Our goat Merci, was due any day. In fact, she went past her due date and it was driving us mad! I must have walked out to her pen 10 times a day just to be sure I didn’t miss the birth like the last 2 times. Then, at 3pm on a freezing cold day, Ethan came inside and said, “She’s not getting up anymore Mom and she’s panting so it looks like she’ll have them tonight.” I love that my 9 year old can assess impending labor. Goat labor that is. He’ll totally be able to add that to his resume. Goat labor predictor extraordinaire.
Anyway, we got all set up with towels and my camera because, yes, okay I was going to film it for you all! Surprise! But, actually plans started to go awry when she kept pushing and pushing and nothing was coming. After about 30 min. I decided I needed to feel with a glove and see if there were any hooves coming down the canal.
I put a glove on and felt around, well, I definitely felt something, but it wasn’t hooves. In a normal position, the baby comes out with two feet first. They can be head first or tail first, but they need to have those hooves first. Otherwise, you’ve got a problem on your hands.
|This is your normal position|
|This is your normal position on drugs.|
Merci’s first goat baby was trying to come out bottom first. Aaannnddd that’s a problem. I quickly called my goat expert friend Glenda and she told me that was bad. Really bad. She said I had to stick my hand way in there, push the baby back in, and try to pull both legs out! YIKES! I put my friend on speaker phone and slapped on that glove. Here goes, DaNelle it’s time to man up! I stuck my hand in there (hey, good thing I have small hands!) and I was able to pull back one tiny little leg. It came all the way out and they kids both started to squeal, “A leg, a leg!” Things were looking good.
Oh, boy – I hear you about the still being shaky. Today, 4 of my 7 does went into labor. The first two did great – twins and twins.
Then Big Mama Abby began birthing what we knew would be 3-4 babies. The first was tail first, and too big to come out. I managed to push him far enough in to find and gentle the hind legs out, and then I pull while she pushed. The second, a girl, came easily 20 minutes later. But then… after number 3’s water broke, 20 minutes became 30, and nothing was coming out. As I ventured in, I couldn’t find the baby. I finally went deep enough to find him presenting spine first – totally crossways to the canal. It took me 15 eternal minutes to find a matching pair of legs and pull him out. I was sure he would be dead, but he lives.
I thought that was enough, but at midnight, as I did my final check on the barn, petite Fiona went into active labor. She has always done great before, but her birthing was the most taxing of the day! Her enormous baby was head first with no accompanying feet, and it was not coming out. It almost killed both of us, the process of pushing him back and finding his front legs – such screaming on her part, and such praying on mine. I finally got the baby into the proper position, but it took her another 45 minutes to stretch enough to get him out.
It took me another 90 minutes to stop shaking – from cold, exhaustion, or emotions I can’t say.
I wonder if the other 3 will kid tomorrow!
All I can say is wow! That is one incredible and exhausting day of kidding. That is so great you were there to help the mamas. I hope the babies and mamas (and you) are all doing well today. Best of luck when your others start kidding (hopefully they give a bit of a break).
Best wishes and stay warm!
Thank you -Bobbi (DaNelle’s Assistant)
Amos Issa says
That is great, well-done & God bless.
Kammy hamilton says
Mocha has been creammy discharge for 3 weeks the four days of mucus yestarday blood and now to day mucus what do you think
Since there was recently blood in it and it sounds like it is not getting clearer I would have her checked out by your veterinarian.
Thank you -Bobbi (DaNelle’s Assistant)
Becky Whitesides says
Thank you! You helped us save a baby and mama tonight. At midnight, We had a mother goat crying loudly, when we went out to the shed, the baby’s face (mouth and eyes) was out, and nothing else. We’ve had mama goats and babies before, but nothing like this. We read your post and my husband, felt inside and found a leg and pulled the leg out. And nothing happened…. but your advice to pull down and hard, no matter what – even if you felt the leg would come off worked. It’s now 1:30AM and It’s hard to believe that the baby is ok and mama too, the kid is even trying to stand after such a traumatic birth. Thank goodness for your post and sharing your real world experience !
Don’t forget to note the fragility of the uterus to tear on sharp hooves and fingernails and the need for a uterin bolus and a course of antibiotic any time you have to go in to assist with the delivery for the sake of the does health and future pregnancies. Your story is also a great place to drop a key word like “dystocia” so readers can research more on the subject to prepare themselves for the very terrifying and gut wrenching possibility of a similar experience to yours. I was there myself this past February and lack of confidence in myself let my doe and babies suffer longer than they should resulting in marconium in the sacks of all three babies (if they survive can lead to pneumonia if fluid remains in the lungs) and the third babby drowning while waiting in the uterus to be delivered. I did not follow the 30-30-30 rule and the “if you assist one then assist all that follow” and did not go in to check for any more babies. The last baby was still born and delivered with the placenta one hour after the second baby. Waiting to long to assist because you are short on nerves can kill them then or now. The story of your bravery is a story that needs to be repeated and reviewed often by old and new goat people. Thanks so very much for sharing it and I hope all is well and thriving on your farm.
