How do you manage to be there for births?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by Kalne, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

    This year we're 0 for 3. THe first was understandable....we weren't even sure she was bred. The next, we knew she was getting ready and were checking every 30-60 minutes staying out there however long to watch progress but we still missed it. And this was in the afternoon.

    THen this last girl. We checked her last at 2 a.m. She was stretched out sleeping. Decided she wasn't going to go that night and set the alarm for 6. I was up at 4:45 and thought about running out there but had left my clothes in the bedroom and didn't want to chance waking the baby up. I'm really kicking myself for doing that.

    The babies were buried deep in the hay. Dd saw one and ran her inside. Then went out with my oldest to watch for other births only to realize she was done and two other babies were down in the hay. So fortunate they weren't stepped on as there were two girls in the kidding area. But I think that hay is what saved them.

    Really thinking about getting one of those surveillance cameras as sleeping in the barn is not an option here. How do you all handle it?
  2. SherrieC

    SherrieC Active Member

    First I try to Hand breed mine, but when you start out of course it's easier to pen breed, even when pen breeding you should watch behavior and wet tails to give you an idea of What days this doe will kid.

    I always feed the 2nd kidders on up in the evening their pellets and any hay helps to keep those bellies full so they don't kid till 1pm-9pm it works
    the ff I feed these things in the morning as they will drag it out till 2 am. this help them to kid when I want.
    # 3 I check udders, I check Ligaments. Wont' catch every goat every time, but it helps. If a goat is uddering up and has No tendens keep a close eye on her. watch for strange far off looks, pushing head against wall, streching.
    # 4 Lute can be your friend if need be : ) Now if you are a stay at home mom, then you don't need exept in case of the odd thing that may come up, weddings births deaths, jury duty.
    Check Often

  3. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    I agree with Sherrie.

    I hand breed all my does (live or AI) so breeding dates are known.

    Check, recheck and check again. Observe your does - check udders, ligaments, behavior, etc.

    We have a barn camera system with several cameras installed throughout the doe barns. This is by far the BEST goat-related investment that we have ever made.

    We induce all of our does to freshen on the weekends as I work 50+ hours a week outside the home. However, even if I stayed at home I would still induce for the sake of convenience. I like my sleep and like my routine and hate being tied down waiting on a doe to freshen... whenever that may be! :D

  4. ecftoggs

    ecftoggs New Member

    We hand mate also and know that our average parturition happens at 153 days. We put the 150 day date on the calender and watch heavily from there. We feed our pregnant does once a day about 2 in the afternoon and leave our barn lights on until 10pm for final check. 90% of our does will freshen between 11am and 4pm. We do not check in the middle of the night anymore unless someone is really acting suspicious but most of the time it is in vain and they freshen the next day in the 11-4 window. I think keeping your routine steady is the most important, does like to know when you are going to be there and will freshen when you normally are there to help.
  5. Well I catch the births here because I am home. I just take care of horses about 2 miles or so away from our house. I'm not gone long. And I dont have to be there at a certain time ect ect. So if a doe looks ready I wont leave and will take care of momma and babies then go take care of the horses.
  6. Kalne

    Kalne New Member

    Hmmm, well, we did know breeding dates on these last two. And yesterday was one of the due dates. We knew both were ready from all the signs mentioned just didn't know when it would finally happen. We've been feeding late afternoons around 4:30.

    I know dd would not go for inducing but even with that do you just stay with them constantly then until the birth? That's what I'm trying to wrap my brain around. We usually know it's coming "today" or within 24 hours or whatever but short of staying with them constantly don't know how to judge things are going to happen within the next hour or so.
  7. BlissBerry

    BlissBerry Guest

    No, you don't have to stay with the doe constantly... unless you want to. I give the injections and then go to work. They freshen 29-36 hours after inducing. Rarely they will freshen before 29 hours but usually not much before. I just know to keep an eye on them. It's usually pretty obvious when they are going to kid as they've been laboring and I know that they are close.

    I'd much rather induce the doe and know I will be there when she freshens than miss the birth entirely and risk possibly losing the kids or even the doe. JMO.

