I've been writing this post in my head for two weeks, while simultaneously trying to convince myself that I am just worrying over nothing. Now I have pulled out the calendar and realize I have nothing left but hope that somehow I am wrong.
On Oct. 14 and 17, my la mancha buck jumped two fences and got into the pasture with my Nigerian does. It was obvious a couple of does were in heat, so I gave them injections of lutalyse to end the pregnancies, in case they had been bred. I also lutalysed the doe kids, because being impregnated by a la mancha buck would mean certain death for them. I thought Coco was already bred, so I didn't worry about her. And I castrated the la mancha buck. I decided it was just too much of a risk to have a standard-sized, intact buck anywhere near my Nigerian does.
If Coco got pregnant by Tennessee Williams when he jumped the fence, she should have freshened by now, and her ligaments are still there. I finally sat down and calculated a due date based upon an October 14 breeding. She would be due March 8 to 13. An October 17 breeding would make her due March 11 to 16. She just keeps getting bigger and bigger and shows no signs of going into labor any time soon. To make matters worse, since we thought she was due mid-January, we've been giving her grain since early January, which is two months. Normally I only give grain to my does for the last two weeks of pregnancy. All that grain will make bigger kids. The only thing that might save her is the fact that multiples run in her family so strongly on both her dam's and sire's side, and she herself has had triplets already. If she has quads or quintuplets, they'll be smaller than if she only has two or three in there. Obviously, smaller is easier to birth, so now I find myself hoping she has quintuplets or even sextuplets! This picture was taken today, and I can't believe how big she is. Click here to see a picture of her at a show two years ago. She is not a short-legged doe!
I received my copy of Ruminations magazine in the mail today and read an article entitled, "A Life or Death Decision." It was about a goat that was carrying a very large single kid. The owner wound up in the vet's office faced with the decision of whether or not to spend $800 to have a dead kid delivered via c-section -- after already spending $400 on the x-rays and ultrasound for the diagnosis. They opted to have the goat euthanized. The point of the article was that goat breeders need to think about these things ahead of time and even talk to their vet and find out the cost of a c-section, in case they are ever faced with that decision. It's better to think about it ahead of time, rather than in the middle of an emergency situation when you are likely to be emotional.
So, I put down the magazine and picked up the phone to call the best goat vet I know. The office is an hour away. I asked the receptionist how much a c-section would cost for a goat. She said I'd have to talk to a vet about that, but they're all out of the office this week. "Do you need it soon?" she asked. I told her the situation, and she said she'd give them my message when they called in this evening. Now I'm sitting here waiting for the phone to ring, hoping that somehow I'm wrong, and trying to put a price on Coco's life.