This post contains image/video that may not be for everyone.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that every kidding season comes with it’s own surprise. This year was certainly no different. For the first time in hundreds of kids, we had an extreme deformity.
Many people are familiar with the flaws a kid can be born with – wry face, supernumerary teats, parrot mouths, underbites. And most of us have seen pictures of very strange deformities – extra legs, cyclops, legs turned backwards. But I’d never had a deformity of this magnitude born to any of my animals.
Midori, the doe famous for kidding five-six kids every year, delivered something completely different in 2017. Not only did she have a big healthy doeling, she delivered a deformed kid.
The birthing went perfectly fine, Midori needed no assistance, and the first doeling was completely normal. The second however, was a surprise to us all.
The second kid was almost completely hairless, with just hair on the lower legs, tail, spine, and top of what should have become a skull. You could clearly see the developed blood supply system that had kept the kid “alive” up until birth, when it surely suffocated. Since it had no discernable face. The rest of the body appeared to have formed fairly normally, (it was a doeling), the joints were in the proper position and it had muscle structure. However, once you reached the neck, you could clearly see things had gone wrong.
The neck vertebrae felt normal upon palpation but the soft structures of the neck and throat were mushy, underdeveloped. Where the neck ended, there was merely a hard knob instead of a formed skull. Instead of a face, there was only a strange small ear, with possibly another auditory hole on the other side of the head.
Thought I was sorely tempted to perform a necropsy on the kid, I know of an author working on a book for deformities in livestock, so I wrapped up the little creature and stuck it in my freezer until I could get it to them.
There were some questions of outside influence creating a deformity, but I personally do not believe this was the case in this particular instance. These things just sometimes happen – just from conception to live birth is a miracle in itself, with how much can go wrong. Most things that go wrong are absorbed or slipped very shortly after conception, so we rarely see one last this long.
I admit, I became entirely too excited over this deformed kid, insisting that my employer take a look with me. Yes, it is sad that this kid did not develop normally, but at the same time, we were experiencing an unusual occurrence. I felt it was important to stop and appreciate the fascinating way something can go wrong – however strange that sounds.
The live doeling continues to develop and grow perfectly well, and is in fact quite a good looking girl. She’ll have to get a name soon.
I’ve posted pictures of the kid below, along with a video I took. There is no gore, and in my opinion is not disgusting or disturbing, but please look/watch at your own discretion.