Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds - Proverbs 27:23
With kidding season here I find it helpful to have a list of all the things I'll need. Even if you know, and have, all the needed supplies it is helpful to have a list handy as a reference, just to make sure you aren't forgetting something.
Or, if this is your first time breeding, it can give you confidence to know that you are prepared.
I've done the work for you and put this list together.
If you have anything to add or that you do differently, please leave a comment.
- Baby monitor (You will want to keep a monitor near the mother for the days approaching her due date. Get so you are familiar with the usual 'barn sounds' and if there's any difference, check on her. The kidding can be very quick, Keep the receiving end near you if you want to be there for it.)
- Kidding Stall/Pen/Crate (the doe should not be with the herd when she is kidding. She needs to be isolated in a separate, quiet space where she wont be bothered by nosy aunts)
- Flashlight (for those "fun" Nighttime births)
- Lots of clean towels.
- Scissors (to cut the umbilical cord if it doesn't break or if it's too long)
- Iodine (to clean the cord)
- Unscented Floss (to tie off bleeding umbilical cords)
- Rubber gloves (I don't use gloves personally, but they could be helpful if you are squeamish at all. I know for a lot of people gloves are a must)
- Infant Nasal Aspirator (to clear the kid's nose of womb slime)
Make sure that all your supplies are clean, don't use anything that's unsanitary.
Post Kidding Supplies - Mother:
- Molasses (I give the mother a mixture of hot water, molasses, and grain after the birth to give her extra energy - they love it!)
- Hot water and Hay (make sure she can get all that she wants.)
I have had does who want nothing to do with their kid (I have one doe who tried to stomp her kids) in that case take them away from her and don't let her be alone with them. You will have to take the roll of mamma goat.
Post Kidding Supplies - Kid:
- Goat Coat (or tiny dog coats. If you live in a warmer climate than I do this may not be necessary, but New England is cold! I keep coats on my baby goats almost 24/7 for the first couple weeks)
- Syringe (Colostrum is the first milk that the mother produces after birth and is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and proteins that will make sure the kid has a healthy start to life. That said, it is important the baby gets the colostrum. If it is too weak to nurse or stand you will have to milk out the mother and feed the kid with a syringe or tiny bottle.)
- Pritchard nipples and clean, empty soda bottles (You can either bottle feed your kids or you can let the mother raise them. If the mother refuses to raise them you will have to bottle feed. Bottle feeding also makes the kids much more friendly.)
- Kid Milk Replacer (if the mother doesn't produce enough milk, or if something has happened to the mother, you can use milk replacer. Just make sure the kid gets the colostrum after birth and make sure you get Kid Milk Replacer. Cow or Sheep milk would be bad for the kid and definitely avoid the bags that say they are "multi species". That's not good for kids at all. I use Manna pro Kid milk which you can get HERE)
As I said, this is just the basics. There are any number of instances where you will need special equipment or veterinary assistance.
I have also put together a simple milking list. You can milk with a machine or by hand. I milk by hand, so the list I have here is just for hand-milkers.
Hand Milking Supplies:
- Milking Stand
- Grain (the goat will most likely not stand for the milking if she doesn't have food)
- Iodine or udder wash (in a spray bottle to clean udder before and after milking. I have a gallon size jug of concentrated iodine which I bought 4 years ago and it's about half empty. You can buy it at any feed store. There's also an udder wash concentrate HERE which in non-iodine)
- Paper Towels (to clean udder and any messes)
- Stainless Steel Pan (you'll want one with a wide, flat bottom that the doe can't easily spill. I actually use a bread pan)
- Canning Jars (or other clean, sanitary container to store the milk in the fridge)
- Stainless Steel Funnel (you can buy funnels that are made to hold the filters and sit on the canning jars. That's the way to go.)
- Milk Filters (make sure you get the right size filters to fit in your funnel)
I hope this is helpful, let me know if I have left anything out or if you have anything to add.
If you have any questions please leave a comment.
THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE ANY PROFESSIONAL VETERINARY ADVICE. IN CASE OF DIFFICULTY OR CONCERN CONTACT YOUR VETERINARY IMMEDIATELY.