for people who love the littlest dairy goats
It is with great sadness that I tell you that we went out this morning to find the perfect little blue eyed doeling dead. She was 9 days old. Her eyes were glazed, but she wasn't stiff yet. Any idea how long she would be dead based on those signs? I'm guessing we were less than an hour too late. I don't know if the mama laid on her or if she was too cold (she was TINY, about 1 pound at birth) or not thriving or what. I keep thinking I could have prevented it if only I had checked earlier or bottle fed her or... any number of things. *sigh* It is weighing heavy on me. Goodbye, my sweet little Shamar! =(
Oh, I am so sorry! I'm sure Deb and others will share their thoughts with you, and they have much more experience than I do. One pound at birth is very small, even for Nigerians, so it is possible that she had an underlying physical problem that caused her death. Was she a singleton or were there other kids born along with her? Was her mother a first freshener? Did she gain any weight in her nine days? Were there other adults goats in the pen with her? I don't think you should blame yourself at all - sometimes we lose kids for reasons that are not preventable. She was a beauty, and I know you must be very sad. Hugs.
So sorry to hear this! It does sound like she died very recently. Diane had a lot of great questions. After losing a tiny quad doeling that I feel certain starved to death years ago, I've always bottlefed kids that small, usually because they were not able to nurse on their own or because they could not compete with their three siblings for the two teats.
Thank you Diane and Deborah. She was one of three. I know the mama had plenty of milk cuz last year she had quads and gave close to 1/2 gallon per milking. Her brother was also about a pound and I will be watching him closely. I watched her nurse and she didn't seem efficient, but she was up and around and seemed lively and trying to nurse every time the other two were trying to nurse. She was usually up there with a teat and not the one being pushed out of the way when I watched... I have never had a kid this small, and never had any more than twins, so wasn't sure when it is time to bottle feed, but it was definitely in the back of my mind. Maybe that was my intuition that I should have listened to.
I don't know about weight gain, I didn't weigh her after the first day. I know both she and her tiny brother were shivering when they were outside, but it was also in the 30s and 40s. I checked on them nearly every night to make sure they were warm enough. Didn't check on them last night...
The bigger one is absolutely fine. Average size.
No, there are no other adult does in the pen with them. We found her dead when we were letting them out for the first time this morning, so only her mama could have hurt her by laying on her. Otherwise she was just too cold or starving. We were about an hour later than usual too, so I wonder if we would have been on time... =(
Next time I will know to listen to my intuition about bottle feeding and I definitely don't plan to breed for this time of year again ~ too cold. =(
I'm so sorry! She was lovely, and I'm sure that with a mother like that you were really excited to watch the little girl grow up. It is hard not to blame ourselves, but I hope you're feeling much better soon. Hugs to you! :)
This happened to me this Spring, with one of my triplets... in hind sight, I think she was failing to thrive... I actually DID bottle feed her, and she still died. Sometimes, they just have something wrong. So sorry for your loss!
So sorry to hear of your loss, my heart goes out to you. *hugs*