Humble Garden

ReSkilling for future food independence

RIP Wheatie, our sweet goat girl

Posted by Nika On March - 11 - 2009


(Wheatie on the right, the blond one, when she was a baby)

Today we learned just how bad obstetrical emergencies can be.

In the morning, my oldest daughter came running in from the goat shed saying that Wheatie was giving birth. I ran out ready to assist but could see right away, with my untrained eye, that things were desperately amiss.

It looked like a large amount of tissue had come out (was on its way out) but no kid. We called our goat mentor and she came flying over to see that, indeed, this was not normal. The goat was definitely in pain. That pain must have been immense, I feel the most horrible for that.

We were thinking it could be a missed pregnancy and that this was the placenta. That was the best outcome but very wrong.

The vet finally came and he said he had not ever seen this in a goat, once in a sheep and once in a horse.


Essentially, what happened was that the cervix had separated from the vaginal wall. When the vaginal structure prolapsed, it took the abdominal mesentery with it, releasing the now severed uteri with large kids into the abdominal cavity. This is a fatal condition and I am not sure yet what it might be called.

We knew she was in pain. We also knew there was some possibility that kids may still be alive so the vet gave the goat ketamine, removed the kids and our goat mentor and I proceeded to try to resuscitate them. Its possible that the babies passed away some time before, they were completely unresponsive and essentially gone.

We have lost a precious sweethearted goat that we loved as a dear pet.

Now I have to gird the loins or buck up and try to face the other 6 next deliveries. Am crossing my fingers we don’t ever have to go through this again, ever.

Before the vet left I had him castrate the buck. We will have a large enough herd after this kidding season. We love the buck like a pet too. Since the vet was already here, it was not that expensive (we have already spent A LOT of money on vet bills today)

goat shed built today, chicken run finished

(Wheatie, as a baby, with her sister Millet)

16 Responses to “RIP Wheatie, our sweet goat girl”

  1. Connie S says:

    Oh my. My heart goes out to you and your family. That is such a tragic way to begin your first experience with kidding. They say that only 1 in 6 kiddings need intervention but unfortunately that has not been our experience with first freshening does. I am just so glad that you were able to have support there with you. That makes all the difference. Unfortunately it still doesn’t ease your pain, the loss of your doe, or the stillborn kids. I was now just able to post about our stillborn kids born last week as I was having such a hard time dealing with it as well as the fact we thought we might lose the doe as well.

  2. sagemcgreen says:

    What a traumatic experience. You have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your goat Wheatie. My thoughts are with you while you mourn.

  3. Judith says:

    I am so, so sorry about the loss of your beloved pet. I cannot imagine your emotions right now. What a terrible tragedy!

    Please know that I care and I am thinking of you, the young one and the rest of the family as you go through this loss. I am praying the rest of the does produce okay.

    Feel free to talk about this with me. Grieving needs support. I am here.


  4. Erika says:

    Oh, how sad. I’m sure you will all miss Wheatie and the kids that could have been, I hope your kids are okay with the whole thing, and that the rest of the births go much smoother.

  5. kelly says:

    I am sorry for your loss! What is the cause of the Messentry? How often does it affect animals? Sorry for all these questions. I guess some things are mysterious until we know what it’s about (genes or whatever).

  6. Nika says:

    Connie: thank you for such kind words! I have read part of your post but had to stop, been non-stop around here.

  7. Nika says:

    Sage: thank you! As days go by things feel less raw

  8. Nika says:

    Judith: oh thank you so very much for the support! Its wonderful to know that you understand – and the next three have gone well!

  9. Nika says:

    Erika: thnx, they have been going well indeed!

  10. Nika says:

    Kelly: thnx for your kind words! The mesentery is not a condition its a part of the body.. when the vagina ripped from the cervix it took the lining of the abdomen (mesentery) with it.. seems to happen in humans too. SOrry have to run, next doe is kidding now.

  11. kelly says:

    I see I see! I am not good at reading picto-diagrams on Wikipedia! >,< Thank you so much Nika, for explaining in simple terms I can understand. On a happier note, I look forward to pics of the kids!

  12. Nika says:

    No worries! I am sorry if I made it more confusing in my post! The doe has been giving us false alarms for 3 days now – I hope she is not badly sick :-( I am such a worry wart.

  13. […] . From the last post you learned of our tragedy, losing one of our sweethearts, Wheatie. […]

  14. […] the excitement of this last early, snowy spring, when we had our kidding season. We lost one goat (RIP Wheatie, our sweet goat girl), gained lots of goat babies and some modicum of caprine midwifery […]

  15. […] When kidding goes easily, its all fun and games. Problem is, there are always possibilities for things to go terribly wrong. If you have read this blog in the past you might have seen that we lost one of our does last year, see this post: RIP Wheatie, our sweet goat girl. […]

  16. Helen Kilby says:

    I was looking for a recipe for Ghevre goats cheese, when I came across your site. It’s a while back now, but I felt sad when I read about Wheatie, they are such characters aren’t they. We had a little Nubian that thought she was a dog, she loved riding in the car with our dog and used to climb on my lap – till she grew and fell of one side as she climbed on the other – she never could understand why!! I had to give up goat-keeping many years ago because of arthritis -couldn’t milk any more, but your video brought back just what fun it was keeping goats – we had Nubians, Sanans and Toggenburgs.
    As goat’s cheese is so expensive to buy, I thought I would make my own again. I have never made Chevre before, used to just make curd cheese. By now, you must be an expert.
    Anyway, best of luck with all your goats.

    P.S. I live in Devon, south west of England.

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About Me

We are a family of 5, including Nika, Ed, Q (14), KD (7), and Baby Oh (4). We garden 1024 square feet of raised beds plus assorted permacultural plantings. We also have 13 LaMancha dairy goats, 40 chickens, and one guard llama.



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