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  • Writer's pictureConstance Wilmoth

Goat Midwifery......

My husband claims that I moonlight as a goat midwife....... And honestly, that is not a bad description of my skills. We were driving home Monday evening after a Real Estate meeting when I finally checked my phone to see several calls and texts from my farm sitter, I knew this could not be a good thing. For one, she was not watching my animals tonight and two I told her to call if she had any issues with kidding. Listening to her voicemail, my heart stopped, I know how challenging emotionally, and physically stressful an experience like this is. I talked to Rob who agreed that we should head her way immediately, we were about 40 minutes away and I was not dresses in goat birthing clothes, and I did not have my kidding kit with me, but I know my farm sitter and that she is well prepared, so I relied on her to have any needed tool. We also had my 5-month-old daughter in the car with us, so Rob agreed to drop me off at the barn and stay with Avery in the car for about 15 minutes. I told him, if I could not make progress in that time, I wanted him to take Avery home and I would get them to give me a ride home when we were done, as we only live about ten minutes apart.

I called my farm sitter back and explained we were on our way and that I would do my best. In our area, our farm vet does not do emergencies that are not between 9-5 Monday through Friday, so other than OSU, I was the only option. Now, I have helped in my fair share of my own goats births and in the deliveries of friends, but never have I helped a goat that was not a Nigerian. I cautioned her that I would do my best, but I could not offer any promises.

As we approached her farm, I could feel my nerves on edge. I really felt for this poor Pygmy doe, she had already had one doeling partially assisted, this meant the next kid was mispositioned, or he would have been born already. I gloved and lubricated my hands and apologized to the poor doe. I really felt for her pain, having just been through this five months prior with my own birth experience. I immediately felt something pointy that I thought was perhaps a nose, but after further investigation, I realized was a hock. This poor baby was trying to come out breech, but he had one hock presenting and the other tucked down below the doe's pelvis. After just a few minutes I was able to pull one leg out, and then a few more minutes, I was able to find the other. In my experience once you get them into this position it is smooth sailing and the kid can be delivered. Sadly, that was not the case, I had 3/4 of his body outside of the doe, but his shoulders were wedged in the does pelvis for what felt like an eternity, but was likely only a few seconds, I was able to reposition him and pull him directly out. He was robust and healthy, and started crying and breathing as soon as we got his airway cleared.

I congratulated the owners and the mama on their new healthy happy additions after the doe started to lick her kids. I warned them to keep an eye out for possible infection since I did have to go so far in for the buck and to check for any more kids, there were only two! Then I bid them goodnight, as I went out to find my husband changing Avery's diaper in the back of the jeep, so we headed home to finish our night with our critters with my new title....... Goat midwife......... Hope you all are having a wonderful week take care and happy goating!

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