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Birthing Kit

Items that you need to have on hand for kidding season

Be ready for kidding season, before it begins. Here is a listing of items you should have gathered together and have on hand at least two weeks before the doe's expected due date.

Phone Number of an experienced "goat birther" Have this by the phone and let the "birther" know you may need to call them and when you are expecting the kids.
Empty feed bags Birthing is a messy business and feed bags are nice to deliver on and to use as absorbent garbage bags.  They can be removed once they're soiled and replaced with dry.  Have at least 4 per doe ready.
Paper towels Two rolls per doe.  Use these to get the initial glop and goo off the babies and dry them.
Puppy Training Pads
Wee-Wee Pads
These are very absorbent pads used to house train puppies. They are great for putting wet goatbabies on. They absorb some to the moisture from the babies and they are not as slippery as feed bags, so it is easier for the baby to make his first attempts at standing on them. We would never be without these for kidding.  We buy these in boxes of 100.
Big garbage bag For the soiled towels, bags and afterbirth. You can also use a feedbag.
Flashlight Use the flashlight to check that the kid is in the correct position when the bubble first appears.  We hold the flashlight behind the bubble and shine it through the bubble.  This lights up the whole thing and you can see much better how the kid is positioned.  Hopefully you see two feet.
Scissors To pop the bubble and cut the umbilical cord, if necessary.  It is not always necessary to "pop the bubble", but it is good to be prepared.
Surgical Scrub

So you can wash up just in case you have to "go in".  We use Betadine Veterinary Surgical Scrub.
(see suppliers)

Warm water Just in case you need to wash up.
Antiseptic lubricant Just in case you have to "go in".  We use Nolvalube. (see suppliers)
Note: We can't find antiseptic lube anymore so we use "regular" OB lube but squirt on a little Betadine to add antiseptic qualities.
Iodine 7% Tincture To sterilize the knife or scissors, if necessary.
To dip the kids navels. Do this as soon after birth as possible. Dipping the umbilical cord and naval in 7% iodine keeps out naval ill and any other bacteria that may travel up the cord. It also helps the cord to dry faster.
(see suppliers)
Empty film canisters These are perfect to put the iodine in to dip the navels.
Dental floss To tie the umbilical cord, if necessary.

Bottle & nipple

To give the kid his first meal if he is having trouble feeding on his own but can still nurse. We used to use Pritchard teat & clean pop bottle (see suppliers)
But now, we rarely have to bottle feed and when we do, I just use regular ol' human baby bottles and nipples (you need to make the hole in the teat bigger by cutting an X in it with scissors)

Weak lamb syringe To feed the kid if he is too weak to nurse on his own
(see suppliers).
You will hardly ever need this, but when you need it, you need it so you should have it on hand "just in case".
"Quiet" Hair Blow Drier You can now get models that are relatively quite (or at least no as loud). Use the drier to finish getting the kids dry, especially if you are going to put sweaters on them. If it is cold, the newborn kids usually really like the warmth of the drier. We also find the extra warmth can help "jump start" slightly weak kids and helps get the blood flowing to weak legs. 
Coffee--- strong & black For very weak kids - once they are breathing -3-6cc jumps starts them until you can get colostrum into them.
Goatbaby sweater In case it is really cold.  Have at least 2 per doe, preferably three.  You can knit your own with this pattern .
Goatbaby "hut" Kids like to crawl into a "cave" to sleep and keep warm.  We use half a large "pet porter" or a medium plastic dog house or "dogloo".  It is also fun to play on.
Grain & warm water For the mom and a job well done. You can add Molasses or Honey to the water for a quick pick me up.
Mo'Milk Mix This is an herbal formula I formulated to aid in milk production in lactating animals.  It's good to have this on hand In case the doe kids without any milk or withough enough milk to feed her kids. 
Martini You'll need it.
 

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 butts off and keeping them clean.  You may need to clean the kids butts off on occasion.  Make sure no hardened poop plugs up their butt holes, because this can happen and the kid will not be able to poop.
  • Sometimes it takes a couple days for the babies legs to straighten out completely and/or work properly (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 (gross, but not a problem)
  • Starting about a week AFTER the kidding, the mother will begin to "leak" blood and goo for about a week or more.

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