Red Bag Delivery

A red bag delivery is the term used when a horse or goat’s placenta detaches prematurely (placentia previa).  If you see the placenta presenting, you have six minutes to save the life of the life of the foal or kid.

This is one of the reasons I love being on the Holistic-Goats list.  There is always discussion on things that are happening with people’s goats, and how to take care of the problem.   The list is not very prolific, and I would say 99% of posts are on topic.  I read just about every post that comes through.

Now when the topic of red bag delivery came through, I had never heard of such a thing. I read the resulting posts that came through and did some research.  Now I know if one of our does presents a “red bag” which would be the placenta, we have to act fast to save the life of the kid.  Once the placenta detaches, the blood stops pulsing through to the baby so you must get the kid out quickly! The red bag will contain the inner white bag.  You must cut through the red bag, and then into the inner white bag and pull the kid.

A few days after we were discussing this topic, one of the list members posted a site from another list she is on where some horse owners caught a red bag delivery on video! This is from I AM Ranch Miniature Horses.

Very exciting and very informative!  I cried because it brought back a rush of memories from past birth problems we have had.  Check it out and file it in your memory for future kiddings.

2008 Kids

Starburst kidded on February 19th, 2008. She was due to kid on Friday the 22nd. My son went out to milk and there were two dried off newborn baby bucklings, walking around and nursing. Another uneventful birth!

Dani and Lightning were bred to the same buck, but did not settle.

We were expecting one of The Brooklings, Mocha, to kid on March 12th. She delivered on March 18th.

Lightning was rebred to our buck, end of December. If she settled this time, we expect kids from her end of May. She did not settle.

2007 Kids

September 24, 2007. We had not planned to breed this year, but changed our mind when we got our new buck “Elvis” on May 12th.  Zoë was bred to him sometime between the end of May and beginning of June. I actually wrote it down, but lost the barn records for those two weeks. UPDATE: Zoë kidded on October 19th, 2007. Her kidding was uneventful and she had one buckling and one doeling.

Proper Cleaning For Assisting with a Difficult Birth

March 2005

Veterinary doctor Michele Konnersman provided some guidelines on proper cleaning for the assisting the doe with a difficult kidding is necessary.

Items to have on hand for “going in”:

  • Betadyne scrub
  • Betadyne solution swabs or Betadyne solution
  • sterile gloves
  • sterile lubrication
  • LA200
  • 12cc syringe
  • sterile water (either in vials or you can make your own sterile water by boiling water for 20 minutes)
  • oxytocin [injectable]
  • Bio-Mycin or LA200 (Pen G is NOT recommended*)
  • roll of cotton or paper towels

Dr. Michele Konnersman:

“I was just thinking about how important it is to prepare the doe properly before putting a hand in to correct a kidding problem.

  1. 1. The area under the tail is full of fecal bacteria. During an assisted kidding this fecal bacteria is carried into the uterus. Your hand and arm are covered with Staph bacteria that also can be put into the uterus. These bacteria love the fluids in the uterus and grow very well in there.
  2. Before a hand goes into the doe, the rear has to be thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed. I usually scrub away all fecal material that I can see, and then follow that with 3 full betadyne scrubs, then 3 betadyne solution swabs. [Instead of swabs, you can use wetted cotton or paper towels using the Betadyne solution or scrub as needed.] Then you scrub your hand and arm in a similar way.
  3. Remember, you have bacteria under your fingernails. It is best after scrubbing the hand and arm to then put on a sterile glove. Then put on your arm a large amount of sterile lubrication.
  4. If at any time the doe defecates, stop and scrub that away from everywhere that it touched.
  5. When you get one kid out, if you work with it or touch anything outside the goat, you must rescrub and reglove before going back into the goat.

If you follow these procedures, severe infections can be avoided. After a difficult kidding, giving oxytocin when all of the kids are out will help the uterus contract and expel any infected fluids. I always put a treatment into the uterus before the oxytocin injection.

I used to use Sulfa-Urea boluses (one in each uterine horn) when I could get them, but now I just fill a 12cc syringe with LA200 and sterile water (if the doe weighs 160 lb., I would put 8cc of LA200 in the syringe, and fill up the rest of the syringe with sterile water. If the doe weighs 100 lb, I would put 5cc LA200 in the syringe and fill the rest with sterile water. [So you want to draw up 1cc per twenty pounds]) and carry it into the uterus.

I then usually give at least 3 days of biomycin or LA200 subQ. Another good reason to choose Tetracycline for after kidding is because the most likely bacteria in the uterus are fecal bacteria, which are not killed by Pen G.

How to make your own sterile water

“To make your own sterile water, just boil water for 20 minutes and then let it cool to room temp.”

I now have a “going in” kit which I keep with my “kidding kit (this link takes you to Fiasco Farm)”.

The contents of my “going in” kit:

  1. Rubber gloves
  2. Baby Wipes
  3. Betadine
  4. Anti-bacterial soap
  5. Thermometer
  6. Lubricant (such as KY-Jelly)
  7. Preparation H (to soothe the vulva if swollen and irritated after kidding)
  8. Vitamin E & Goldenseal
  9. Jug of Sterile Water
  10. Roll of Paper Towels

Goat Kidding Links

Let the Kidding Begin
By Suzanne Gasparotto Onion Creek Ranch – Tennessee Meat Goats

Pre/post kidding preparations for dairy goat does and kids
Prepared by Dick & Anne Pigman

Fiasco Farm Birthing & Post Birth Information
Fiasco Farm

Approaching Kidding [from Internet Archives]
Capri-Herb Farm

Are You Prepared for Kidding Season?
AJ’S Udder Delight Dairy Goats

How Can I Tell When My Doe is About to Kid? Ligament Test
AJ’S Udder Delight Dairy Goats

Birthing Hints
Lotsa-Does-4A-Buck Farm
Scott and Katy Noffsinger

Signs of Labor in Boer Goat Does
Jack and Anita Mauldin Boer Goats