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Assisting in successful kidding

With baby goats nearing their due date, do your best to prepare for new arrivals with this inclusive guide to kidding.
  • The time is coming

    Know you have baby goats on the way? Keep any eye on your pregnant goat and get ready for kidding with these tips. Prepare your home, land and family to bring new animals into the world. While minimal intervention is ideal in the kidding process, there are ways to help your goat have a smooth birth.

    Date Published: March 1, 2019
    Date Updated: March 1, 2019
    Tags: Goats, kidding, birth
  • Keeping an eye on your pregnant goat

    Increase their food ration in the last six weeks, watch their body, making sure they’re getting enough food but not gaining excess weight. Another helpful precaution is to trim their hair – udder, rear, beard, hooves – to reduce build-up of discharge and make nipples accessible and easily findable for kids.

    Date Published: March 1, 2019
    Date Updated: March 1, 2019
    Tags: Goats, kidding, birth
  • Create a birthing space

    Clean stalls regularly leading up to birthing, but be sure it’s freshly cleaned for labor - making sure to replace bedding. Make your soon-to-be mother goat comfortable by providing coverage, shelter, food and water in accessible places and give her space to lay about and move a bit during labor. Provide extra, fresh bedding before birth for a dry, safe environment.

    Date Published: March 1, 2019
    Date Updated: March 1, 2019
    Tags: Goats, kidding, birth
  • Prepare the pen for kids

    Kids are notoriously mischievous, so make sure the pen or stall is safe and ready for kids. Sure-up walls and gates to make sure there’s no gaps for them to squeeze through or objects to climb on or jump in. Be careful in placing water sources; because goats are curious, a deep-water source can present a drowning hazard for baby goats. Also be sure to take precautions that other goats can’t get into the kid pen for a while after birth. Other goats will be curious of what is going on, but can trample the newborn kid if they get too excited.

    Date Published: March 1, 2019
    Date Updated: March 1, 2019
    Tags: Goats, kidding, birth
  • Gather a kidding kit

    There’s a lot of potential supplies which can ease the birthing process. Most assembled lists have pretty similar supplies on them, though some are longer or shorter than others. Here’s a few Kidding-Kit lists from several sources. Make sure you have a pale of water ready for after labor, adding molasses or honey to add sweetness and calories to recover.

    Manna Kit Guide

    TN Meat Goats Kit Guide

    Fiasco Kit Guide

    Hobby Farms Kit Guide

    Simple Kit Guide

     

    Date Published: March 1, 2019
    Date Updated: March 1, 2019
    Tags: Goats, kidding, birth
  • Last days before labor

    With your birthing pen set up, and a kidding kit assembled, frequently check on your pregnant doe for any signs of labor. Softening of pin bones, leaking from the vulva and contractions are all signs of impending pregnancy. Sunken sides are another sign; the goat will carry the babies high in the abdomen, but shortly before birth the bulge will drop and produce an extra visual cue. Additionally, keep any eye out for how restless the doe is; constant moving, or an inability to lay still, shows the goat is unable to get comfortable and labor is near.

    Date Published: March 1, 2019
    Date Updated: March 1, 2019
    Tags: Goats, kidding, birth
  • Helping with labor

    Be mindful of your pregnant goat, the relationships they have with the other goats, as well as owner. Most goat births go off without a hitch, and assistance isn’t always necessary. But with a kidding kit prepared, you can step in and help if it is needed and the goat is comfortable with it.  When birthing begins, a bubble filled with liquid should emerge from the goat’s vagina, presenting two hooves and a nose (as goats should come out head first), this is the amniotic membrane. If your goat is struggling, you can break this membrane after the head is delivered to move the process along. Make sure to clean the face of the kid immediately, especially nasal passages, so that breathing can safely begin. After doing so, and lightly drying the newborn kid, make sure you place it close to the mother so she may lick it clean and try to feed its new baby. This time is incredibly important for bonding, so try your best to not interrupt this process.

    Date Published: March 1, 2019
    Date Updated: March 1, 2019
    Tags: Goats, kidding, birth
  • Immediately after labor

    After giving your mama and newborn goat(s) time to bond and feed, make sure you get your doe food and drinks to replenish and recover from birth. Provide fresh food to eat and some warm, sweet water to hydrate and gain some calories back. As mentioned earlier, adding some molasses or honey to a pale of warm water seems to be popular among post-labor goats. When labor is concluded, do a double-check to make sure your doe has birthed all the babies she was growing inside of her and that other goats won’t be able to get to the baby goat any time soon as it develops with its mom.

    Date Published: March 1, 2019
    Date Updated: March 1, 2019
    Tags: Goats, kidding, birth
  • Weaning kids off milk

    Once your new goat reaches 30 pounds, and is eating solid feed (usually occurs 3-4 weeks into their life), you can begin weaning them off of milk and transitioning to dry food. Set up a weaning pen to help the transition, and be sure to have them acclimated to it well before they are completely weaned off. As your goat kids begin eating dry feed, make sure they have easy access to fresh, clean water. While hydration is obviously important, proper water consumption aids the digestive breakdown of dry feed. Make sure to keep the water trough low enough to keep drinking easy for the goats (no more than a foot off the ground). Several shots and medical measures can help this process as well and make sure it is done so in a healthy fashion.

    Date Published: March 1, 2019
    Date Updated: March 1, 2019
    Tags: Goats, kidding, birth

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