It's helpful to have a "kidding kit" ready to go for when your baby goats start coming. It's the worst feeling when you're not prepared, and even worse still, if your lack of preparedness leads to the death of a kid goat! so be sure to have the following items on hand well in advance so that you can actually enjoy kidding season.
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Items to Have on Hand in your Kidding Kit
- surgical/latex gloves - it's a messy business! we buy them by the boxful for milking and handling those brand new goopy baby goats.
- plastic sleeves, in case you need to assist in delivery
- antiseptic lubricant (to slather over your plastic sleeve) vaseline or KY gelly works fine
- housing: a warm dry place to keep the baby goats. If you have just a few pet goats, and it's really cold outside (like below freezing), you may want to prepare a small sheltered area in a shed or garage... or even have them in the house until they're dried off and ready for the cold outdoors. We use heat lamps positioned over a box for that first day or 2, before they go into a larger pen with a self-feeder.
- wood shavings for bedding to absorb moisture
- baby bottles (the cheapest bottles out there). We use caprine nipples with these bottles, they fit nicely right into the bottle. Don't use the nipples that come with the baby bottles! You could end up with a lot of nipple confusion. Some people who go through a lot of pop have used plastic pop bottles instead of the baby bottles. The Kids and Ewe even sells a pop bottle brush. Whatever nipple you use, don't be switching it up.
- caprine nipples: to put in the baby bottle (or pop bottle). We buy these in cases of 100 :) you can't get them just anywhere. These same nipples will be used in the self-feeder, so that they don't have to learn how to use a new type of nipple. Switching nipples often causes nipple confusion, which can reduce feeding intake. The caprine nipples that we have suggested here are shaped to mimic the doe's teat.
- colostrum powder: good to have on hand in case the mother doesn't take care of her baby, or if she doesn't have enough colostrum to feed multiple baby goats. It's expensive but well worth having on hand.
- milk replacer powder good to have on hand, even if you plan on leaving the baby goats with the doe
- milk self-feeder: caprine nipples, hosing tubes, bucket (if you go with this system, make sure you also get the hose brush to be able to clean the hosing properly. All of these are pretty cheap at The Kids and Ewe)
- naval clips: if necessary, to help stop bleeding from the naval cord (available at FarmersFarmacy and The Kids & Ewe, probably farm stores as well). Dental floss works too - and it's cheaper :)
- iodine 7%: helps dry out the umbilical cord and prevents infection through the cord and into the naval
- weak kid syringe, or tube feeding pump: hopefully you don't need this, but good to have on hand in case you get a very weak goat that cannot suck.
- electrolytes: for a very weak baby goat this can give them a short term energy boost. Also administer electrolytes if the baby goats are not feeding adequately, or if they are scouring, so as to prevent them from becoming dehydrated, lethargic, weak, depressed. This can give them a nice little pick-me-up to get them skipping around again. Gatorade works too, or a high sugar-water drink like Kool-Aid, or even caffeine will do the trick.
- kao-pectate (Pepto-Bismol): for scouring. This can help to slow diarrhea, however it is not always proven to be helpful, as it will depend on the cause for scouring. If the scours persist, talk to your veterinarian.
- treats: for you and your doe! :)
We've linked several of the items to places where we purchase our supplies from. If you order supplies from Sandy at The Kids and Ewe, you'll have to phone or email in your order. Sandy is a great resource, with a wealth of knowledge and a willing heart to share!
If you choose to buy through the links that are provided on this website, you will be supporting us and our small business here! Thank you :)
Enjoy your kidding season! now that you have a nice little kidding kit ready (well not so little I guess), you can breathe easy and have fun! they sure are fun & cute little things :)