Friday, February 5, 2021

Signs that Kidding is Near

Farming, homesteading, husbandry... whatever you want to call it, this life is far from glamorous. For every sigh of relief, triumph of plans actually coming to completion, or simple progress there is the undercurrent of worry, lessons learned the hard way, and the feeling of never getting ahead to balance it. It is not for the faint of heart for sure. 

I do not have to tell you that 2020 was a nightmare. You lived it, too. But, we are pragmatic folk here. No sense in wallowing in the past; time to plan for the future as best we can. As the days lengthen and the promise of warmer weather is in the air, we prepare for the next season: Kidding Season.
We restock and have ready our Kidding Kit: 

Our kidding kit includes: 
* Nitrile gloves (in case we need to assist internally)
* Lube (lube is your friend if you have to assist; use way more than you think you need.)
* Disinfectant for hands or tools
* 6-8 Clean towels (to help drying kids, only if needed.)
* Puppy pads (very absorbant- helps keep area dry and relatively clean
* Scale (to weigh kid)
* Iodine (to dip umbilical cord)
* String (to tie off if needed, rarely necessary)
* Scissors (to cut umbilical cord if needed, rarely necessary)
* Selenium/Vit E paste (in deficient areas)
* Empty grain bag (to dispose of wet puppy pads, gloves, placenta, etc.)
* Kid pulling loop
* Laminated diagram of proper kid placement (helps with figuring out issues if you have to assist.)
* Thermometer (first question vet will ask- temperature of goat in distress)
* Birth Record Form (We record information for each kid. Parents names/breed(s), Birth Date, Weight, Birth Order, Complications, Vaccinations, etc.)

We also make sure to have medications and additional support items, which might be necessary, on hand. 90% of the time, these items aren't needed, but when they are, you don't want to have to locate them at a store after the fact. Being prepared is especially necessary in rural areas when your Veterinarian or the closest stores might be an hour away. 

These include: 

* an antibiotic+ (in case the doe needs one for an infection),
* Karo syrup (for quick sugar applied to gums), 
* pain reliever+ (in case of complications and mother needs some relief)
* colostrum (freshly frozen from another doe, if possible or a powder replacement)
* heating pad (to help warm cold kids. ONLY use with direct supervision. FIRE HAZARD)
* tube feeding tube and 60 ml syringe
* Oxytocin+ (in case of retained placenta. We have a herd of 50 and keep 2 doses on hand
* goat sweaters (only if needed, usually kids and Moms do fine regulating temperature)
* Pack n Play (if Mom dies or rejects kid and you need to bottle feed kids)
* bottles and nipples (if Mom dies or rejects kid and you need to bottle feed kids)

We have 2 kits stocked and ready to go.  Don't forget to have a way to take pictures of your sweet newborn!

+ These items may require a prescription from your farm veterinarian. We recommend discussing your specific needs ahead of time with your trusted veterinarian. 

Iscah presented us with a beautiful doe kid on January 31, 2021. We have many more deliveries to go. We suspect Keziah will kid overnight. She is showing All. The. Signs. She usually delivers in the wee morning hours, so that means we are still on kid check round the clock. Not far behind her is Tabitha. Exciting times! Kids being born means milk for cheese making and goat milk soap production and planning goat hiking activities. These are the things that help pay to care for the goats who live here. We did not host goat hiking in 2020 because we were all new to Covid-19 and what it meant for all of us. After a year of taking precautions under our belt and with the roll out of vaccines, we feel better about planning some private tours for 2021. If you're interested in booking an activity, message us or watch our web page for tickets to reserve your group's private tour within the next month.

Watch the Bangor Daily News video about Hiking with Goats HERE.

If you are new to goat keeping or would simply like to brush up on your reading, I recommend these articles. Because I want to make sure my information is factual and up to date, I prefer to stick to current university papers, or veterinarian written articles. It's not that folks, like me, don't possess knowledge, experience or wisdom, but I am always open to learning new and better ways to care for my herd. I feel that these sources offer the best guidance I can get, along with the advise of my farm veterinarian. :) 

How to Prepare Your Farm for Goat Kidding Season

Goat Reproduction Parturition & Kidding

Thanks for visiting with us today, Friends. We're happy you are here!
Sean & Sonja

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