I love, love, love kidding season
You get to see bouncing balls of baby fuzz, everyone's udder at full production, and hopefully, you get to see how wondrously your mother goats raise up the next generation with such love and patience. One of my favorite parts, is watching the kids being born. Last year, Blossom and Ella were in with the buck for 2 months, and what do they do, but get pregnant at the last possible moment. We were out there staring at their backsides, and feeling their ligaments for a whole month before the kids arrived. When they finally arrived, Ella was simple. 3 minutes, no complications, and one blue-eyed little beauty. Blossom had a little more trouble, 2 LARGE bucklings, and one had a bit of trouble breathing, but after that it was smooth sailing. Months before we had assembled our kidding kit, lovingly dubbed the 'Goat Tote'. I'm very glad that there weren't any emergencies, and I hope never to run into one, but as Mom says:
"Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."
Basic supplies list:
%7 Iodine for dipping umbilical cords. Last year one of Glenda's kids contracted Navel ill, and didn't make it. Dipping the cords in Iodine is a simple way to make sure that the tragedy of losing a kid to Navel ill, doesn't happen to you.
The Nose-sucker-thing also known as the 'Snucker' is life-saver, and only $0.99-2.99! I mentioned that one of Blossie's boys had problems breathing, and we just sucked out his nose and mouth, and he was fine.
Pritchard nipples with bottles are an easy back-up in case of rejection or death. Be sure to check that the nipples fit correctly on the bottles.
Lubricant in case of kidding problems. We keep a bottle handy in case.
Towel or puppy-pads are great for helping to dry kids if the weather is cold or if Mom has multiples and can't lick them all at the same time.
Disposable/OB Gloves for keeping the inside of the doe clean in case of an emergency.
Warm Molasses water is greatly appreciated by your new Momma after delivery, for Iron and energy.
Flashlight just in case your doe decides to follow Murphey's Law and has her kid at 1:30 AM.
Phone with Emergency numbers are a must when dealing with births. Goats don't tend to have many problems, but if they do, you do not want to be scrambling through the house looking for the vet's number. Everything seems to take twice as long in a panicked state, and when a doe is in trouble, every minute counts.
Here is the Nice-to-have list:
Stomach tube in case the kid is too weak to take a bottle.
Preparation H is nice to have to help with swelling.
Baby Monitors are really nice to check if your doe is in labor without tromping up to the barn at 3.00 AM. There is a very good chance that if they are in Labor you will be able hear them with the baby monitor. (Ones with a camera are especially nice.)
Scissors and Alcohol are great if the Umbilical cords are too long and need a little trim.
Selenium-E paste for preventing White Muscle Disease. It's not absolutely necessary, but it can't hurt to be cautious, just be sure not to over-dose.
Frozen or fresh Colostrum is wonderful to have on hand in the case of rejection or if a kid is orphaned. Please be sure to use real Colostrum. Some replacers have accidentally harmed or killed kids, and they just can't stand up to the mother's milk with all it's antibodies and protective goodness.
A Camera is something that I love to have on hand. Many times while I'm in the Goat Pen, I wish I had a camera with me. The times I have, I get photos like this:
and this, and this, and this:
Happy Kidding Season!