I love that story, I raise calves and at times have had the same problem, as horrible as it sounds, it is easier to pull with no gloves on. Just make sure everyone is vaccinated and there are no open sores on your arms.
Very cool story. Question: do have to be certified to be a goat midwife or do you just do it? Thanks!
DaNelle Wolford says
If you read this entire post, you’re basically certified 😉
I am so inspired! ! my daughter and I are getting into goats. It’s. been about 15 years for me and your story brought back memories. we are working on getting Nubian Dwarfs but a friend needs to rehome her full size Nubian. Sooo I’m. there! After all anyone who has had and of course loved them and wants to get back into it a good deal even though it’s not the breed you eventually want is a great way to get back into the swing of things. She’s freshened too! I mean how lucky is that?!
My daughter is amazing she is mentally handicapped. and she didn’t respond to much of anything until we went to a friends farm and they had baby goats and calfs. It was as if someone turned on a light switch and she woke up!! How blessed is that. We have had an amazing journey in 22 years and we are putting together our own little farm and our 2 main animals we are putting on are goats (nigerian dwarf) and chickens ( golden seabrites and welsumers) so wish us luck and keep the great stories coming they are so inspiring and informative. Thanks again
DaNelle Wolford says
Wow, that’s great!
Paola Brown says
I know this post is old, but I just read it. And I cried. Lovely story. Lovely.
Tricia Nudelman says
ok this one made me cry. we lost my champion in labor bc we did not know there was a 3rd….we helped her with 1 and 2 and thought we were good to go (3 Nubians is unusual) — we thought the afterbirth was just taking a long time and by the time we clued in, we could not save the kid or her….tragic. Good for you for doing this. You do what ya gotta do!!!!
Kathy Cerwin says
awesome story brought me back to my labor and delivery days! So glad the goaties lived!! I live in Texas so we do get some hot weather.
I’m a goat farmer (and dairy cow farmer!) up in NYS, and I’m loving this! Found you via the Most Hilarious Goat Birth ever blog post that’s being passed around in my circle of friends. Congrats on surviving your first delivery assistance! That’s the problem with triplets, you’re more likely to have the kids all which way inside so they don’t have as much room to wiggle into the right position – glad it worked out fine for you! You and Merci make a great team! =D
-capriox, family farmer
courtney ingham says
You are a brave girl! Good job rising to the challenge! Sometimes a girl just has to do what a girl has to do.
Ariana Mullins says
Oh, I am so glad that everything turned out OK, and that you got to be the heroic goat midwife! Those three kids are so, so sweet. Great job!
DaNelle, this was such a wonderful story to read! I’m on my way to experiencing my first goat birth…probably a year from now, unless we get a pregnant doe soon because I can’t wait. This was inspiring that no matter what happens to us, I can do it! 🙂
oh my gooooodness. got here i think through wellness mama… and ummm… that story. i officially feel like a wuss. i am a recovering vegetarian current weston price eater who gives myself high fives for pulling apart a chicken carcass. you are a stud. 🙂
Haha, those chicken carcasses can be brutal. I love Wellness Mama, and I’m glad you found me!
That’s amazing! I wish I could bring my boys to see your new babies. They would LOVE them. You never cease to amaze me. And my husband and I always enjoy your storytelling skills. 🙂
You are officially awesome! You are so brave! We’ll have to come see the baby goats!
Wow! Amazing – well done to you AND Mama goat! What a story – and what cutie cutie cutie little baby kids 🙂
Holy crap, you are a stud. !!!
WAHOO! Look at you go. You’ve done it all now! You should look into goat midwifery. Ha!
My favorite part is “this is your normal position on drugs.” Throwback to the ’90’s.
You just saved me from ever wanting goats! Well done!
Love this – well done and congratulations!
Haley Bartlett says
How cute are those babies? I love feeding little goats, big ones, not so much!
I know, right? Just like dogs, they’re always cuter when they’re little!
Ben and Maggie says
Wow! I felt the adrenaline, not goat goo, just reading that! Way to go…you are officially my idol!
Congratulations DaNelle. Your mother instincts took over and you helped save Merci and her kids. I am so happy to hear everyone is doing fine.
You developed a new skill – delivering troubled goats! Bless you.