Getting ready for goat births
It’s Here!!!! Baby Goat Season!
Remember all that stress about getting our goats bred back in the fall? Well, time marches on, our wait has paid off and babies are coming!!
Mini-Nubians tend to birth 145-155 days after breeding, with most of the unofficial polls I have seen indicating that 147-152 is by far the most common. Today is day 144 for Penelope.
She doesn’t look quite ready yet, which is good because I am not quite ready either!
The birthing stall is cleaned out but still needs lime and hay spread. I will do that today. The rest of the barn also needs swept and tidied. I don’t know about you, but if I am going to hang out somewhere with a laboring goat for several hours, I really prefer to do it in a semi-clean and comfortable environment, so we need to also add a few chairs and a heater to the “waiting area”.
3 weeks ago Penelope and Maple both got a BOSE shot (we live in a selenium deficient part of the country), and their CDT booster (you want to give this about 2-4 weeks before birth). These things should help the kids come out with strong muscles and protected from the risk of getting enterotoxemia and tetanus for the first several weeks of their lives until they can get their own vaccines.
Our birthing kit is 70 percent pulled together. I need to add a few things still and will pick up the last few today when I go to the store. I have been waiting for Wilco’s one day sale today with 20-30% off! Love me a good sale, guys!
When it is all done, here is what the kit will contain:
Trash bags (we use old feed bags for this purpose)
Chlorahexidine (for scrubbing hands and arms if needed to assist with birth)
Witch Hazel (for sore or torn mama hineys)
Head lamp and flash light (a head lamp is nice because then you are hands free)
Wet wipes (we get unscented because we want to interfere with the mama's smelling her babies as little as possible)
Chucks or puppy pads (I always find these at places like Goodwill, but I am sure you can get them at a regular store)
Sterilized (as best you can, I soaked mine in alcohol for 30 min) scissors
Heavy thread or non waxed floss
OB whole arm gloves
My kidding positions diagram to help with kidding mal-presentation, should that occur
Surgical lube-if you can find a sterilized one, that is better
Bulb syringe. I got a 4 pack off of amazon for around 4 dollars
Iodine to dip or spray on navel and hooves (in years past I have had this in a container to “dip” or pour, this year we are trying a spray bottle)
Clean bottle and nipple
Clean metal bucket to milk mom if needed
Feeding tube-one of those things you hope you never need, but if you do you do, so good to have on hand, and a syringe to use it with (make sure the end will connect to the tube, I like to use a human urinary catheter for my tube and a 2 oz syringe with a catheter tip on it. They are made to work together)
Karo Syrup-for rubbing on gums of weak babies
Baby goat sweaters (because they are so cute! But only use if you must as putting a sweater on a baby can increase the risk of the mom rejecting the baby. I also have been storing mine in the same cabinet that I use to store dog and cat food, so I need to wash them with some vinegar to make sure there is no lingering dog/cat smell to them to get them ready)
Warm Molasses water for mom (I have a quart jar with 1 cup of molasses in it and a lid in my birthing kit ready to go. When she births, I add hot water, shake it up, then add to a larger volume of cooler water. It is more than she needs but this way she can drink as much as she likes.
Grain for mama
My own “Mother’s Milk” blend herbs to add to my goats grain to help boost production.
A little shepherd’s purse tincture for any post birth hemorrhaging
Post birth worming medicine if needed (Doesn’t need done immediately, but I like having all my stuff in one place so I don’t forget in the excitement of cute little babies). Some people prefer to use an herbal. I do use herbal worming medicine I get from Molly’s Herbals as a preventative all year, but just after birth I use conventional wormers if I am at all concerned about mama’s condition, because it takes a lot of energy to make all that milk and mama needs as much help as she can get!
Energy-for me this comes in the form of lots of coffee!
So wish us luck, guys!! Hopefully the next post will be full of happy healthy little baby goats!!!
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