"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

More Goatlings (With a Scary Discourse on Placentas)

Yesterday morning, Homero went out to do the morning chores and discovered that Django had given birth. She had twins on the ground. The poor little things were born outside in the cold, because I have had all the animals in the sacrifice area. I am reseeding the big pasture, and need to keep all hooves off of the newly seeded ground. There are two shelters in the sacrifice area, but neither one is very good - an 8x8 foot three sided field shelter open to the north, and a calf hutch. Django chose the field shelter to give birth in.

I was taking the kids to school at the time, so Homero hustled Django and the twins into the mama barn and made sure there was food and water. He called me to let me know and told me there was a boy and a girl. Of course, when I got home, I ran right out to take a look. There weren't twins, however - there were TRIPLETS! I guess Homero moved Django before she was quite done with the job! Now we have three new babies, two bucklings and a doeling, all just as healthy as all-get-out. These babies, alas, are marked as meat because as crossbreeds, they just aren't worth very much. Well, you never know - last year I was able to sell Django's triplets at quite decent prices and we only ended up eating one of them. Either way, we will have the pleasure of their company while they are young and cute.

There was only one strange thing, and I am still a little bit worried. Django's last placenta did not fall out on it's own. It emerged, and lay dangling alongside her hocks for some four or five hours, but it wouldn't completely detach. And (I'm sorry to get all graphic and gross here) it did not look like a normal placenta, either. I've seen enough placentas now to know what's normal. Something that looks like a movie-set bag o' blood is normal. Veins and cords are normal. Bluish-white membranous sacs and various jelly-like globules: all normal. Not normal - large, very hard and solid, irregularly shaped grey lumps. I have no idea what was coming out of my goat, but my first guess would be an ossified stillborn kid.

I know, that's disgusting. Yes, it kind of was. But the goat herself was not bothered in the slightest; she was clearly fine, nickering and taking care of her three perfectly healthy kids. All the kids stood up quickly and are vigorous nursers. No problems there. In fact, Django has always been the best mother I have. She is so sweet and attentive to her kids. She was totally absorbed in her new babies - she didn't know or care about strange alien grey lumps hanging out of her rear quarters.

I, of course, didn't stay out in the mama barn all day long. I had been in and out of the house, and I figured the placenta situation would take care of itself. When it hadn't, by four in the afternoon, I called my sister for her opinion (I didn't tell her about the alien lumps; just that the placenta hadn't detached). She said leave it alone. So I left it alone. But later that night, Homero came in and told me he had pulled it the rest of the way out and threw it over the fence into the bushes.

I'm glad the scary grey lump is gone, but I'm a little worried about Django. Most likely, what Homero removed was the last of the placenta. But if he just broke it off and there is some retained placenta still inside the uterus, well, that could make her very sick indeed. I'll be keeping an eye on her.


Laura said...

Um, NEVER, EVER pull out a placenta... because some can still remain inside, and become putrid. You can, however, give a shot of BoSe - that usually pops them loose fairly quickly.

I belive you're right - the lumps were "slipped" kids (all the more reason not to pull out the placenta - there might be another one in there...).

You might want to start her on some Pen-G, as a prophylactic against infection. If her drainage seems normal for postpartum, all is probably well. If you notice an odor, call the vet.

The kids are lovely!

Aimee said...

Thanks Laura. I know you aren't supposed to pull a placenta, and I told him so. Penicillin is a good idea. So far everything looks good

Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

Oh dear! How worrisome! I do hope she is healthy!

Congrats on the new kids. I love spring on the farm!

Jerry said...

Well this is the first and last time I read from your blog while eating dinner.

My own fault though, I saw the title and still kept reading.

Aimee said...

Sorry Jerry! I do try to give people some sort of warning when there will be graphic details or photos. Just an update - Django and all three kids are doing fine.