Well, it has now been more than 24 hours that Fatty-fat has not expelled all of the afterbirth. I’ve tried massaging her belly to get her uterus to shrink down some more. I’ve also hung a wet towel from the cords of the afterbirth itself which has managed to bring some more of it out but not all. I retied it this morning at 4 am (the 24 hour mark) but it still persists.
This much of her afterbirth is still attached to her this morning, 24 hours after giving birth to triplets.
I tried gently (EVER SO GENTLY!) tugging on it but it won’t come that easily and I’m scared it will break off inside and I’ll have nothing left to tie the towel to. I’m going to call the vet this morning and see what he or she (depending on whose on call) says. I’m fairly certain the placenta was delivered as there was quite a mass of stuff on the ground with the kids yesterday when I found her that looked like this:
A picture of a goat placenta.
But then what is this still attached to inside her? And, is it worrisome?
On a lighter note, here are some photos of the kids:
Enjoying hanging out with mama and kids.
Fatty's little boy.
I love just being with them. You can see the towel tied to Fatty's afterbirth hanging from her back end.
SPECIAL NOTE: I likely need not have tied the towel to the afterbirth. In fact, I was later advised (by one of the top goat specialists in England–thank-you Dreda!!) that this might encourage infection. The towel did help pull at bit of the afterbirth out and then dropped off of its own accord before this advice came in. I didn’t ever retie it on. Instead, I sprayed the cord with Betadine solution from the pharmacy (10% povidone-iodine topical solution, 1% available iodine). The next day the rest of the afterbirth dried right up. She leaked bloody mucus for a few days but is a very contented mum. Upon reflection, I probably need not have worried about her at all, but then that is the confidence gained with experience; something I didn’t have!
This is the first time the little female suckled successfully.
At 3:45 am this morning, I awoke to a high-pitched wail that I could not place. At first I leaped out of bed and raced to the door thinking, “Oh god, who’s being killed now?” Usually when wakened at that hour, it is because a fox has gotten into the chicken or duck pen, or a cougar is considering cabrito for breakfast. It took a couple of bleary-eyed seconds, but I finally realized the call was a clear, ‘M-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-m, M-u-u-u-u-u-u-m!” I jumped into my boots, grabbed the flashlight and headed to the barn. Sure enough, Fatty-fat was standing there with three kids on the ground, one of them bleating continuously for attention.
One was still-born (or at least dead when I hit the scene). I took him out and placed him in a bucket for later disposal and returned to the nursery. I was eager to see if they would nurse successfully or not. Once that happened, I figured all would be well in the world. Once the babies had successfully suckled, I decided to leave mama and babes alone to bond in privacy, and left the nursery, with a view of burying the dead kid. However, Tui (my dog) had a better idea. She thought that the kid would make a delectable morning snack; there she was on the lawn, munching happily on what was left of the kid. Ah, well, the cycle and recycling of life. At least I now won’t have to worry whether or not I buried it deep enough that other predators can’t smell it!
So, although I didn’t get to see the actual birth as I’d hoped to, I did get to meet and greet these newborns within minutes of them being born. Shiraz is still pregnant so there is still a chance I’ll catch her in the act, here’s hoping!
One of my concerns this morning is the fact that Fatty’s afterbirth is still hanging from her behind. I’m not sure how long to wait for the rest of it to be born and/or cleaned up to be considered ‘normal’ (living 500 kms from the nearest Vet does have its disadvantages).