Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Found this page with fantastic illustrations of kidding positions and how to deal with them. Thought I'd share it:

http://www.gryphontor.com/showarticle.php?id=7

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Thanks so much for sharing. They are great illustrations and info.

Those were VERY good! Bookmarked AND pinned. :)

I've converted this to a PDF file so I can put it on the barn wall.  In a panic, I would not be likely to remember to check the file.

Thank you ever so much for sharing!

How did you do that, Glenna!? I was thinking it would be great printed out too! 

When you select "print" you should see an option for print to pdf. You should be able to print it out without converting to pdf first though. Try that first. If not, convert to pdf, open as pdf and then print it. 

Rachel Whetzel said:

How did you do that, Glenna!? I was thinking it would be great printed out too! 

The drawings and explanations are great, but I don't understand why so many people think that a doe can't give birth to a kid that is tail first. We've had lots of does do it. I have never (knock on wood) had to go fishing for a hind leg when a kid was presenting tail first. I wonder if this is more of a problem with standard breeds?

What I did because I can . . . (yes, I know, shame on me) . . .  I opened up a word processing document and copied the text at the top, for me because I have a Mac that was Pages.  After saving it, I then made the images with Grab (Windows also has a utility to do that) and put them into the document.  This takes a bit of time because there are 13 images.  I would have liked to just print the page either directly to the printer or to a PDF document but it cut the images in parts because of page length, bummer.  Your own browser might not do that so check it to see.  Also, in my word processing document, I put the web site address in the header and the author's email address in the footer so I know where it came from and can contact her later.

If I were using Windows, I would do a screen print (hold down the alt key and screen print) to put it on the clipboard; then open Paint, copy the image into Paint and then select the part of the screen print I want and copy and paste it into the word processing document.  Windows has a way of selecting just the part of the screen you want but I don't remember how since I now only use it at work now.  It is really the images you want.  If you know how to just select the image (not the entire screen), then do that and print it for each one. I know I'm a bit nuts but I'm thinking that these will be very good on the barn wall in general but definitely for an emergency.  I'm looking at it this way, if I am prepared then I won't have a repeat of last year's Capri's experience but always like Summer's forever - I had the nightmare so it's time for all happy dreams now.

Windows does not come with PDF as a print option but you can download one or buy Adobe Acrobat.  Even though I have the pdf printer, I chose to buy Acrobat because of all the options it has with it.  As useful computer programs go, it is really not that expensive.  It's frustrating at work because the boss won't buy it and we are always printing documents to scan them to email the pdf files of them to people when we could skip the physical printing (and save all that ink!) and do it all from the computer.  Lots of penny wise, pound foolish there in all areas.

I wondered about that too since on my first kidding last summer, the two boys presented tail first and she had no trouble pushing them out. This site appears to be a nigerian dwarf farm because I looked at the links to other pages. I think the illustrations are well done and could be helpful when trying to figure out how they're presenting if the doe seems to be in trouble.

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

The drawings and explanations are great, but I don't understand why so many people think that a doe can't give birth to a kid that is tail first. We've had lots of does do it. I have never (knock on wood) had to go fishing for a hind leg when a kid was presenting tail first. I wonder if this is more of a problem with standard breeds?

Sorry, Deborah, but last year that (the babies breech) and the size and weight issue was the cause of Capri's tragedy.  As you know, there are those rare conditions where the worst happens, and it did here.  I can tell you for sure that if I see a breech starting again, I will absolutely panic after all that.  The vet will receive my call if that baby is not out within ten minutes, not over an hour like with the first one last year (and no more without the vet) to come immediately.  And I will never again ever believe it if anyone, the vet included, tells me once the first one is born, the others will be easy.  Seven hours later, the other three were still inside. I will *always* follow my gut and never reason myself into listening again, telling myself I'm just over-reacting.  My mind tells me that nothing like that would ever happen again, but I will feel much, much better if I see a nose and hooves every time.  Last year's experience is why the images are going on the barn wall - so I will never need to refer to them if all is right in the world.

Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

The drawings and explanations are great, but I don't understand why so many people think that a doe can't give birth to a kid that is tail first. We've had lots of does do it. I have never (knock on wood) had to go fishing for a hind leg when a kid was presenting tail first. I wonder if this is more of a problem with standard breeds?

Oh, I'm not saying that it wouldn't cause a problem in some cases, but it is incorrect to say that the kid won't be born tail first unless it is very small. If I don't see progress in 15-20 minutes, even if it is hoof and nose first, I know something isn't right. When Giselle had the same two inches of a huge hoof sticking out for 20 minutes last month, I knew we had a problem, especially when I felt the nose less than two inches inside of her. That 5-pound kid was not coming out of her naturally, regardless of which way it was positioned.

Someone on Facebook a couple of weeks ago was telling the story of how she was trying to push a kid back into the doe so she could get her hand in there to grab the legs as the doe was trying to give birth to this kid tail first, and the woman finally gave up, and the kid shot out. But the woman had heard that she would have to go in and fish for the feet. That simply is not usually true -- at least not with NDs. If you are staring at the same little bit of tail for more than 20 minutes, something is wrong, but as long as a doe is making progress, even if it's 1/4 inch per contraction, she can probably do it. And after having a doe die from a ruptured uterus last year -- even though it was a vet who had her hands in the doe -- I am even more paranoid about putting my hands inside of a doe.

The absolute worst thing anyone can ever do in a birthing situation is panic. I've done it twice and it was horrible both times, and I have promised myself I will always stay calm. There really is no reason to panic. A perfectly healthy kid does not die within seconds if it is still inside the doe. It takes hours of labor for a kid to die. If you don't fully understand the situation before you start pulling, you can make a bad situation much worse. There is always time to sit back, carefully watch the situation, BREATHE, say a little prayer, and then slowly and carefully do something if it needs to be done -- which may include calling the vet. 

Hijacking this thread a bit with a bad kidding story. Looking for feedback, and possibly assurance that I did the best I could in my situation.
I heard a goat over the monitor doing the pushy scream at 1:35am one night this week. I was out there by 1:45 and there was one foot out. I watched her push with no visible progress for about half an hour (I've been too quick to help other times). I finally decided to feel around a bit. There was a head right at the entrance and one behind it. I *thought* the foot was associated with the head in behind but I wasn't sure. By the time we hit 45 minutes of pushing I was getting very antsy. I got the head at the entrance out and tried to pull the kid. Nothing happened. I pushed the leg back in case it didn't belong to the presenting head. Still no progress. I started crying, convinced that I was a completely incompetent goat keeper, then pulled it together and called my husband who was asleep in the house. He agreed that he would drive the goat to the vet if necessary. I had to stay home because we have a 4 month old who is nursing, as well as a toddler and 4 year old. It took me a bit to get hold of an available vet, plus we had to make absolutely sure that it was necessary because it was an hour long drive in very bad winter weather conditions. Finally I headed in and my husband was getting the car ready. He went to get the doe and found that, after an hour and a half of pushing, she had delivered twins. Both dead. I'd done some damage to the first trying to get it out.
What would others have done, given our difficulty with getting to a vet? Does it sound like I got involved too soon seeing as she eventually delivered on her own?

I remember Deb saying that a lot of times she sees issues with kids in the birthing canal like you've described, and how often those kids are dead. She has mentioned that a lot of times, the tangle in the canal happens BECAUSE they are dead,  and can't move and adjust themselves as they move through the canal. Sounds to me like at least one of the two was already dead. If I were to guess, I would say it was the first, but I really don't have any experience other than what I've read here. I def. don't think you did something wrong. Sounds like you tried to let things progress, and did what you could with what you had. Don't be too hard on yourself!! 

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