Easy care does

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Rob30, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. Rob30

    Rob30 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Nov 1, 2004
    I have lost 3 kids and one doe this week to bad births. I am trying to expand my herd. I had one kid born to small, two were to big and killed the mother, leaving my one bottle baby to feed.
    What should I look for when breeding self sufficient does? I did have one doe give birth out in the rain and the kid walked into barn. I want more does like that.
  2. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

    Jun 22, 2004
    Lexington Texas area
    Everyone experiences some difficulties at some time with does and kids during the birthing process. Prevention and management are key. The breed of goat makes a difference. The feeding program, the weather conditions, the size of the buck versas the doe. Genetics, general health. Then there are plain ol' accidents with Mother Nature.

    Some lines of goats have more birthing difficulties than others, even within the same breed. Don't keep daughters from goats that continually give you problems. Don't keep breeding goats that continually give you problems. Small pelvic bones, small birth canals can be genetic (or nutritional if the doeling was not grown out correctly as a kid).

    If you have an "easy birther", chances are, her daughters will lean that way too. Your job is too grow them out to their genetic potential and be there to attand all births.

    I know when every doe is going to kid and am at every birth to assist if needed. Even the finest doe with the history of having the easiest births can get in a jam sometimes with a malpositioned kid. They depend on us.

    Your question is very broad and you give little detail as how many goats are in your herd and what type of goats you have and how you are feeding them. What happened with the loss of your doe and kids may have been an unpreventable mishap or the result of breeding a full-sized buck to a Mini-breed doe. Please give more details. :)

  3. Kshobbit

    Kshobbit Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    I agree with Texcountrywoman. Any doe can have problems kidding, after birthing without any difficulty many times.
    Buying auction does is like playing Russian Roulette. I take all my cull does to the auction and sell them as meat goats. That is where you take your cull animals instead of selling them as breeders to a trusting soul.
    Breeding too young, breeding a small doe to a big buck, the list is endless. As Tex lady pointed out, being there when they kid helps prevent the loss of kids and the doe, esp with multiple birthing. I have had to go in and untangle the kids and pull them out one by one. And I have lost kids because I wasn't there to help, even with a big big doe who has kidded without problems in the past.
    I can't think of a single breed that doesn't have problems at one time or another. Losing kids or does happens to us all, because that is part of raising livestock.
    More information as to the age and size of the does, deworming, low selenium levels, bad feed, genetics, etc. will help to figure out why you lost the kids and the dam.
  4. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    NW OR
    I have what I consider "easy does". However, unknown factors are always involved. Two years ago, all my does kidded easy and I missed every birth.. luck? No kids died. Last year, the same does, the same bucks, and I ended up assisting (pulling kids) in 75% of my does. Two kids died, probably from stress, prolonged birth, kids ended up being tangled. Same management practices, same feed, no idea what the difference was. The kids weren't bigger, same number of multiples. I don't know. I have registered lamanchas and to a certain extent I can look at their genetics and how their sires and dams have performed, but in the end, a lot of it is simply luck.
  5. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    North of Houston TX
    When you are starting out your are flying by the seat of your pants. It is hard to be a breeder of livestock you really know nothing about...there aren't good books out there on nutrition, most of what we do is trail and error. Buying goats from someone who knows them and their ancestors makes your life soo much easier.

    Most goats get too much grain in the form of high fat and high sugars. Few get the grain they need at the time they need in pregnancy. The does don't gain weight, the kids do. The kids are born too big. Few deal with the real defficency in copper and selenium they have, does are giving birth to kids while in a state of defficency, few meat goat pellets have enough calicum in them and most don't feed any other forum of calicum...does don't have good labors from lack of calcium. Kids are born who do not jump up and nurse because of this, so if you aren't assisting, prolonged labors kills kids and moms, and weak kids at birth whose muscle cooridination is poor because of low selenium, don't nurse right away and fail to thrive. Without colostrum and alot of it, kids don't thrive, they don't get enough calories to stay warm. If does are anemic from being wormy they lay around alot and get little to no exercise, in poor condition they don't have the muscle tone to have good labors.

    Look at the forum, folks posting photos of their goats they have no idea if they are a large mini breed, or a stunted dairybreed. So who do you breed them to? The billy in the back 40, how big are his kids genetically able to be?

    Has anyone ever given you a lesson on pulling kids? My welcome to East Texas was waiting for the school bus with my children while some guys tied a then dead calf to a jeep to pull it out of the cow!

    So most of your problems are likely nutrition, but coupled with genetic size of kids, or underlying defficency or wormburdens, and you have really awful kidding seasons.

    I do micromanage my does at kidding time, I deliver 99% of my kids myself, I assist (not pull just assist) each kidding so we don't have problems, my kids are my cash cow for the spring, can't afford to let nature take it's course, because nature and I don't have the same idea of what normal mortality is.

    Read and learn and ask questions...find out as much as you can, promise it gets eaiser each year. Find a local mentor if you can, just can't say enough about how important it is to have someone to bounce ideas off of! Vicki