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Tales from the Goat Birthing Pen!
When a baby goat is born in the NC summer heat, it can overheat quickly!
Our beautifully spotted / dappled Boer doe, Dottie, gave birth to a beautiful set of triplets on Friday, July 24th. I knew she was close to kidding and had been stalking her for almost 36 hours when she decided to walk into the woods and go into labor. When I found her she had already delivered a beautiful dark brown baby boy / buckling.
Fast forward to Sunday. It feels like 101 in the shade at Cotton Bean Boer Goat farm in Mt. Pleasant, NC. It is HOT and humid outside. I go out around 1pm to check on Dottie and the boer triplets. The baby goats are breathing heavy and it's very labored. I immediately run inside to get my emergency kit.
What to do when you have a sick goat:
1.Always check the baby goat temperature. It should be between 101.5 to 103.5
2. Check your goats Famacha
3. Look for physical signs
Immediately starting taking temps on the baby goats. Here is what I found was going on with our Boer baby goats!
Baby Goat 1 - Boer Doeling- 107.3 - Laying down and breathing very heavy
Baby Goat 2 - Boer Doeling- 105.4 - Laying down but not struggling as much as baby goat 1
Baby Goat 3 - Boer Buckling- 104.9 - He is nursing and walking
Baby goat doeling 1 is my top priority she is having the most problems breathing. I grab Banamine, ice packs, a fan and head back to the birthing stall. I immediately dose them all and put ice packs under the girls. I have to hold them to get them to be still. We start monitoring temps onthe girls while the boy is nursing. After about 10 minutes baby goat doeling 2 is dropping so I get Baby got buckling 3 and start on him while keeping an ice pack under Boer doeling 1. After about 20 minutes temps are dropping to a normal range. I go inside for about an hour and come back to check again. I see labored breathing and know their temps are high. The baby boer buckling 3 is in the best shape so I leave him and take the girls inside to get them cooled down again. I didn't want to stress out our Boer Nanny because I took all the baby goats. I get the girls temps to start dropping again and trade boer goat 2 for 3 to get him cooled down. After cooling down, they played in the house and took a nap. We love having baby goats around even if it scares you sometimes.
We got these triplet boer baby goats cooled down and back in with Mom . Tomorrow we are going to try dipping their feet in a bucket of water a few times to help keep them regulated since it will feel like 100 o=in NC again. They should be fine in a few days they are just so young it's hard for them to regulate their own temperature while they are so young. In the winter we have to warm baby goats in the summer we have to cool them! The joys of being a goat mom.
Click Here to read Dottie's birthing story!
Homemade Goat Colostrum Replacer Recipe:
In a pinch this is the recipe we use. We had a baby Nigerian Dwarf goat, doeling, delivered to us from someone who didn’t know how to care for the baby goat. They didn’t milk mom and I didn’t have any frozen colostrum on hand to supplement with so this is what we used. We are not vets,this is based on research and knowledge that we have gained over our years of raising goats.
Disclaimer: Always consult your vet!
3 cups of full fat cows milk or goat milk
1 egg lightly whipped (farm fresh if available)
1 Tablespoon of Sugar or Honey