Here's today's Vulva Watch....much of the same old shit from the past few days.
These babies have got to come sometime soon right??
I wanted to also share these teat pictures. Because we realize that there is a problem, and that the problem may prevent effective nursing to the kids that are about to arrive. It could mean having to bottle feed babies, or just really monitoring that the kids are actually getting milk from these deformed titties!
You can see that two of these teats are kinda attached. This is referred to as a 'fish teat' or 'fishtail teat'. Overall, this side of the udder has three teats and we are currently unsure which of them will be functioning milk-providers. This is definitely considered an unacceptable teat structure in the breed, in terms of showing the goat, but also possibly for nursing too.
These are Boer goats that we raise - meat goats - that originally come from South Africa. The farmers who started this breed of goat decided that 4 teats were preferable over 2, because they can better nurse multiple kids. (For dairy goats, 2 teats are desirable.) As a result of cross-breeding and genetics, Boer goats have a predisposition to poor teat structure. Sometimes there are just extra 'nubs' that are non-functioning, but sometimes there might be fully grown extra teats that don't have orifices, but that trick the kids into sucking from them; but providing them with no milk. Or there might be functioning orifices in all the teats, and thereby not provide enough milk to each kid if a few are sucking at the same time. Ideally, you don't want all the extra teats. And, ideally, we shouldn't really be breeding does who have dysfunctional teat structures like this. Many North American Boer goat farmers are returning to stocking 2 teat animals and flushing out the 4.
After Rosie has birthed, we will examine her teats and see which have orifices and are fully developed, and depending on how many kids she has (1 to 5, with 2 or 3 being most common), we'll have to decide if there is enough access to milk for all of them to thrive or not.
Although bottle feeding babies is cute and fun for the kids, it increases the cost and our workload.
We shall see...