Brooding On

Blood Draw Drama

We attempted the blood draw needed for the goat pregnancy testing again today.  And, we failed again today.  I really don't get it.  John did a great job straddling and restraining her, holding her head at a 30 degree angle. 

Here you can see Honey's neck, shaved to make it easier to see the vein.

I applied pressure to the vein until it popped up, inserted the needle holder into the vein followed by the vacutainer tube.  That's when the blood should flow quickly into the tube, but it just didn't happen. We tried it several times, following the steps we'd seen in the video.

For her part, Honey was pretty cooperative.  She mostly just took it as we poked and prodded.  Bless her heart!  Once we realized that we were doing it exactly the way we thought was right but the blood just wasn't flowing, we knew the time had come for us to throw in the towel.

Plan B is to see if we can get a vet to come out and draw the blood for us and maybe teach us how to do it.  Plan C (and I really hope it doesn't come to this) will be just to wait it out.  We'll either have babies and milk in the spring or we won't.  While lots of big farms routinely go this route, it's not nearly as feasible for a small farm like ours.  If a few goats in a big operation don't wind up pregnant, it's not a big deal on a farm with a large herd.  When we've only attempted to breed two goats, though, even one of them not being pregnant will have big repercussions for our expected milk production next year.  If we find out now that one or both of them aren't bred, we still have a little time before breeding season is over to try again.  The "wait and see" approach obviously doesn't allow for this.

Anyone know a local vet that will make house calls?