Nigerian Dwarf Difficult Birth Large Kids

jkoontz65

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Searched the forum and couldn't really find anything that addressed the issue:

First time poster long time lurker. My wife and I have started a little "hobby farm" on a half acre, with ten chickens, four nigie goats (since Saturday the 2nd) assorted dogs, a couple ducks and a cat.

Our doe (a year old last August) just completed her first freshening and everything seemed normal right up until the morning she kidded. BTW, this was our first kidding as well but we consulted with the farm we bought her from, read up on all the forums, laid in supplies and watched videos so we thought we knew what to expect. However, she never seemed to "drop" but went into labor on the 145th day early in the morning. No "sounds" like talking to her kids or crying. She only made a sound when I turned on a light at 6:30 in the morning and come to find that her water had broken and there was a considerable fluid sack extending from her vagina. We moved her a few feet to the kidding stall when she presented a hoof, a rear one as it turned out. To make a long story short, the kids were trying to come out at the same time and were positioned head to rear, stomach to stomach, vertically with their legs wrapped around each other, making identification very difficult. Fortunately, my nephew was able to reach in, push the breach birth back, straighten out the foreleg of the correctly positioned kid and extract the first born. The breach had a hind leg bent forward and just had to be unceremoniously pulled out.

Mother and both kids thankfully, are doing great 24 hours later, which brings me to my question.

These kids weighed in at 4lbs 5oz and 4lbs 12 and a half at birth! They are monsters compared to what we understand is average birth weight. Combined with the information that the woman we purchased our doe from had a difficult birth the same week from an experienced doe and *the same sire* and had huge kids, we are wondering about using either of these two bucklings as studs. If they have the potential to produce gigantic kids (in multiples!), we don't really want to put our doe (or anyone elses) through this again, if we can help it.

The capstone to the story is the bucklings both have blue eyes and are truly adorable (aren't they all?).

Opinions, experiences, suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 

ragdollcatlady

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Of 4 Nigerian kids born this year, 3 were around 4 lb and one was 5. My scale is not very specific as it is old, but enough to give me an idea.

Large kids could be from mom eating too much high calorie food (grain) during the last month when kids are doing the most growth. I would prefer to give the girls grain to keep them in higher condition, but chose this year to keep grain to a mere couple of bites during the last part of pregnancy. This proved to be a good choice for me. Last year I had been giving grain and even though it wasn't much, maybe it was too much. I only gave some grain to keep the digestive system going with the same bacteria that they will need once the girls kid are again on larger amounts of grain. I understand that digestive systems change based on input and and I wanted to keep the natural bacteria ready for grain.

My girl that had one very large doeling last year that didn't survive (very difficult delivery), had 2 smaller kids this year. She needed just a little assistance as one was breech and just needed some help stretching the back legs to help slide out. The little boys forehead got stuck and he stopped moving forward but was positioned correctly so just needed a gently pull to release his head for an otherwise normal delivery. My other girl, had trips, but not knowing the third baby was in there, we lost her (the last baby). Her head had been positioned backwards. Despite the positioning, on the third of the trips, size wise, everyone was ok to fit through their assigned birth canal.

I know that larger breed bucks can cause smaller does to have problems. I don't know how you would conclude if size was purely genetic. Also the babies could have just gotten tangled up no matter what... sometimes that just happens I think.

Were your girls fed grain through pregnancy, and if so how much?
 

jkoontz65

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<<Were your girls fed grain through pregnancy, and if so how much?>>

We fed grain throughout but never more than a pound a day at peak and then we backed off due to her berries becoming clumped. So, on average, maybe 6 to 8 ounces every couple of days because she was housed with our buck and we wanted to restrict his grain intake as much as possible. Once they were separated in her final month we upped it to 5 or 6 ounces daily (or as much as she wanted, which was often less) until her berries changed, then less until she stabilized. She was in great condition going into kidding and has remained so. Her main feed is free choice Newberry alfalfa.

The vet who did her ultrasound at 4 weeks post-servicing thought she was 6 weeks along and that we must have had the date wrong.
 

