Spanish researchers conducted a study to determine the effect of birth type, sex, duration of birth (categorized as short, medium, or long), and level of maternal care (categorized as low, medium, or high) on the behavioral variables of kids during the first hour after birth.
The parturitions of 78 primiparous goats (46 single-birth and 32 twin-birth) along with the behavior of the kids (44 males and 66 females) during the first hour of life were studied.
Birth weight and duration of parturition were greater in single-birth kids. Birth weight and duration of parturition was greater in males. All the kids attempted to stand during the first hour of life, but only 83% attempted to suckle with 65% succeeding. Single-birth kids attempted to stand earlier than twin-birth kids. Males tried to stand sooner than females.
Short-duration-birth kids attempted to suckle earlier, achieved suckling earlier, and suckled longer at first attempt. Total suckling time was longer in long-duration-birth kids than in medium- and short-duration birth.
Results suggest that heavier kids suffer more during birth and are slower to achieve suckling; however, they appear to recover quickly because the total suckling time observed during the first hour was greater.
Source: Journal of Animal Science. 2009. 87:1772-1777