For many small (and large) farmers goat kidding season is now in full swing. This is my first year expecting kids and I am both excited and terrified! My fears are not lessened by the fact that I am dealing with an overly dramatic first freshener myself! She’s had me convinced birth was imminent for a couple of weeks now…
still no kids! Update: 2/24/15 – The kids are here!
But I’ve learned a lot in this time. I’ve memorized all of the well-known signs of kidding and I can check her in under 2 seconds every morning as I try and figure out if today is the day. I am finally back to sleeping through the night as I don’t run and check the goat house every thirty minutes in case she’s in labor. And lastly, I feel like I am now well and truly prepared to take care of the kid/s when they finally decide to arrive.
So, What’s in My Kidding Kit?
1) Bucket. I keep my kidding items in an easy-to-grab rubber bucket at the back door. I plan to use the bucket to feed mama doe some warm molasses water after the birth to give her a little energy boost.
2) Anti-Bacterial Soap. I spend a lot of time outside. I’m usually dusty and covered in mud (and poop… lot’s of poop), so if I need to spring into action I had better have a way to get my hands clean – SUPER clean if it is necessary for me to “go in” and assist with a breech birth or other complications.
3) Iodine Spray. This is another disinfecting item and is used on the kid navel to prevent bacteria from “climbing up” the residual umbilical cord and causing illness in the kids.
4) Molasses. Added to water, this will provide a welcome energy boost to mama after the birth.
5) Calcium Drench. I will need this in case of an onset of toxemia or ketosis.
6) Flashlight/Lantern. In case we end up kidding at night
7) Plastic cup. For putting iodine in to dip the navels.
9) Pro-Bios. I haven’t used this before, but I am told that it’s a good thing to give does after a stressful birth. It’s mainly used to support the rumen after medication has been given.
10) Needles & Syringes. (Pictured are just some of the needles I have on hand).
11) Clamp & Medical Scissors. These will be used only in the event that mama doe does not take care of the umbilical cord, or if she leaves it too long and it needs trimming. (These are cleaned before use as they are not in sterile packaging).
12) Thermometer. Obviously this is to check temps.
13) Super B-Complex. Post-kidding energy boost if needed.
14) Personal Lubricant. This is in case I need to “go in” and assist by turning a breech kid.
16) Blu-Kote. This really doesn’t belong in this kit… it’s an anti-fungal/wound care spray. I have a couple of these so I just tossed it in here because… well, you never know what can come up. lol
17) Dog Collar. In case we have similar looking kids and need to identify them.
18) Clean Dog Sweaters. In case of cold weather/sickly kids who need a little extra warmth.
19) Trash Bags. A LOT of trash bags to clean up after the birth. Paper towels, puppy pads and other birth related “ick” will all need to be disposed of.
20) Rubber Gloves.
21) Pritchard Nipples. These are awesome! They fit over the top of a 750ml soda bottle in case mama refuses/is unable to feed the kids and we need to intervene.
22) Paper Towels. For some reason I left them by the door when I took the bucket outside to take pictures. I keep a couple of rolls of paper towels too. These are needed to clean and dry the kids.
Well, funny you should ask! Yes, we do have a few other things prepared…
We have a portion of oats ready to be prepared just as soon as mama is done with the hard work.
We have a Thermos for warm water needed for the molasses water we will give mama post birth.
We have clean, empty soda bottles ready to go should we need to help feeding the babies.
We have some whole cows milk and eggs ready to be made into standby colostrum in the event that mama won’t feed the kid/s. I know there’s nothing like the real thing, but we aren’t sure that we will be able to get our hands on any frozen colostrum from our local goat contacts as everyone has been running low, so this is our emergency stand by option. I have a goat mentor who I consider to be one of the leading goat health experts in the country and he does not like powdered colostrum and strongly encourages farmers to go with modified cows milk in situations where replacement colostrum is needed.
Blankets, in case I need to take up residence in the kidding stall for a few hours.
Fully charged Nook.
Camera, full battery and tripod.
So that’s about it… I think… Please note that not all of these things are crucial for your kidding kit. I know that my kit may be a little overwhelming to most people and that’s mostly because I am a freaky overachiever sometimes… also because every time Cheesecake leads me to believe “this is kidding week” I panic and do more research and inevitably find something else I might need to add to the kit.
That brings me to something else… in future I MUST know WHEN they were bred so I have some idea of when they are due. Cheesecake was already pregnant when we purchased her, and her previous owner had many goats, so she wasn’t totally sure when the breeding happened – we think sometime in early October – all the other girls who were in with that same buck have kidded in the last couple of weeks…
we’re still waiting… lol Just a few hours after I posted this entry, the kids arrived! (Click to read more)
Is your kidding kit anything like mine? Is there something you think I should add? If you’re a homesteader/goat-keeper, I’d love to see your kit, please link it in the comments below!
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