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Getting Ready For Kidding Season

Getting Ready For Kidding Season

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Whether you are new to goats or an “old hat” at goat raising, every kidding season is a new adventure. Some kidding seasons go off without a hitch and some…well, we would rather forget. Being prepared for every situation is the key. I would much rather be over-prepared than not having the items needed when I need them.

 

Below is a list of the some important things to have on hand.  

 

 

A goat buddy’s phone number. Don’t have one? Check out www.gdgba.org to find a list of dairy goat breeders in Georgia, or do online research for your own state-wide goat association. Even after a number of years in goats, it is always helpful to have someone on speed dial for support. Yes, even those of us with many years of experience need a helping “Calm Down” at some point.

 

 

A well-stocked kidding kit is a must and should include the following:

 

1. Old cloth towels: Thrift stores are a great place to pick these up. These will help dry the kids off fast.

 

2. Betadine or Triodine: for dipping navel cords.

 

3. Probiotics: I prefer Fastrack Jump Start gel. I give a pea size drop to my newborn kids and a couple of clicks to mom also. This helps the kids digestion system to get going.

 

4. Vitamin B Complex: Just in case mom needs a little boost.

 

5. Molasses: After the doe gives birth, I like to give her a bucket of molasses water. This will replenish her fluids and provide her with vitamins and minerals.

 

6. Penicillin Injectable: If I have to pull a kid(s) I always give the doe an injection of antibiotic for prevention of any infection.

 

7. Lube: You will need this in case you have to put your hand inside to pull kids

 

8. Newspaper: I use newspaper to pull the sack and other sticky stuff off the kids. You can also use this to wrap the afterbirth

 

9. Paper towels: to pull mucus off the kids face and out of nostrils and mouth.

 

10. Anti-bacterial solution/hand wash: to clean myself up after kidding

 

11. Bovi Sera: to give a 5 cc sub-Q injection to the kid to help build a strong immune system. Giving the mom a 10 sub-Q injection is also a great idea to help them over the stress of child birth.

 

12. Navel Cord Clamps: to prevent bacteria from infecting the kid through the navel cord. (Personally I leave the navel cord longer and I do not clip the end but prefer the way nature sealed the navel cord off when the kid was born (just personal preference)

 

13. Empty feed sack: to dispose of all the paper and afterbirth*. (*Some breeders allow the does to consume the afterbirth, it is your prerogative as to whether this is your policy. I prefer to remove the afterbirth if at all possible.  To dispose of the afterbirth and any paper products used, I wrap them in a feed sack and take them off the property immediately.)

 

 

Once goats are in active labor (pushing) and their water has broken, you should see progression in the birthing process within 30 minutes or so, but NO MORE THAN 1 HOUR. If there are going to be birthing problems it usually happens with the first kid. They are usually not in the right position and might require some assistance to remove this kid. Most does however kid with no issues at all. ONLY go in and pull a kid IF you are confident in your abilities. If your doe is not progressing, call for back up either from a goat buddy or a veterinarian.

 

After the doe is done with kidding, move the new family into a clean, well bedded area. Make sure to give the doe all the feed, hay and water she may want. Remember she will need to produce milk for the new kids and you later on. Producing milk requires a lot of nutrients for the doe.

 

Putting up a heat lamp for the new kids is not mandatory but the kids will appreciate the warmth especially on cold days. Newborns cannot regulate their body temperature for up to two weeks. Make sure the kids are able to move in and out of the range of the heat lamp so they won’t get too hot. Heat lamps should be high enough from the bedding as to not cause a fire. Make sure to secure electric cords and plug-ins away from curious mouths.

 

The most important thing to remember during kidding is NOT TO PANIC!!! If you stay calm the doe will most likely be calm which can ultimately help with delivery. If you are uncomfortable or feel not qualified to attend to your doe call someone. Most goat breeders are more than happy to walk you through the process or come to your aid.

 

Happy Goating!

 

Hoegger Farmyard Contributor

Shannon Lawrence, Yellow Rose Farm, Shady Dale GA

www.yellowrosefarm.com

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