Loss of newborn baby goat
Unfortunately life on a farm is not always what we wish it could be. This kidding season has had a tragic start. I had bred 6 dairy goats to kid this spring. Three of the 6 goats appeared to be due earlier as I had them in with the buck for 4 1/2 months. The first goat, Priscilla decided to have her babies while I was on a shopping trip to get the last minute supplies. She had twins and they were found in the barn dead. That really sucked! They were both so beautiful and were colors I had not seen produced here before. One was a buckling and a doeling. Sad loss. I still do not know what happened, if they were born dead, or died shortly after being born. That’s a really hard part! Not knowing and understanding why.
Our second goat that was due had triplets (here is a link to the youtube video my two younger sons helped film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGTvvI9dMoc&t=471s). The first one she had on her own and I had to pull the other two. The second goat was presented head toward the tail so it was a bit of a struggle but he came out strong and healthy and I also pulled out the third and he was hind feet first. He came out strong and healthy as well and the triplets are all doing well and thriving.
Our third goat due, Miriam, was checked on early in the morning about 6 and she didn’t appear to be in labor. A few hours later I asked my son Seth to go check on her and he came in to report that a babies head was out. I rushed out there and decided to help pull out the baby as I did not see a hoof. It was really a struggle to get that one out and as soon as I did I noticed that the baby goat did not look normal. Her whole abdomen was super filled up with fluid. From the bottom of her rib cage and the inside of her legs looked like someone injected about a quart of extra fluid in her. She was alive but because of the fluid she could not stand. Soon after Miriam started pushing again and I helped pull out another baby who appeared to look normal.
I called my friend Lisa to come over and take a look and see if she could give me an idea of what this might be from. She showed up a few minutes later and looked at the baby and said she had not seen anything like it before. I called a local vet and he said he believed it was some sort of internal deformity. I did some online research and came to the conclusion it was either the heart or the liver.
I kept her in the house and warmed her up and gave her a bottle. She was drinking fine and she took several bottles throughout the day. I was also putting warmed dry rice in a plastic sandwich bag on her stomach as the vet told me to put warm compresses on the area.
The next morning she was really lethargic, and could not suck the bottle and her body temperature was dropping. I knew she was not going to make it so I humanely euthanized her. I hate to lose anything! And this was not at all what I had hoped for or anticipated.
The other twin that was born seemed to be nursing fine and seemed healthy and then this past Sunday when I went out to milk the goats she was just dead! I was in shock. She seemed happy and healthy and was 12 days old and that afternoon she was find and then evening she was dead. I am thinking perhaps she had some sort of internal deformity as well and it just wasn’t visible.
Like I said, I HATE to lose anything and it almost feels like a personal defeat if my attempts to help one of our beloved animals fails then I am left with questions on why. What happened, why, was there something I didn’t do right, was there something I could have done that I didn’t? So many questions can make you go crazy. The sad fact of having animals is that somewhere along the way you will have losses. Some are explained, some sadly are not. But with the losses sometimes also helps teach us things. Learning is always good. Even if the learning has not prevented a loss, maybe some time in the future you will be able to share your knowledge with a friend who may be going through the same thing.
Life on a farm is not always about losses though. There is also new birth, new beginnings and being able to build and prosper despite the occasional failures. Despite the losses, I do enjoy the daily challenges and things I learn and my animals are my peace and I love them all.