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  • Writer's pictureLesley Richards

You've Goat To Be Kidding!

With kidding season upon us again any moment now I thought it a great topic for this weeks blog. Sleepless nights, That twist in your tummy..., checking on the same goat a billion times a day only to find she is still eating and looking at you strangely cause she's seen you more this week than in her whole life - yep even into our seventh kidding season this is normal farm life around here when kidding is imminent.


Kidding at Little Things Farm...


I guess that feeling of dread and excitement all rolled into one shows you are a breeder that cares deeply about the animals you have and you bring into the world. The Does are most often ones that you have been with when they were born and you have raised from a tiny fragile little tot, to now, when that fragility seems just as present in the moment of kidding.


Over all, our kiddings have been mostly positive experiences but we have lost little ones along the way and been through the roller coaster ride of mummas who have struggled and travelled all the way into the vet operating theatre to be there to support our does who had to have a cesarean section. To combat that feeling of lack of control and helplessness when these situations happen we try to be as prepared as we can but over the years of breeding - kiddings have taught me one thing..... be prepared but also be prepared to adapt, change and think outside the box when things aren't going quite as you planned.


We are lucky enough to have helped a number of breeders with does and bucks that have been bred on our farm on their kidding journey. We love to help and mentor these new breeders and give back to the goating community the same way some amazing Goat breeders and mentors helped us at the beginning and are still on the 'Goat Phone' when things go sideways on our breeding journey. This year I came up with a breeding info sheet for a new breeder who lives on an Island, off the Island that's off the bigger Island.... and has limited access to vets and goat help. Here are just some of the tips we shared....



Tip #1 - Have your kidding kit ready.


These are just some of the things we have in our kidding kit here at Little Things Farm.


~ Paper and pencil or a phone so you can write down information when contractions start/pushing starts etc etc. ~ Clock or watch ~ Towels- lots of them as it gets mucky

~ Rubbish Bags ~ Bulb syringe or small 1 ml syringe in case you need to clean out babies nose ~ Dental floss (for tying off umbilical cords) ~ Scissors

~ Paw Paw ointment- for babies bottoms

~ Vitamin E Oil– 1 drop after bub is dry and happy and has had a drink

~ Lead and collar in case you need to hold mum in place

~ Puppy Pee Pads ~ Iodine- with small cup for dipping or in a small spray bottle ~ Coats for Babies ~ Rubber gloves ~ Lubricant ~ Molasses and warm water (a revitalizing treat for mama after delivery) ~ Paper towels/wet wipes ~ Berocca Tablets for mum ~ Bottle & nipple ~ Colostrum or colostrum replacer


Tip #2 - Be mentally prepared.


We recommend you watch videos of kiddings before your goats are due- there are some great ones on youtube. One rule to really work from is the 30 minute rule- if your goat is actively pushing for more than 30 minutes and you don’t see a baby truly coming there is a good chance you have a problem (often a stuck or round the wrong way kid) this is when you need to be asking for help – before mum is exhausted. Don’t wait till it is too late. This is a good article to read about on this. http://infovets.com/books/smrm/C/C460.htm


Tip #3 - Once baby is born.


Checklist once baby is born, no muck in nose or lungs, towel and mum dried- don’t let them get cold, umbilical cord tied, snipped and betadined, suckle from mum in the first hour- Colostrum is key..., drop vitamin e on tongue of kid, pawpaw ointment on bottom, pop jumper on. (we live in Tassie so kids get cold quite quickly especially with winter kiddings.)



Tip #4 - What Now? Coffee for me!!!


Hoping all has gone well with birthing the kids -we think What now??? We watch our babies closely and make sure they have drunk some colostrum from mum in the first hour- if you think they are cold and you weren’t there for the birth make sure you check their temperature is over 38.3 C before they drink or they can aspirate milk onto their lungs instead of getting it in their tummy.


Tip #5 - Can we play with the kids now???

- Not Quite!


There should be one placenta for all the kids so we typically wait till mum has passed the placenta to know we are finished. Mum can paw quite dramatically when passing the placenta and the kids are too little to stand up and get out of the road so we like to make sure they are ok. Other breeders have had healthy kids trampled on and sadly they not survive. It is up to you if you allow the mum to eat it- typically we remove it and give mum fresh water, a berocca or bowl of berocca in water, a bowl of chaff with a handful of biomare and a nice big hay bag of fresh hay instead.


Hoping all has now gone well, we now get to lose countless hours of our lives, playing with.... oh I mean caring for.... the kids. Over the coming weeks you need to do a few health and husbandry things for the kids so we will cover this in another blog down the track... but now it is time for me to go check a does' ligaments and see if we get to sleep tonight.....




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Disclaimer


The information on this web site is provided as an example of how things are done at Little Things Farm. It is supplied for general reference and educational purposes only. It does not represent the management practices or thinking of other miniature and small breed livestock breeders and/or the veterinary community. We are not veterinarians and the information on this site is not intended to replace professional veterinary advice. Little Things Farm presents the information and products on this site without guarantees, and we accept no liability in connection with the use of this information and/or products. The products referred to and/or offered on this web site are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information provided here is for educational purposes only. Any person making the decision to act upon this information is responsible for investigating and understanding the product or the practice of their own actions.

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