Tuesday 25 March 2014

Pia's pregnancy : D Day plus 2.

It's 10.00am, it's raining, I've already had too much coffee and I'm still waiting for Pia to produce her twins. She was due on Saturday (Day 150) now its Tuesday (D Day +2). Last time she went to day 155 which is the upper limit for goat pregnancies.

Ruminating, grunting and belching a happy goat.
At 2.00am there was nothing. When I milked the others at 6.30am  there was a small mucus discharge so things might be moving but she is as unconcerned as ever; ruminating, grunting and belching from time to time.

There is a pretty regular sequence of events in the last two or three hours of pregnancy. This may be too much information for some people, if so look away now.

Three hours to go; Goat becomes agitated, calling out, the udder is filling up with milk and may appear quite tight. She may appear to be smaller because the foetuses have shifted and there's a hollow in her flank. The tail appears to be carried higher than normal with hollows either side where the ligaments have gone soft.

Less than an hour to go: Fidgeting even more, breathing more rapidly, standing up then lying down, scratching bedding, doesn't seem to be able to get comfortable. Straining begins and increases in intensity.

Half an hour to go: Thick white vaginal discharge (like egg white) when you see this parturition has begun and you could have kids born within 20 minutes. Straining can become quite violent accompanied by shrieks and loud screams. I thought that Hebe was going to wake the village last time. There is more mucus discharged followed by the water bag and the kids hopefully with fore feet and noses first.

As my colleague Fergus once said, " that's all very well in practice Tom but does it work in theory?". What actually happened will have to await the next post I'm off out to check on her again.

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