Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

So one of our does kidded today. I knew this morning she was going to kid but had to go to work any way. So I went to work at 4:00am she was not in labor and I figured since she had her ligiments last night but they were gone this morning she would not kid until later in the morning or afternoon. My husband works swing shift so I thought she woudl be ok until he checked on her at 9:30am.  When he did she had three kids. We had her ultra sounded and the vet had said two to three kids so three was great. My husband called me at work and told me but said there was no pelcenta. I told him she may have ate it. So we had three healthy kids. But a couple of hours later my husband went out to check on the kids and he found a fourth dead. I feel awful. If he had stayed with her or if I had come home the fourth may have lived. We have no clue why he died. This is our third kidding season and the first kid we have lost. I sure hope we do not lose any more kids. I know this is part of having goats but it does not make it any easier.

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So sorry to hear!  My favorite goat breeder just experienced loss this week also.  It is never easy.  Hang in there!!

I am so sorry for your loss. :-(

{{{ Julia et al }}}

So sorry to hear that you lost one. Typically, if you miss a birth and find dead kids, it was due to either suffocation or hypothermia. A lot of kids are born in the sac, so if the doe doesn't get it ripped off and clean off the kid's nose fast enough, it could suffocate, and with three kids already on the ground, that is probably what happened. They tend to get pre-occupied with the ones already born and don't seem to notice much when a third or fourth one pops out sometimes.

Hypothermia happens pretty much the same way, but the kid is able to breath because either the sac broke during birth or the mom got it ripped off, but she just wasn't able to get enough goo cleaned off of it to keep it from getting cold. We even had a kid get hypothermia once when it was 50 degrees out, but it was windy, and the doe kidded in the pasture.

The reason you need to be at a birth isn't so that you can do anything big and heroic 95% of the time. It's just so that you can dry off the kids. Out of 300 kids born on our farm, I can count on one hand the number born dead when someone is there. It rarely happens. But if we miss a birth, it is actually pretty common to lose one or two if the doe has three or four. They are simply born too quickly and too close together for the doe to be able to clean them up adequately, and it really annoys me when people blame the doe. They sometimes shoot them out so fast that I even have trouble cleaning them up in time. They can seriously be less than a minute apart. And it is not a matter of survival of the fittest in this case -- it's like winning the birth-order lottery. If a kid happens to be third or fourth in line, they just don't get cleaned up fast enough.

Unfortunately, missing births is pretty much inevitable unless you live in your barn. It is still heart-breaking though, and it still upsets me every time it happens here. I'm always trying to figure out how we can NOT miss future births.

Oh, Julia!! I'm so sorry!! What a tough thing for you... Please don't beat yourself up over it too much.

So sorry sweety. I know it is hard but like Rachel said, don't beat yourself up. You have to stay on top of taking care of the other three. It is an unfortunate thing that does occasionally happen.

Thanks everyone. We try to be there for every kidding if we had realized she still had another kid my husband would have been there. You think of all the things you could have done after the fact. We have learned that ultra sounds are not always correct. The vet seemed pretty certain that there was not more then 3 kids. If we had not had the doe ultra sounded I think my husband would have been with the doe and the buck may have lived.Thanks Deborah for explaining why he probably died. From now on we will stay with the doe until we are sure she has passed the pelcenta. I feel bad about his passing but have learned valueable lessons.

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