Always a new experience...
04-Sep-13, 05:32 PM
We had a first this year. After 9 years in cashmere goats and 14 years with goats, we had our first and hopefully last C-section. One of our red does, Gellin, who spent the winter jumping in and out of just about everywhere she was not supposed to be, finally settled in the ewe pen which happened to be shared by our oldest buck, Hjort. I didn't worry too much about it but apparently just before we moved her out in the spring she decided maybe he was handsome after all. Once we realized she was bred we started keeping a close eye on her. The big day came and she laid down and groaned but nothing. She was not in really hard labour but enough for us to realize no progression at all and no kids to be felt was a definite problem. So at 2am off to the vets we went. After some minor complications baby INDY was extracted and tossed on the floor with the declaration, this one is gone! At which point, our intern and I both said are you sure.....cause it is breathing! The poor vet was aghast that she had just tossed my kid on the concrete floor! I can't blame her for thinking that given the state of the birthing fluids and the time that had passed from the onset of labour to actually getting her out, but she was in fact still very much alive and trying to fight for oxygen. Acting quickly, we all took our positions and set to getting Gelling through her surgery and I set to getting little INDY cleaned and breathing clearly.
Gellin survived her surgery despite the vet being very concerned for her long term prognosis due to the complications involved, but I assured her while I cleaned INDY off that if she got her through the surgery, she would be fine. I chose cashmere goats because they are tough as nails. They also warned me that Gellin might not nurse her newborn and I assured them she would. Try getting a babe away from one of these does I said. I have had them be born all our of sorts and unable to unfold themselves to stand and nurse. We have taken their kids in the house for physio and bracing for up to a week and then reunited them and both parties recognize and bond with each other instantly. In fact each time we go to the barn the moms come to see if today is the day we are bringing their little one back. So although something that happens with some breeds, rejecting a kid not matter how it arrived is not something a cashmere mom will willingly do. After we moved Gellin to the floor to recover from the anesthetic, the vet and tech turned their backs to prepare some further medications and I was trying to get baby INDY to latch for her first nursing. Gellin looked at me, looked at this little orange kid and reached over and taking her by the ear, she pulled INDY to her and began to lick and check the cleaning job I had done on her little one.
As we drove home with the sunrise breaking on a brilliant new day we were satisfied with the outcome of our sleepless night. It was not exactly the birthing experience that Marie had hoped for, but a beautiful snuggley red doeling to hold it was still an amazing experience for all. We made Gellin had a special recovery pen where she had access to any and everything she could possibly want. Unfortunately she did not want to stay in her pen so we gave her run of the yard so she could pick and choose the things best suited to her needs to aid in her recovery. Each day she got stronger and more demanding and she was running around like nothing had ever happened. By the end of the next week Gellin and INDY had been banned to the doeling pen because Gellin found the raised bed veggie gardens irresistible. When we were not looking, she climbed in and demolished all the pea and most of the bean plants. As I was salvaging the remaining beans, I looked up to see her standing on the outside of the fence reaching over eating the pepper plants from the top down. I am sure she needed the extra nutrients to aid in her recovery and she was kind enough to fertilize as she went, but with humans and helpers to feed, enough was enough.
In case you are wondering about the name and why it is capitalized. It is an “I” year for us in naming our kids here on the farm and this seemed most fitting given the circumstances. INDY stands for “I’m, Not Dead Yet” and she is going to grow into a beautiful breeding doe who although unplanned this year will likely turn out to be one of our top goats in future, as fate usually has it with these things. Gellin will be retired from breeding, although her uterine torsion likely stemmed from her fence jumping behavioiur which she has moved past now we like her too much having been one of our bottle babies to take a chance on losing her. She will stay on here as she produces that lovely butter coloured fleece that we are developing as a distinct colour line here on the farm. We will post pictures in our Album of the two of them and their journey, but in the meantime you can find INDY posing on the returns page of our online store.
We love happy endings and we hope you will too.