Last year when we got Cocoa we had no intentions of breeding her until this coming fall. She is a tiny nigerian dwarf and even then we weren’t sure we wanted to breed her due to the issues of being so small and kidding.
When we thought she was already bred we did what most people do and turned her out to run with the other goats as the damage had been done. What we thought was a pregnancy was instead a very healthy rumen developing from being well fed compared to where she came from.
My fears at having an 5 month old doe bred and kid grew over time. I worried, watched and fretted over her. Each day we waited and knew the worst was going to happen but still hoped for the best as the last days passed when she could have been bred at her old home and we had no babies.
We continued to pray that she would have 2 small babies and not one big baby. One big baby would mean she would either die in birthing or the baby would and at worst case they both would.
Days passed by and no babies. We have waited and watched. Penned her up when we thought it would happen and after 2 weeks and no babies turned her back into the field.
Yesterday all was normal. When the vet came she also agreed it would be anytime now as Cocoa was so full and her udder developed. Twice I amlost asked her about a C-Section and didn’t.
This morning Cocoa was in labor. There was no sign of the baby trying to birth. We brought her to the house and called the vet. About 15 min later we saw a hoof but no progression.
The vet came and prepped for an emergency c-sec on the tailgate of her truck.
Waiting for the vet. As her labor progressed and we saw a hoof emerge she would bleet out with every contraction. I felt so sorry for her know how badly childbirth without anesthesia is. I could totally sympathize.
Prepping for surgery. She was given a general anesthesia. After it took effect she was restrained, positioned and shaved. The vet spent a long time scrubbing and preparing an sterile environment. The site was washed several times.
The drape was applied. The vet then opened her instruments of clamps and sterile scapels.
She was very careful to first cut through only the outer skin.
Next she made similar insicions through the muscle layers, the membranes and finally down to the uterus.
At that point she had to feel around inside for the babies head and to check its position. Also trying to look for more than one baby.
The sack she is cutting into is the placenta and that is the babies head.
As we hoped would not happen the baby was stillborn. We couldn’t save it.
The baby was a pretty white and black spotted doeling. She weighed easily 10 – 11 lbs. She was just too big for her momma to be able to handle.
Next in the surgery she lifted out the uterus and began to stitch it closed.
Each layer was stitched back together.
She weilds a mean knot techinque for her stitches
The sutures are called ‘cat gut’ but actually they are made from sheep intestines originally called ‘kits’. Over time the “kit gut” became “cat gut” for sutures.
The internal stitches will dissolve. The external stitches will be removed in 2 weeks. We will do the removal of those ourself.
Cocoa spent another hour and a half sleeping. She woke fairly alert yet docile and not trying to move around too much.
We will be watching to make sure she eats. She will recieve a pain injection today and maybe tomorrow. She will be on a 5 day course of antibiotics. She is under house arrest in her stall for at least 5 days.
She is well. I, on the other hand, am suddenly exhauted. It is a strange mental exhaustion. It’s over. No more guessing and we can move on from here.
In the past I have stressed repeatedly to those who first get into goats to please let the girls mature before breeding them. This means allowing them a full year – spring to spring- to feed and grow and mature into adult does. Then the following fall consider breeding them. I have had women tell me they don’t have the time or the ‘luxury’ to raise a goat for a year before breeding and they have to breed as early as 5 months. Too each their own but an experienced handler and a large animal vet will tell you that is a VERY bad idea. (I find it selfish and irresponsible and think those women who have said that to me don’t deserve the priviledge of raising a herd.)
Learn from our mistake and this accidental breeding.
Don’t do it. Don’t let it happen.
Give them a full year then consider breeding.
If any of the women who spoke to me reads this I really hope something happens to change your mind and you stop riding the backs of a doe to make money for your pockets. It is not a ‘luxury’ to give them a year to mature.