There are two normal delivery positions for the dairy goat kids. The first most common is nose diving between the front legs. The second is called breech birth with both hind legs together and the dew claws up. The kid should be right side up, face down.
Sometimes an abnormal presentation occurs which causes the doe to be unable to expel the kid. If a doe has been in hard labor for one hour and nothing seems to be happening, wash hands, arms, and doe’s rear end thoroughly with soap and water. Have someone hold the doe steady from the head, then slowly insert hand gently and feel for hooves, legs, or a head.
If the front legs are back and the head alone is presented-reach down next to the kid’s neck and follow it to the kid’s chest and then to the elbow of one front leg. Hook the front leg with a finger and gently pull it forward and straight. Try to find the other front leg and repeat. Rock one shoulder and then the other gently out of the doe. Pull with the doe, not against her. Wipe off the kid’s nose with a clean cloth. Clear its mouth and get it breathing.
If the legs are present but the head is twisted back-push the legs back into the uterus. Slide hand into the uterus and grasp head with palm of hand and hold head steady while bringing legs into diving position. Guide head with palm of hand and fingers until it enters pelvic area.
If breech presentation occurs with the rump and no legs-try to rotate the kid into a more normal position, bringing up the hind legs. Make sure the dew claws are up and work as quickly as possible.
When the kid is out be sure to immediately get mucous away from it’s head and mouth.
If invasive measures are taken, be sure to give the doe antibiotics to combat uterine infection.
Drawings are by Rosalee Sinn, from the Heifer Project International Manual.