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Interview with Deborah Niemann, author of Goats Giving Birth

Author Deborah Niemann

Today’s blog is an Interview with Deborah Niemann, author of Goats Giving Birth, featuring our winning giveaway question.

Was there a particular experience that spurred you on to write this book?

I get so many questions from people who have a goat in labor, and they think something is wrong when everything sounds completely normal. And I have heard some tragic stories about does dying as a direct result of people freaking out and doing something wrong based upon advice from a total stranger on social media. I want people to understand that 95% of goat births require no intervention and that there is a wide variation of what's considered normal.

What would be your first piece of advice to a novice goat midwife?

Don't panic! In almost every case you have time to call a mentor or your vet. This also means that you need to educate yourself so that you know what to realistically expect.

How should a reader use this book and the info it contains?

This is meant to be an introduction to the wide variety of things that can happen during birthing. We do internships where people stay here during birthing season, and they always talk about how happy they are to be able to experience their first births with me, saying something along the lines of how frightened they would be if they were alone. I wrote the book for all of those people who want to expand their knowledge base, especially if they have no way to get in-person experience.

What is your philosophy of goat birthing? More natural or more interventions?

It's definitely more natural, which is why I think of myself as a goat midwife, not an obstetrician. Too many people want to be an obstetrician or think they need to save all or most of their goats. I see far too many people intervening for no good reason, and that's one of the reasons I wrote this book.

Winning Giveaway Question

What was your most difficult and/or frightening goat birthing story?

At the time it happened, our first c-section was really scary and stressful for me. However, the most challenging birth was the nicotine-addicted goat that had tiny kids, two of which were born dead. That would have been really scary except that I had already had about 600 births by then. Both stories are in the book.

Deborah Niemann

Deborah Niemann and her family moved to the country in 2002, and soon 2 goats turned into 20, and a desire to make a simple chèvre launched a new career helping people raise goats. Deborah is the author of Homegrown and Handmade, Ecothrifty, and Raising Goats Naturally.

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