Monday, January 10, 2011

Kidding Kit

I decided to post what we keep ready when our goats are getting ready to kid. The easier this information is to find for new goat owners, the better!

This stuff is really important to have on hand, really.

You can't just expect to go out and find mama and kids all doing well, especially if it is a bit chilly outside.

Plan on staying with your goat if you find they are in labor. Or at least go out every 15 minutes or so to check on them. It takes about 5 hours for a goat to labor and deliver. If your goat is laboring longer than that, call a veterinarian or be prepared to figure out what is wrong.
  1. A clean, quiet place for the goat to kid
  2. Flashlight & batteries or lights in the barn just in case you have to help a goat at night
  3. Latex gloves – In case you have to assist. Some people like to use their bare hands, I like gloves because I also play guitar and have longer fingernails on one hand. I don't want to hurt the animal on the inside. You can buy OB vet gloves that go up to your shoulder for about 25¢ each at your local farm supply store.
  4. OB Lube – In case you have to “go in” to assist. K-Y Jelly works well, so does the off name brand.
  5. 7% iodine – To treat the umbilical cord to prevent navel ill. 
  6. Film container (or spray bottle) – for dipping or spraying the umbilical cord with iodine. We prefer to dip instead of spray.
  7. Dental floss – To tie the umbilical cord, if necessary.
  8. Blunt nosed scissors – For cutting the umbilical cord if it is too long.
  9. Alcohol or another type of sanitizer - to sterilize tools, hands, anything that might have to go inside the doe.
  10. Baby nasal aspirator – To remove fluids from newborn’s mouth & nose, if necessary. We know of one family who saved some kid's lives because they had one on hand.
  11. 3 old but clean towels – To dry kids to prevent chill & dry hands.
  12. Blow dryer - if our doe is kidding in cool weather we always use a blow dryer to make sure the kid is dry and warm before it takes it's first drink.
  13. Bottle & Nipple – In case you need to bottle feed
  14. Lamb / kid puller – In case of a kid that is positioned wrong. (Usually just your hand is enough to help a doe that needs help but it is a good idea to have one).
  15. Weak lamb syringe & feeding tube – To feed kids too weak to nurse.
  16. Feed bag (garbage bag) – For picking up the afterbirth.
  17. Soap & warm water - for washing up in case you need to assist.
  18. Digital thermometer – To check the temperature of chilled kids, to check the temperature of the doe if she has had any birth trauma
  19. Nutridrench (we use molasses in a pinch) – nutrient and energy supplement, we usually give one squirt to the kid, sometimes a few squirts to the mom. Sheep and goat nutridrench is the same formulation, we buy whichever is cheaper
  20. Colostrum — either powdered or frozen from last year's kidding, just in case you loose the doe and need to save the kid(s). 
  21. Feeding tube and syringe in case you have a kid that is too weak to suck 
  22. Phone number of at least one vet that is familiar with goats - in case of an emergency.
I always have the following on hand whether it is kidding season or not. If you have a problem, you need to have the necessary supplies on hand even if you have a veterinarian. If you call a vet and you have supplies on hand, they can suggest to you what to do while you are trying to get the goat to the vet. If you don't have any medications on hand, you may loose the goat. Please, don't rely on the neighbors to have supplies in case you don't.
  1. Fortified B Complex
  2. Naxcel or Excenel (vet Rx only - 0 withdrawal)
  3. Penicillin - for snotty noses, polio, and mastitis
  4. Eprinephrine (for anaphylactic shock when given injections vet Rx only)
  5. Kaopectate or Pepto Bismol - for scours
  6. Therabloat - in case you have a goat that bloats. Baking Soda drenches work, too.
  7. Probiotics - give when off feed or after antibiotic treatment
  8. Electrolites - prevent dehydration during stress
  9. Kaptan or Clorox for ringworm & other fungi
  10. 5cc and 12cc Syringes
  11. 18g x 1" and 22g x 1" Needles
  12. Drench gun or syringe
  13. BluKote or another type germicidal and fungicidal
If you have a first aid kit at home for your family, you should have a first aid kit for your goats, period. The old saying, "If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail." is absolutely true. You may have had years and years of good kiddings and no problems, all it takes is once to make you realize that it would have been better to have the right things on hand.

    2 comments:

    TheArmedChihuahua said...

    This list is a huge help! Thank you. We are expecting "kids" in a few weeks, and the yuppie farmers are a little nervous!

    TJ said...

    Best wishes on your new 'family'. We LOVE kids :)