  8. Melissa

    Melissa New Member

    I have a doe that waits till I'm in the barn, she gives all the signs, but it's also just a "feeling" when you spend a lot of time with them you pick up vibes from them subconsciously. I then decided to do barn chores, like clean pens, pick up, or if nothing else, read a book. one thing, if I leave my does sight she gets all panicky and starts calling for me and looking around (I just stepped out to get the towels I left in the car! sheesh!) I guess I've never really thought about it. true, some of the meat goats kidding I missed, but I trust them to do a good job of raising their babies. with the dairy girls I've come into the barn to find them in a wet puddle or mom in the beginning stages of labor. but if you think they are going to pop sometime soon, just spend most of your time around the barn, popping in every once in a while.

  9. Good Goats

    Good Goats New Member

    Hand breed, and when it looks like she's going to go that day, we check every 15-25 or so minutes, and we are usually there for them. So far this year 4 have kidded and we've been there for all of them. If it looks like they are going to kid and it's night, then we'll check every 2 hours (although it turns into 3 at times if you push snooze enough, :lol). Only one kidded at night last year though and she had had them maybe 5 or 10 minutes before.

  10. Bilrite Farms

    Bilrite Farms Guest

    We've attended births for years. For the first few years I worked part time so I was able to be there. But the last couple of years I've been full time at work and we are both gone for most of the day. Last year it was just crazy, work got very upset when I wouldn't come in as scheduled or I'd have to leave early and we live far enough away that it also complicated things, I wasn't able to just run home quick and check and then drive back. We can't go though what we did last year again this year so this year we are going to try inducing our does, except for a handful of FF who are pen bred. I also aimed goats to kid in groups, especially around our spring break when it is easier to take time from work. We kidded out our 1st three does the beginning of Feb. The 1st doe kidded 4 hours after her injection. The other two at 29.5 hours and 30.5 hours so right on.
    Hopefully later this year or next year we can get cameras - DH is the ones who checks does overnight and he gets pretty tired but I can't complain - he lets me sleep unless a doe is kidding.

    Good luck!
  11. We rarely miss a kidding. (3 in the past 5 years) BUT.. I do miss a lot of sleep LOL. I have a Cream-of-Kansas doe that is due on the 22 (she has a history of going 2 days early) I'm really excited about this breeding. I will have the tv that picks up the barn camera on CONSTANTLY beginning on day 145. I will be sleeping in my recliner (with a it doesn't tick LOL.. timer set for to go off every 30 mintues) by the time she kids, I'll be walking into walls from the lack of sleep..but isn't that just part of kidding season??? :rofl
    susie, mo ozarks
  12. Doc

    Doc Guest

    Maybe it's experience, but as they get close to their kidding date, I can tell pretty much when every doe is going to pop. Behavior and ligaments. Shiny skin on the udder. Subtle things, their voices change, they pick at their feed, they get up and down more often, they dig nests. Ligaments are usually the best indicator, when they're gone, it's imminent. Set up shop outside of their pen, dim the lights, and wait. My kidding barn is only a few steps from the back door - very convenient, and if I leave my bedroom window cracked, I can actually hear the does making noise. The other does will often start fussing when one is giving birth. Very few of mine ever kid at night, I do not know if this is related to latitude, lighting, or what - maybe because I do feed later at night, and hang out long enough to make sure everyone's eating. I have sound monitors and cameras too, but 9 times out of 10, I already know it's coming. Sometimes I do miss births, but I've only had to go in "once", my does come from easy kidding backgrounds, so I don't fret about it. My does have all tested neg (2X a year) for CAE for 10 straight years, so that's the extent of my CAE "prevention". Most of my current does will dam raise their kids. If I had a bunch of bad mothers, or I was planning to pull kids and bottle feed, I'd diligently be missing sleep, but I simply don't fret births - they've been doing it unassisted for an awful long time. If I get there a few minutes after, or even more than a few, the earth doesn't stop spinning. Honestly, if having goats meant I spent a month or more not sleeping, I'd get rid of them.
  13. This year has not gone as well as most. We have completely missed 6-8 out of the 30 to kid so far this year (some by only 10-15 minutes). I've missed about four that dad was there for. We've missed half of a couple of births (arrived after the first was born but before the second).
    Most of that though is because I have been sick for almost half of the kidding season and incredibly sluggish. I knew the does were going to kid but I just could not move quick enough to be there in time. One delivery dad was in the milk house for half an hour washing milk things and Fern had delivered her twins during that time. When he checked them last she was eating hay.
    During the winter either dad or I are usually in the barn about 18-20 hours out of every day. I still try to be there as much as possible since dad has to milk the cows and can't be sitting there watching them.
    I've come to learn their normals. Milky Way will not deliver until after you have fed her. She will hold them in until she gets her grain. Snickers will keep me awake for 24 hours before actually kidding...three years in a row she has done that to me now. (Mother/daughter pair).
    I get a lot of reading done during kidding season. I have nice warm clothes, food to munch on, and we have a TV in our milking barn.
    I have no life beyond kidding during this time of year.
    You learn your does. I feed them a heavy hay feeding about 20 before I want them to kid and most births, when I keep my schedule, are from 2PM-9PM.
    I usually miss more in the Spring time because there are so many other animals to take care of and I am not in the barn as much.

