Preparing for goat kidding is an annual springtime activity on Bramblestone Farm. I’m always both anxious and nervous during kidding season, but there’s nothing I can do except make sure we’re ready. What does being prepared mean?
Preparing for Goat Kidding
- Going through my list of kidding season supplies and making sure that it’s up-to-date, and that we have everything on hand (see the list here). I try to have supplies on hand to handle all reasonable possibilities.
- Giving each doe a CDT (2 cc’s) and BoSe (2 cc’s) shot 4 weeks prior to kidding. Also, deworming (see deworming chart HERE) to combat the buildup of internal parasites that usually occurs just prior to kidding. We usually deworm them when we move them into their individual stalls a week before their expected freshening date.
- Gradually increasing their grain ration starting six weeks prior to kidding, and closely watching each doe to make sure she’s getting enough food but is not getting fat. Because they still have their winter coats, feeling along their topline in the wither and hip areas helps me monitor how thin or fat they are getting.
- Giving each doe an udder, back flank, legs, hair, and beard trim (see Pre-Freshening Goat Clipping) to keep things as clean as possible. Also, trim their hooves one final time before kidding.
- Refreshing our memories of the possible complications/ailments that can occur and what to do about each.
- Cleaning the stalls, making sure they’re as sanitary as possible. Putting heat lamps in each stall to keep the kids warm, and making sure each has a working camera (so we can see and hear what’s happening). We use the Premier 1 carbon fiber heat lamp (Premier 1 Carbon Fiber Heat Lamp) shown below in the stall that we use for kidding because it puts out more heat than the Premier 1 heat lamp shown in the photo below (we use those in the other stalls after the kids are born).
- Here’s a view into a stall that’s been prepped and had a doe moved in a week before she’s due (many of you goat-keeping readers have mentioned that you’d like to see photos of how we set things up).
- Of course, she broke her goat mineral and baking soda feeder (scratching her back) just before I took the photo. We have goat pens that are either 10′ x 10′ or 5′ x 10′ and prefer to have the does kid in the larger stalls, and then move them into the smaller stalls as necessary.
- The photo above shows one of the smaller 5′ x 10′ stalls being prepared.
After getting everything ready, we wait and I try to remember that goats have been successfully kidding by themselves for centuries.