This is a list of kidding supplies for goats. I keep these items in an easy to carry box as a kidding kit that keeps everything I may need in one place and I can carry it with me to wherever it is needed.
- Flashlight & batteries - For those night time deliveries.
- Latex gloves – In case you have to assist.
OBLube – In case you have to “go in” to assist.
- 7% iodine – To treat the umbilical cord to prevent navel ill.
- Small spray bottle or film container – for dipping or spraying the umbilical cord with iodine.
- Dental floss – To tie the umbilical cord, if necessary.
- Blunt nosed scissors – For cutting the umbilical cord if it is too long.
- Alcohol - to sterilize tools
- Baby nasal aspirator – To remove fluids from newborn’s mouth & nose, if necessary.
- 3 old but clean towels & 2 washcloths – To dry kids to prevent chill & dry hands.
- Bottle & Pritchard Nipple – In case you need to bottle feed, I have had the best luck getting newborns to use the Pritchard Nipple over others.
- 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).
- Weak lamb syringe & feeding tube – To feed kids too weak to nurse.
- Small scale - I use this to get a birth weight on the kids.
- Feed bag or garbage bag – For picking up the afterbirth.
- Soap & warm water - for washing up in case you need to assist.
- Small notebook & Pen - to record birth weights, etc.
- Digital thermometer – To check the temperature of chilled kids.
- Quiet hair dryer – to warm a mildly chilled kid.
- Phone # of 2 goat knowledgeable veterinarians - in case of an emergency.
Most births go very well and there is little assistance needed, problems are quite rare but can happen so it is always a good idea to keep a close eye on does that are close to kidding.
We raise Boer goats and we expect our does to be good mothers who raise their own kids and they are all fantastic mothers; so other than to treat the umbilical cords and help dry a kid in cold weather, I interfere as little as possible. There typically isn’t much for me to do except watch the event, which I never get tired of doing. These are the supplies in my kidding kit, but keep in mind that breeders differ on what supplies and procedures they use. Weather, CAE prevention in dairy goats and other factors play a role in procedures and supplies needed for each farm. This is just the kidding kit that we use and what works well for us on our farm.
Some other kidding tips:
Always handle any goat, but especially bred does with care and in a manner that will not stress them.
Give your pregnant does their CD/T vaccination boosters 4 weeks before they kid to protect the mother and assure she passes those good antibodies on to her newborns. This is also a good time to check her for anemia, usually caused by worms. Pull down the lower eyelid & make sure it is a healthy dark pink color, not pale or white. An anemic goat may not produce milk like she should at kidding.
It is a very good idea to have frozen colostrum on hand for an emergency because it is absolutely imperative that the newborn kids get colostrum as soon after birth as possible. It contains the antibodies needed to help keep the newborn kid healthy. It is a good idea to milk out a little colostrum from a doe that has recently kidded after her kids have nursed, then freeze it in an ice cube tray and store the cubes in ziplock bags in the freezer for future emergency use.
After the kids are born, make sure the doe’s teats are not plugged so the kids can get their colostrum.
Give the doe some warm water with some molasses in it after she kids for extra energy and to help replace fluids, she will relish it.
Do not feed a severely chilled kid, warm them up first because a chilled kid cannot digest milk and will not want to nurse.
If you do have to go in to assist, it is a good idea to treat that doe with a round of Penicillin to prevent infection.
The doe should pass her afterbirth with-in 12 hours of kidding, if she does not a vet should be consulted. NEVER pull the afterbirth out of a doe as this can result in serious damage to the doe, let her expel it naturally.
Deworm the doe the day after she kids; this is a time when worms can get out of hand because of stress and hormonal changes that result in a dramatic rise in worm eggs.
And last but not least, take some pictures and enjoy the event, it is the best and most exciting part of raising goats!
*The picture is of one of my Boer does "Nifty" kidding last June. She had a single buckling. She was a first time mother at the time, but you can see she knew just what to do and is a very attentive and great mother.