Today is 145 for Juno and I’ve been watching her pretty closely. Last year, I missed her delivery altogether as she kidded in the polydome overnight. The kids were alert, dry and walking around by the time I noticed them the next morning. I was determined not to miss her delivery this year. She is my smallest adult goat and expecting triplets by Duke. This morning her right side was noticeably more “hollow” than the left. This was definitely a change from the barrel-like torso she’s been sporting for the last month. Her udder was a little fuller and her ligaments were disappearing. She was sticking with the herd and eating, so I just decided to keep an eye on her. By about 5pm, she was laying down by the chicken coop, pretty separated from the herd, and not near food. I put her in her kidding stall, and she was having pink/yellow discharge within about an hour. She was pretty distressed anytime she was alone and didn’t really seem to be laboring much. I finished evening milking and putting the kids in the barn. I decided to put Fiona (Juno’s dam) in with her to keep her company. It really helped to settle her down, but was pretty distressing to Fiona. I decided to check Juno for progress, and found that her cervix was just starting to dilate. I headed in to help the human kids get to bed, and watched the monitor. Fiona was not a good doula. She ate all the food and jumped out of the kidding stall. Luckily, it wasn’t long before Juno was pushing. I headed out and returned perturbed grandma Fiona to her herd. Juno pushed and grunted with some weak-seeming contractions for about 15 minutes. I decided to check the kid’s positioning. I found that she was completely dilated, and there was a large bubble of fluid. I could not feel any baby parts behind it, so I tore the sac, and felt around some more. Unfortunately, I felt a smooth, round head. This kid had his chin tucked down. This is a bad sign for 2 reasons. One, it is pretty impossible for a doe to deliver this way; and 2 (in my experience), it means that the kid is very weak or dead. A kid with good muscle tone will not tuck his chin as he enters the birth canal. It took me a minute or two to pull his chin forward, but I could not find his feet. Fortunately, he was not an overly large kid, so I was able to pull him out fairly easily. The first thing I noticed once his head was delivered was that his gums and tongue were completely white. This confirmed my suspicion that his heart had stopped beating sometime earlier. I suspect labor was too stressful for him. Once I confirmed there was nothing I could do for him, I checked for the next kid. I was relieved to feel a mouth right away, and had to pull a leg forward to deliver him more comfortably. He was a black and tan buckling with poor muscle tone, so I dried him off vigorously and he started perking up. I set him in front of Juno and checked again. Number three delivered easily and was much more active than his brother. He is also a beautiful silver buckskin like his maternal great-grandfather VCH Green Gables SS Moonbeam *B.
And just like that, kidding season 2019 is in the books!