Note: Several readers have requested posts on topics that have already appeared here – “Preparing for Goat Kidding” this is one of those posts that has been updated and republished.
Kidding season is here again, so of course, we’re preparing again (see Kidding Schedule). I’m always both anxious and nervous, but there’s nothing I can do except to make sure we’re prepared. What does being prepared mean? Well for us preparing for goat kidding means:
- 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 list here). I try to have supplies on hand to handle all reasonable possibilities.
- Giving each doe a CDT (2 cc) & BoSe (2 cc) shot at 4 weeks prior to kidding, and deworming (to combat the buildup of internal parasites that usually occurs just prior to kidding) them when they move 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, and trim hooves one final time before kidding.
- Refreshing our memories on 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 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 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.