Spring time means it is kidding time. I love Spring Time. I can’t wait to get outside and reorganize my yard, and barnyard after the winter messes pile up under the snow. You know clean up all the treasures the dog drug onto the lawn and then it snowed over the top of it.
This year my barnyard was a chaotic mess because of the elk. The water that comes as the snow melted was blocked by the straw bale they tore up and scattered. Needless to say there is still ice underneath it and the water didn’t drain from the corral like it needed to. So yup I still have mud in parts of the corral. But that is ok I will work around it until we can get in there with the tractor and clean it up.
But it is still time to get ready for the kidding. I can’t wait. Some of the things I do to prepare for these cute babies:
- Towels: I always try to get the babies warmed up and dry as quick as possible because newborn kids get cold very easily. I make sure I have dry towels to clean them up and dry them off. If it is a warm day I let the doe take care of this. But if it is cold, I try to help her out. I have a calf warmer that I can put the babies in if needed. I also have little polar fleece covers to put on them.
- Bottle: It is important the baby gets up to nurse as soon as possible. They need that colostrum to get their stomach working and build up their immune system. If there is a problem with the baby nursing I get the bottle out and milk the doe. If the baby is cold and wet they just don’t want to nurse as easily so warm them up. I like to use a Prichard Nipple if I have to feed the kid on a bottle.
- Rubber Gloves: I usually try to let the doe do all of the work, after all she carried these little ones for 5 months, she deserves to enjoy them. But I am there if she needs me. I do make sure when the kid is born the sack comes off of the nose so the little one can breathe. The Amniotic fluid is very drying to my hands so the gloves protect my hands and also keeps things clean for the doe and kid. Occasionally it may be necessary to step in and help the doe. Make sure your gloves are really clean so you won’t cause any infection in the doe. But don’t be to quick to jump in there to help unless you really know there is a problem.
- Iodine spray: This is to spray on the navel to prevent infections getting into the kid.
- Straw: I try to make sure the doe has fresh straw to lay in while kidding. As she is kidding if the straw gets really wet I try to put some dry stuff over the top or pull the wet stuff out. Especially if it is really cold out. After she is finished kidding I pull the straw out and put new fresh dry straw into my little sheds. My does really don’t like to be moved to another shed when they are finished. That shed is the favorite and they want to stay right there.
- Hay: After my does kid they really don’t want to leave their babies and go eat with the rest of the goats so I bring a little hay to them. They are happy to stay there and eat and are usually very hungry. My other goats usually don’t bother them while they are kidding.
- Watch & Wait: Luckily my does are out my kitchen window so I can check on them easily. I watch them and the way they are acting I can tell when they are getting close. Here are a few more tips to see if they are getting close.
Meet EmmyLou, it is obvious she is pregnant just from the size of her belly. It is a little hard to see on this picture. She waddles when she walks.
The due date for the kids can be as early as on Saturday. So that gives me a date to start watching. I watch really close when it is a week before 5 months from putting the buck in. I watch the bag of the doe. Usually they will start bagging up really tight just before they kid. Although I have had a few that haven’t bagged until immediately before kidding. I also watch the rear end. It gets really loose as they prepare to kid. They can have a little discharge for a while before kidding but they get a lot of mucous coming out when they are really close.
I also check the tailbone. As they get closer to kidding you can feel the muscles are really loosening up and getting ready for the babies to come.
I will post more pictures when we start to kid. I hope this information helped you in getting ready to kid and knowing a few things to look for. I think the important thing is to sit back and watch your does. They know what to do, but you will be there if they have any trouble.
I hope you enjoyed my blog post. Feel free to share it with your fellow goat person. I love comments please leave them below.
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