When it comes to kidding season, it can turn life upside down fast. Most often kidding, is a pretty stressful time for any goat parent, whether seasoned or not. Having the correct equipment and medications on-hand will make life easier. No two births are the same. Therefore, different items may be needed depending upon the circumstances.
Photo by Author: A multitude of items.
- A grab and go toolbox is essential in staying organized and prepared during stressful events. Making sure to clean and restock between birthing events is crucial.
- Vitamin B paste is exceptional for both the mom and babies for an extra boost of energy and to increase appetite.
- Selenium Vitamin E paste is provided when a baby is born with weak legs. Though ordinarily unnecessary since routinely wobbly legs for the first few days of a kid’s life is not unusual. Often it is caused by the transference of hormones from mother to kid and fades off within a few days. This hormone can also cause droopy ears in kids.
- Molasses is a great addition; it gives the mother a boost of vitality. I add enough molasses to obtain a weak tea color.
- Electrolytes are exceptional to keep in the kit to aid a frail, exhausted, or worn-out doe.
- Nasal Aspirator is utilized to remove mucus from the mouth and nose of kids after birth. It is a fundamental item and should be in all kits.
- Unwaxed dental floss or naval clamp used for tieing off long umbilical cords before trimming.
- Iodine Solution is applied to umbilical cords for the first few days after kidding to prevent infections.
- OB lube is required when intervention becomes unavoidable during the birth process. Never enter a doe dry as it can cause great harm.
- Sterile gloves are fabulous to have on hand when intervention is needed. Ob length is ideal, but any length will work.
- Small sharp scissors are exceptional to have on hand to trim lengthy umbilical cords.
- Thermometers (2) should be kept in the event a doe or kid’s temperature is in question.
Remarkable things to have:
- Preparation H is incredible to have on hand when a rough delivery has left a doe with swelling and soreness on her lady parts.
- OB snare is a stock item placed in birthing kits though not readily used or needed.
- Nail clippers are helpful to have handy if you need to trim your nails before aiding in a birth. Always make sure nails are freshly trimmed short before assisting a doe.
- Stethoscopes are great for trying to listen to a babie’s heart beat or checking for additional kids.
Photo by Author: Using the Nasal Aspirator
Other items to keep on hand but do not need to be placed in the emergency kit.
- La-200 for potential uterine infections. Most often unneeded for common birthings.
- Multi-use wormer such as Ivermectin sheep drenches for use on the new mother 24 hrs after delivery to help combat worm bloom.
- Ketone strips are used in diagnosing possible (acetoacetic acid/ketosis) in the urine, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.
- Propylene Glycol to treat (acetoacetic acid/ketosis).
- Colostrum for the new baby(ies) if mother rejects, is too weak, or is unable to nurse.
- Baby bottles should be kept on hand for the same reasons listed in the above sentence.
- Goat Mineral is always vital but even more so after birthing has depleted essential vitamins and nutrients.
Photo by Author: It takes a lot of towels to dry a baby.
A well-prepared birthing box will make kidding easier and less hectic. The addition of a bag filled with clean towels is an exceptional bonus to have on hand. A minimum of four or five freshly laundered towels for each kidding is a good rule of thumb. If you are expecting more than two kids, a few extra towels are warranted. Now most important, a bottle of your favorite wine, alcohol, or beer, you just survived another kidding you deserve it! Bask in the glory and awe of the miracle of life for a few moments. Now restock your kit and get ready for the next one.
Carrie Miller grew up in a small rural town in Northwest Pennsylvania, married her high school sweetheart and had two amazing children. She spends her time raising chickens, pigs, beef cows, and Oberhasli dairy goats at Miller Microfarm. She raises vegetable gardens, fruits, and berry patches while never using herbicides, pesticides, or chemicals of any kind. She spends a lot of time preserving the bounties through canning and freezing methods. She recently added bees to the farm in hopes of producing fresh honey and beeswax products.