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Preparing for Goat-Kidding Season

| 3/17/2014 9:05:00 AM

Almost that time - when the goats begin to swell up like they swallowed watermelons, udders filling and nether-parts getting ready for birthing.

Pregnant doe

Generally our goats kid very well on their own. There have been just a handful of times in the past when we needed to give assistance, but being prepared is the number one key to success, (second only after choosing the time to put the buck in with the does 5 months prior), and many articles have been written about Preparing for Goat Kidding. Looking at our past experience, we have some pearls worth sharing as well as a few I can do without.

Timing of the buck. Aim for kidding when the weather is nice. April? May? September? We kidded in February one year and an Arctic blast dropped temps to -9F. The does all birthed at once and we lost ¾ of the kids. Frozen corpses were stacked like firewood outside the barn. A few kids who initially survived later succumbed to frostbite. We tried our best with heat lamps, kidding pens, but it just was not enough. Prevention would have averted this disaster, and we never kidded that early again. The buck is kept in an area with two fences between himself and the does from June through November, so a single falling tree will not grant him access to his girls.

Knowing the goat birthing process. Learn the different ways goat kids can present themselves. Be patient, educated and not afraid to step in if needed.

A nice place to birth. We would prefer the goats to kid in the field, but many will kid in the barn. A fresh layer of hay on the floor, keeping it dry and aired, will go a long way in the prevention of kidding infections.

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