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Goat Kidding Print E-mail
Written by Administrator-GL   
Monday, 28 May 2007
Article Index
Goat Kidding
Page 2

Kidding

Spring has sprung and your does are getting wider by the minute...
She’s moaning with fullness and her udder is starting to fill out.. Your back is aching from all the bending you have been doing checking her time and time again- Just to make sure... At last, the time of year comes when you are ready for babies OR ARE YOU?

Let me recap some vital information for any newbies reading:
  1. Breeding season is typically between July and February, this is not a certainty so don’t happily put the girls in with the boys unless you want babies no matter the season. (pygmies do not follow breeding season so to speak, they can come into season at different times of the year).
  2. Estrus is every 21 days and lasts for approximately 3 days with day number 2 being the usual choice for successful fertilization.
  3. Breeding takes place when the buck mounts the doe and as he ejaculates he thrusts his head back, the doe will hunch up after he dismounts. This is how I tell that a breeding was successful. I always re-breed in the same standing 2 more successful times just to make sure.
  4. Gestation is 145 to 155 days. Some will go longer by a few days and some may deliver a little earlier. Single births tend to be at the long end of the time span and multiple births seem to be on the early end. Also, I have found that when the barometric pressure drops during this time frame is when the doe will drop her kids.
  5. Generally I don’t suggest breeding a doe until she is either a year old or at least 80 pounds (unless she is a Pygmy, then I go by age which I have chosen to be 1 1/2 yrs old before breeding). I wait till 2 years old for my angora girls since the develop more slowly than other breeds. A doe under a year old is still growing herself and it’s an awful lot to expect her to share her growing time with a fetus developing in her and making enough milk to feed her baby once it hits the ground.
  6. A doeling can get pregnant at the age of 3 months and a buckling can produce sperm and make babies at the same age, so be careful how long you leave intact boy babies with mom and sisters.

The Time is Near:
Ok.. So now you are looking at your calendar and you DID write down the date of breeding right?.. I know you think you will remember what date who bred who.. But believe me .. You won’t be sure as the times nears. So I hope you did write down not only every time you bred but also any time the buck may have gotten out of his pen and with the girls, this is why we have surprise babies. And yes.. I have had my share!
Time to keep an eye on tail ligaments and other signs of oncoming labor.

Typical Signs of Early Labor (Not necessarily in order):
  1. Appears restless, shys away from herd
  2. Eyes glossy or luminous
  3. Paying much attention to her sides and smelling the ground
  4. Pawing at bedding or dirt
  5. Looking behind her and talking to her sides (typically in a voice you have never heard="mama talk")
  6. Talks to you alot as if she is telling you she is getting ready (she is, so listen)
  7. Gets dreamy eyed or star-gazy (euphoric)
  8. Looks less pregnant than she did before-sides have hollowed out, under-belly is full
  9. Lifts tail frequently and urinates frequently, usually not much urine at a time
  10. Lays down and gets up more than usual-figidty
  11. Udder begins to fill more-looks tight and shiny-teats get full
  12. Vulva becomes flabby then looks flat and opening looks longer
  13. White discharge (this may or may not happen) changing to an egg-white looking discharge, sometimes may have some blood streaking in it.
The Place:
Make sure you have somewhere clean, draft free and warm for your doe to kid in winter and cool,shady and airy (yet draft free on the ground level) in summer. Whether it’s a covered shelter in the goatyard, a place in the barn set up just for her or a spot you are willing to share in the house - don’t laugh! I’ve had many babies born in my house. Some of my more spoiled goats demand it and WILL wait until I let them in to kid!
Also keep in mind that if you are in an area predisposed to having ants, they can be kid killers! They get into the eyes and mucus membranes of newborns and can quickly overtake them eating their eyes and eventually killing them.

Amdro ant killer is what many people use that is safe to have around goats, best to call your local agricultural dept or vet and find out what they suggest-or go onto the goat lists and ask what others use. So far I personally have not had to use it, so I do not have experience with it.
You’ll need a bale of clean straw for bedding ( wood shavings are not a good choice for bedding, can get into eyes and nose of newborn kids), a good light out of her reach for night-time kiddings, and a comfortable place for you to sit and wait.. and wait...laugh but you’ll think of this as the days near and you make it daily habit of goat business end watching as you wait for the new arrivals. You will do this no matter if you know the due date or not..it becomes a part of your daily routine.



Kidding  Supplies:
Minimal supplies you will need.
  1. Clean towels for clearing baby’s nose and drying off baby -(hand towels gotten at the thrift shop are great).
  2. Lubricant for assisting delivery- (Vaseline or KY Jelly will do but there are inexpensive non-greasy lubricants just for lamb and goat obstetrics- my favorite is ‘Superlube’ because it is antiseptic as well).
  3. 7% iodine for navel cord dipping-( a film container works great for dipping navels) So you do not contaminate the whole bottle. You just put iodine in the film container dip navel in iodine and tip bottle and kid to make sure that the navel gets completely covered.
  4. Dental floss or a navel clamp for tying off possible ruptured navels- (this does not happen often, but when it does you’ll need this).
  5. Surgical gloves for keeping hands from transferring germs into mom should you need to assist-(These can be found at Walmart or any of the livestock supply house).
  6. Scissors that have been sterilized, preferably surgical scissors but any will do for cutting navel cords shorter if they break long, you’ll want them about 1 ½ inches long-(kept in a plastic bag to keep them clean).
  7. Alcohol for sterilizing scissors (30 minutes submerged in alcohol will sterilize) and cleaning hands before delivery.
  8. Paper towels for general clean up.
  9. Sterile syringes and needles- I use syringes for everything from injections to administering oral meds- 3 cc and 6 cc are great. (diabetic syringes measured in tenths are great for babies, you may have to change needles.. I have experienced the needles supplied are not strong enough, even for baby) I use short needles ½ inch and 3/4 inch 20 gauge.
  10. BO-SE (selenium /vit E combination to combat white muscle disease) obtained from your vet before the big day for selenium injection for baby- in selenium deficient areas- check with your vet on dosage. ( I use 1/10 cc for pygmy babies)
  11. Penicillin Procaine G in case you have to go inside the doe to assist the delivery, you will want to put her on antibiotics for 5 days afterwards-to be safe.
  12. Nasal spray or hemorrhoid medicine reduce swelling of vulva area in hard deliveries. (Both work great)
  13. Probiotic paste or yogurt to replace the rumen flora after administering any antibiotics. Antibiotics kill good bacteria that keeps the rumen working as well as what bacteria you are combating in the body.
  14. Disposable plain vinegar douche for cleaning out mom after a hard delivery or one with a dead fetus.
  15. Molasses and/or Goat Nutri-Drench for replacing mom with vital minerals and vitamins after kidding, also for quick energy that was depleted during delivery. A bucket or bowl that holds at least a gallon for the warm water you will mix the molasses into. (I use about 1/3 cup to a gallon of water).
  16. Propylene Glycol in case of ketosis-gotten at the vets or livestock supply.
  17. Rectal thermometer for taking baby’s temp or mom’s.
  18. Scale to weigh baby.
  19. Camera and assistant-for recording that wonderful event-I use a video camera so if there are problems later I can look back to see if something went wrong during delivery and I have forgotten-Plus it makes great brag material!
  20. Time to make sure your finger nails are shorter than short and remove any rings or bracelets before delivering kids- you don’t want anything that could tear her uterus should you have to go in to help.    

Last Updated ( Saturday, 31 December 2011 )
 
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