    We don't have cameras, we are just there.
    I check udders and ligaments everyday when they are clipped and fed. I look at past history (Liliana tends to go on day 153, etc.) and mostly they will give you clues if you Watch long enough and learn their normal behavior.
  14. Agape Oaks

    Agape Oaks Guest

    I do my best to be there for all of them......but I also work full time & can't miss work. I test frequently for CAE so I do a combination of dam & bottle raising. I do set my alarm & go check every few hours & I run home at noon as often as possible to check & I have a camera ordered which'll broadcast it on the internet so I can watch from both work & home......of course it's likely to drive me nuts watching them :), but may save gas & middle of the night trips out to check. I hand bred most of mine.....but also put a clean up buck in since I missed breeding a bunch last year so no exact dates on some. I never have induced any of mine
  15. goatkid

    goatkid New Member

    Like others on the board, I can usually tell when a doe is going to kid by observing her. I have a job off my place, but my DH is retired so if I know a doe will kid that day, I have him check frequently. I also like to hand bred my does in groups and I schedule time off work to be home the week they are due.
  16. VickiLynne

    VickiLynne Member


    What kind of camera is it that broadcasts over the internet. I also work full-time but at my job I am in front of a computer with two screens. That camera is just the thing I need since I live one hour away from work.

    Vicki in NC
  17. Katarina

    Katarina New Member

    Well, we are getting good and predicting, generally. But next yr we are hand breeding and inducing. I mean it!

    We usually manage to be there, but there is one doe...we have missed every birth. We have had someone in teh barn all day, no signs, checked her, no signs, come in to grab a sandwich, gone back less than 30 minutes later to find babies on the ground, already dried and cozied up next to mom. Every time.
  18. Agape Oaks

    Agape Oaks Guest

    Hi Vicki
    It's a Trendnet wireless camera can see it here for $136
    Info about it
    Wireless Internet Camera w/ Advanced Pan & Tilt

    The Pan/Tilt IP Camera is a full-featured surveillance system that provides high quality video over a wireless network connection. Built-in CPU and Web Server allow the camera to function as a standalone device, allowing users to access the camera anywhere in the world by using a Web browser. Users can also move the camera remotely in almost any direction, scanning sensitive locations for unauthorized intrusion. The IP Camera comes with a CMOS sensor to deliver clear and crisp images, and its powerful IPView software gives users enhanced security options to archive streaming video straight to a computer’s hard drive. IP View software can also monitor multiple cameras on a single screen, enable motion detection to trigger automatic recording, and send email alert notification.
  19. New Member

    When you pen breed, you can't just throw a buck in the pen and forget it. You have to watch, do butt checks at morning and night and keep meticulous notes. I rarely if ever miss a kidding, but then I also don't work off my property. We used to induce nearly all births and really am not sure why I got away from doing that. I have an intercom, I can also "just tell" like others have said, and I am the queen of the pelvic exam...if your not dialated than I have time to run to town. FF are the most iffy because they don't have any breeding records from the previous year.

    I have only one doe not down for sure...and she was not only hand bred but Cidr'd :) Bab's has like 5 breeding dates, but at least she is bred. Vicki