OneFineAcre

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We've never had twins weigh that much.

Most of our twins are around 3 to 3.5. I'd have to look at our records, but I dont think our singles have weighed much more than 4.5.

The issue was more presentation than size, but their large size could have influenced their presentation because of a "lack of room" in the dams uterus. Kids turn to the correct position before birth and a lack of room could have caused the problem.

Not sure what to tell you about the two bucklings potential as future sires. Size could be influenced by the sire or dam.

I'm happy you had someone who could help with the delivery.
 

jkoontz65

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<<I'm happy you had someone who could help with the delivery.>>

Yeah, us too!!

It just came to my attention that the doe on the farm that also kidded with our doe's stud and had huge kids is our doe's dam! Could be a case of compounding...
 

OneFineAcre

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By the way, welcome to the the forum and the world of ND dairy goats. They are great animals and my family and I really enjoy raising them.

Sorry your first kidding was so difficult.

You reference "your wife", we need a few more men on the site. "My wife" tells me what to post most of the time.

I read back again and noticed you said it was the doe's first freshning. Regardless of the kidding difficulties, many breeders myself included never keep buck kids off of a first freshner. We wether them and sell them as pets, or at least we try to find someone who wants a pet and not meat, but I guess it is their perogative.

Just feel that it's better for the breed to determine if the doe is a good dairy animal before you send those genetics out into the world. Hard to tell true potential on a first freshning.

Just a thought you might want to consider along with their large size at birth.
 

jkoontz65

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Thanks for the welcome, OFAcre! I'd agree on the "man" thing. There aren't enough of us looking for information. :) Good point about the genetics. How soon after weaning can we get a milk test done? If she is a good milker, like her dam and grand dam, then these guys could be valuable and I'd hate to wether them and "cut off" a good stock, so to speak :) They also both have blue eyes, which I am led to believe is both rare and desirable. The other thing that will cause "my wife" consternation is that they are both so c-u-t-e and if we wether them she'll want to keep them, which we don't have room for, either literally or code-wise.
 

OneFineAcre

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You mean a milk test for a milking star? Ideally you would want to do a 24 hour milk test when they were at peak lactation which is 3-4 months. We've never done a milk test on any of ours yet, doing our first this spring.

We are doing a second freshner. We got our first animals in 2009 and we are breeding our first animals for the third time. Bought some new animals this summer.


As far as blue eyes, not exactly rare I'm not sure of the percentage but not as common as brown or gold. Some people are really in to blue eyes, but blue eyes do not make them a better dairy animal.

We try to focus on that. Coincidently, our best doe (at least so far in the show ring) is blue eyed. But, our best milker so far hasn't done as well in the show ring.
 

jkoontz65

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I wasn't thinking that blue eyes make better milkers, I was just hoping to wait until we tested Mystie (the dam) before we decided to whether to wether in order to pass on the blue-eye genes. But it seemes like it would be way too late. Plus, they were just at the vet to be disbudded and the doc was shocked at how big they are. He confirmed they are pure nigies, too. We had thought maybe one of Owlhaven's Nubians had got to Mystie, but not the case. They're just big. He also confirmed what you and Owlhaven said, that first bucks are generally wethered. :( Anyway, if we're going to breed, it's something we'll have to deal with.

Thanks for all the replies and I'm sure I'll be back with other noob questions :)
 

OneFineAcre

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Do you plan on doing an official milk test?

Where are you located?

Would love to see some pictures of your new kids and their mom.

If you are going to do this seriously, or even half seriously you can save your self a lot of money by learning to do certian things yourself without a vet. Disbudding for example. You can get an iron from Hoeggers supply.

Wethering males is another example. Most people on her band, which involves putting a "band" around the top of their scrotum which cuts off blood supply to the testicles. I'm not exactly sure the age that most people on here band, someone else would have to give you that information.

You need to learn how to give basic vaccinations, CDT.

We try to just get the vet out for herd health check and rabies vaccinations. Something else always seems to come up.
 

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