Sunday, March 22, 2009

Goat Kidding - Post Birth Kid Care

Supplies for caring for kid after:

  • Nipples and bottle and/or multi-kid feeder
  • Milk replacer
  • Bottle brush
  • Kid coats or blankets if needed
  • Dimethox - treating coccidiosis in kids
  • Dog house or kid hut
  • Mo'milk mix - may aid in improving lactaction of the doe

Normal things that happen after the birth:

  • The bottoms of the baby's hooves will "shed" their protective white coating right after birth.
  • The kid may poop and pee right after birth, even before he has his first meal.
  • The kid's first few poops will be soft sticky "black tar".
  • The kid will poop "yellow mustard poops" for at least a week after birth until he begins to eat solid food.
  • Some mothers are better than other at cleaning their babies. You may need to clean the kids butts off on occasion. Make sure no hardened poop plugs up their anus.
  • Sometimes it takes a couple days for the babies legs to straighten out completely and/or work properly if this seems to be the case you may want to give them a Selenium Supplement
  • There is usually one afterbirth per kid, but sometimes there is only one per kidding even if there are two kids. If you don't find the afterbirth, the mother probably ate it. Watch the doe for any signs of her not feeling well in case the afterbirth was retained.
  • Starting after the kidding, the mother will begin to "leak" blood and birthing products for about a couple of weeks.


Care of the kid.
  1. Clear the newborn kid's nose and mouth of any fluid . Then dry it off if the mother is not doing so. This is a critical bonding time for them if you are leaving the kids with the doe. If the kid seems weak or chilled use a blow dryer or rub vigorously with a dry towel. Place the baby in a box of clean straw and put a heat lamp on it until it is dry if seperating. Kids should be trying to stand up within 10-15 minutes.
  2. Dip the naval with 7% strong iodine. Use a little cup or film canister and keep it off your hands. It will dry them out. Repeat twice within the first hour to make sure the entire umbilical area is covered. If the umbilical cord is bleeding, tie it off with dental floss or navel clamp about 1 and 1/2 inches from the body. If the umbilical cord is too long, tear it off about 1 and 1/2 inches long. Use your fingers to tear it. Do Not Cut with scissors as it tends to bleed more. Redip with strong iodine.
  3. The newborn kid will need colostrum in the first 4 hours. Keep coaxing the newborn to nurse. They may do better if it is quiet and there are no distractions. Let the baby have all the colostrum it will drink. If it refuses or drinks very little, wait 1/2 hour or so and try again. In subsequent feedings continue to feed colostrum until the baby has consumed as much as it can, and then switch to regular milk. Newborn kids should be fed 4 times a day for the first couple of days and then you can cut back to 3 times a day until they are consuming a least a pint at a feeding. Then you can cut them down to 2 times a day if you need to, more feedings is still better on the kids digestive tract.

    Giving new babies their first bottle(s) is sometimes a trial. Just be patient and keep, trying until you get the baby to nurse. Most of them will start sucking right away but you may have to pry their mouth open to get the nipple in. Just remember, the baby is programmed to reach up to nurse its mother so you need to elevate the bottle and make the baby reach for it. Keep some tension on the nipple by pulling the bottle slightly away from the kid. Pulling away helps straighten the neck and allows the milk to flow into the proper area of the stomach. Do not push the nipple into the baby's mouth.

    After the babies are on regular milk, give them one to two pints of warm milk in the morning and one to two pints of warm milk in the evening. It is best to feed them at about the same time every day. DO NOT OVER FEED! The babies are greedy little pigs and will eagerly drink somebody else's bottle, so keep track of who has been fed. Too much milk will make them scour. Just be sure to keep everything clean. 16oz pop bottles work fine and are cheap. Pritchard nipples seem to work well for younger kids and then they can be graduated to another type of nipple as they get bigger.

  4. It may be important depending on your area to establish a regular prevention program to control coccidiosis in the baby kids.

  5. The babies acquire immunity to most diseases from their mother in utero and from the colostrum and are protected for the first 30 days their life. After that they need their own vaccinations to remain protected. Assuming the doe received the requisite vaccinations while pregnant the babies will need vaccinations/shots at 30 days. For vaccinations required please see here.

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