Preparing for Kidding
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Your doe is pregnant. If you’re a newbie goat-owner, you may not know much about preparing for kidding. Here’s a primer to help you out a bit.
2 months prior to due date:
- Dry off doe: Does should have 2 months off from milking before they kid again.
6 weeks prior to due date:
- Give the doe a hoof trim: Doing this before she’s even heavier will be easier for her and for you!
4 weeks prior to due date:
- Give CD&T vaccine: This will help protect both the doe and the unborn babies
- Start giving a little grain, gradually increasing so that she’ll be ready for the increased calories needed once she’s in milk.
2 weeks prior to due date:
- Get your kidding kit together (see below for recommended items).
- Make sure you have important phone numbers handy including your vet and any experienced goat owners that could be on call to help if needed.
1 week prior to due date:
- Clean out your kidding stall and bed it with some nice clean straw.
- Clip hair from the doe’s udder, belly in front of the udder, tail, and behind back legs. (This is optional but sure helps make post-kidding cleanup easier.)
- Start putting the doe in a kidding stall with a friend or family member that she gets along with, so she can get used to it.
A few days before due date:
- Start watching for sign of labor: standing off by herself, pawing at the ground and getting up and down a lot, going off feed, soft ligaments around the tail head, full and shiny udder, and hollowing out around the hip bones when the babies drop are all signs labor is getting close. Gooey, ropey discharge indicates you’re probably within hours of delivery.
Items for your Kidding Kit:
~ Paper and pencil
~ Clock or watch
~ Bulb syringe
~ Dental floss (for tying off umbilical cords)
~ Small cup for iodine (to dip umbilical cord end)
~ Rubber gloves
~ Antiseptic lubricant
~ Molasses and warm water (a revitalizing treat for mama after delivery)
~ Paper towels/wet wipes
~ Bottle & nipple
~ Colostrum or colostrum replacer