does that has horns. Brighty knows how to use them too. I needed to put her somewhere that would be somewhat solid. Brighty has this thing, no one comes near her babies, even if they are in another pen.
Well, we got Brighty’s pen made and put her in with her babies then I needed to go through the list of what needs to be done. All the babies had to have their umbilicals taken care of. Some needed shortening and then Iodine.
All but the triplets had sucked. The triplets were still having a bit of trouble getting all their legs under them. Between my sister and me we kept taking turns putting the three little ones up next to mom’s udder trying to get them to suck.
All the moms needed their molasses water and fed. Check to make sure they all passed their afterbirth. Oh, and go check on the rest of the herd.
When I came out to initially check I wasn’t thinking I would be out long. I had a tee-shirt on with my vest. While things were hectic it was pretty comfortable, now it was getting chilly. Still had to set up the heat lamps for each of the moms.
There was still the issue of the doe that kidded two days ago. Having the baby by herself, even though this was her first time, she seemed to be doing ok. Except she would lift her leg when the baby tried to suck. The baby needed to get his colostrum so I took him to the house and fed him for a while.
Then I tried to put him and mom back together. I even put her on my milking stanchion so it was easier to control her. It worked fine on the stanchion so I figured when I put them back in the pen the kid would have more confidence and try harder to eat. No way. Mom was having nothing to do with it. And the funny thing is, she would holler when he was in with her and holler when he wasn’t.
I finally decided since I had to take one of the triplets off, I would just take him back to the house and let her go back to the herd. Her udder is small and doesn’t have much milk anyway.
That way the triples won’t be alone. They do much better when there is more than one.
Next, I went out with the Bo-SE and Nutra-drench. The triplets were pretty wobbly and we have a selenium deficiency in the area. I gave the triplets and the one in the house their dose.
Whew! Finally, everything was done that needed to be done. Oh, yeah, check herd again. Everyone seems to be quiet so maybe they’ve decided I’ve done enough for the day. I hope so because I don’t think I have anything left in the tank to do more. Tomorrow is another day.
Go visit one of my other posts about Goats!
Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian nor do I claim to be one. These are just some simple home remedies that have worked for me and I wanted to share.