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Imagine being pregnant with your first child or your spouse is. You are worried and everything is a sign. That twinge in the back? Must be labor. Well, with goats it’s no different. In fact, I would say dealing with a goat kidding is worse.
Before we get too far into this, I have a great course on the basics of goat care. I call it Goat Crash Course: Goat 101. In this course, I explain things like types of shelter, types of feeds and hays, basic assessments and so much more! Check it out!
My First Goat Kidding
We started baby watch with Champ on March 21st. I started my checks earlier because I had no idea what I was doing or looking for. Checking ligaments became a multiple times a day thing. Taking a peak to see if any discharge was showing up. I called the vet who explained all the different things that need to happen in the weeks leading up to birthing, including not eating. Two weeks of stressing about my best girl and she was finally in labor!
I texted our breeder because she’s been waiting just as much as I have and got together all my stuff. Now, I’m pretty extra when it comes to my babies. They get everything I can possibly give them when they are in situations like this. I grabbed molasses water to help with her energy levels. She had fresh grain and alfalfa pellets, and hay. I also had tons of towels, puppy pads and other stuff just in case.
The first baby’s front and back leg came out. I had to attempt to reposition and by the time she came out she was stillborn. The second baby was Stella, and she came out perfect. I had to help just a little bit and then dry her off. The third baby was one hoof, then the 2nd but the head was back. I fought for 20 minutes trying to reposition this baby to get her out and just couldn’t.
I tried resuscitating the first and third babies but they were too far gone. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done as a homesteader.
In the end, we had three gorgeous doelings but Stella was the only one to live. We think that when our other goat Bella, rammed and then rolled Champ it moved the babies and started her labor early. But we will never know.
Stella is great and has been gaining weight like a champ. Champ has also been gaining a ton of weight which is fantastic because we were really worried about her. Her milk has come in and she really is a good momma.
So What Did I Learn About Goat Kidding?
- More towels are always better. Seriously, I used 10 towels for three babies…..
- Puppy pads are great if they doe actually stays on them.
- Get a pull chain. My fingers are too big for both my fingers and the baby’s head to come through the birth canal.
- Don’t panic. It will ultimately be okay, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
- Watch ALL the difficult kidding videos. It could save your kids life.
- Not all labors go the same. The vet said she would stop eating and she ate between pushing.
- Discharge may not start until just before labor and not 12-24hrs in advanced. Try like two hours.
But I wouldn’t change a bit of it. I love my goats and Champ and Stella are the best girls!
Future Goat Kidding
I could go in depth about the various times that my girls have gone into labor. If you are interested in how to tell if your goat is in labor, I have a post here that could help. I could tell you all the things I think you need when during your goat kidding. But the reality is that it’s not going to help a lot when your in the trenches. The biggest take away is to stay calm and be ready to intervene. That’s how I have gotten through the years of goats being born on the farm.