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Goat Birth

Trendy Treehouse is sponsoring “A story in pictures” for its Shutter Love Tuesdays.  Be sure to visit for more picture stories.  This story is a little older, but I really love this.

Warning:  You will see explicit pictures of Muffin giving birth.  If you are squeamish, do not continue.

I have tried for years to get some good pictures illustrating the birth of a kid.  For some reason, it never seems to work out.  It’s an atypical birth where I have to help; it’s in the middle of the night when I don’t care; I’m at work.  Well, Muffin went into labor yesterday, and I finally got my opportunity.

I knew fairly early in the afternoon that she was getting ready to give birth.  Instead of going to pasture or coming out for their grain, she stayed in the shed.  She was doing a lot of standing.

Then she would lay down.

Up and down.  Up and down.  Turn around.  This can go on for hours.  Sometimes they paw the ground or turn around and look at their back end (maybe hoping the kid actually fell out and they were done).  Eventually, the contractions get harder and they visibly strain.  Usually, they stick the back leg out straight.

Eventually, fluids will come out and then the bag containing the baby will appear.

This is a fairly slow process.  It can take several contractions to keep moving the baby out.  As long as the bag is intact, the baby is fairly protected.  The umbilical cord still provides for the baby and they won’t be breathing in the fluids.  If you look closely, you can see the white of the baby’s hoof inside the bag.

The contractions will continue to get harder, and she will push more.  Goats are quite vocal, so it’s likely to be noisy.  As she makes progress, you can now see the baby’s face along with the hoof.

You can already see what color the baby will be and even see the tongue stuck out.  She kept pushing and slowly making progress.  Finally she stood up and with one more contraction, the baby appeared.

The bag was still around the baby, and the umbilical cord breaks when the baby falls to the ground.

Mom immediately turned around to clean the baby up.

She spends all her time licking and cleaning the baby off.  Soon, she stops because contractions are starting again.  Usually it is within five or ten minutes when they start having contractions again.  Sometimes, they will start pawing the ground again, and might even get the baby if they are not careful.

She lays down again to start pushing.  This time, the bag breaks and you can see the feet and head coming out first.

She has a couple more contractions, and the baby is pushed farther and farther out.

Once she gets the shoulders pushed out, the baby slides the rest of the way out without more effort.

I confess, I moved the second baby for her.  After spending hours in labor and giving birth to two babies, I thought I could at least move the baby so she could wash them up without having to get up.

There they are.  Muffin has two beautiful little girls.

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