So your goat is getting close to the 145-150 day mark in her gestation- now what!? Well, its time to familiarize yourself with the possible kidding positions that her kids can be in at the time of birth! Most often, a doe will kid without any help and it's important to give her a fair chance to do so. Assistance should be saved for when it's needed because natural is always best. But sometimes, things are not quite right and she will need some help from you and/or the vet.
I am a very visual learner and Mythos Farm has made these amazing illustrations that have come in handy for so many of us goat breeders (Thank you, Mythos Farm). I have cropped these to be printed as a 5x7 photo at your favorite photo lab and then put into these laminate envelopes. I have also created a 16x20 poster of the 12 positions to have in my milking parlor where I sometimes bring goats to kid. When not in use, it doubles as beautiful decor!
(Well, for us goat lovers at least. Your non-goat-loving-friends may not think so).
My biggest pieces of advice are:
Stay calm! When your adrenaline starts pumping, your brain gets less blood flow. This means you wont be thinking as clearly!
If you do have to go in to your doe to see whats going on: 1. ) Keep in mind that you will probably have to put your whole hand inside in order to feel what you need to and then adjust accordingly. This is OKAY and you can give antibiotics after delivery to help with the risk of infection. 2.) Close your eyes so you can try to "see" what you are feeling. All of this is done best if you have someone to hold your doe. It CAN be done if you are alone but it will be a lot more work. 3.) Use LOTS of lubricant. This will not be comfortable for your goat (OR your hand) so do both of you a favor and lube up! 4.) If you get in above your head, call for help! If you can't get a hold of your vet, you can request to join the Goat Emergency Team on facebook. They have helped me A LOT!
And here is the poster that is sized at 20x16 for a poster frame! Happy Kidding!