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February 26, 2014

Kidding Supplies

Spring means kidding season for most goat-owners. Usually I breed my goats in October for March kids. This year my buck was spending the summer with the does, just for company, and breeding season came earlier than I expected; I didn't get him moved in time. Kidding happened at the end of December of the coldest and snowiest winter we've had since we moved to Oklahoma. I've learned my lesson, and from now on my does will kid no earlier than March.

Ziva came to Oak Hill in late September, so she will kid sometime in March or later. I've pulled out the kidding kit again to make sure I'll have everything for Ziva's kids.

I keep my supplies in a cat litter bucket (I have lots of them, believe me. A strip of masking tape across the front and a magic marker make a good label. I have many of these buckets stacked up in my mudroom and use them to store a wide assortment of things.)

In the bucket are:
- Towels and some old t-shirts to dry kids
- Dental floss to tie the cord
- Scissors to cut the cord
- A pill bottle of iodine to dip the navel
- Bulb syringe to get gunk out of kids’ mouths
- Roll of paper towels
- Molasses to mix in a bucket of warm water for the doe to drink after delivery
- Probios for mama and babies
- Paper and pen to write down any pertinent details (which kid was first, or the doe's temp, or whatever you might want to remember)

I used to keep a hair dryer in the bucket to dry off kids, but I no longer have a place to plug one in outside, so I have removed that item.

To dip the kid's navel, hold the kid with the its hind legs on the ground and its back against your legs, holding the front legs up off the ground. Place the pill bottle filled with iodine against the cut-and-tied umbilical cord (the stump of cord should be inside the bottle) and wiggle the bottle around a bit, splashing the iodine against the kid's belly.

If the doe needs assistance, I also have:
- Latex gloves and J-lube
- Antibacterial soap

Pritchard nipple

For early or weak kids:
- Selenium and Vitamin E gel (or BoSe injectible and syringes/needles)
- Bottles and nipples (I like the red and yellow Pritchard nipples that fit on soda pop bottles)
- Tube-feeding kit

I had the tube-feeding kit for several kidding seasons before I needed it. I lived in fear of having to use it, in fact. I read the instructions online, and I watched several YouTube videos, but I wasn't confident about using it. Then I had a very weak buckling born, and I realized that he was going to die without my intervention, so what risk was I taking if I attempted to tube-feed him? I read the directions again, watched a video, gathered up my nerve and did it. It wasn't hard, and he lived. I'm no expert, but I have the confidence to do it again if needed, although I'd watch a video and read the directions again first.

I always have my cell phone with me when I'm outside. It's handy for notes, taking photos, or for calling the vet or a friend if I need advice about a situation.

The bucket seemed like the best place to store my folded-up kid coats too.

What else would you add?

This post has been shared at some of my favorite blog hops.


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  1. Michelle Richardson7:44 AM

    I keep kayro syrup for giving energy to weak kids..some pre-moistened wash cloths like wet wipes but bigger...disposable. Love the Pritchard nipple. I keep.Bounce Back and a small amount of powdered colostrum in the freezer.

  2. Good additions, Michelle. I have Karo syrup and Bounce Back in the house. The pre-moistened washcloths would be nice for your hands as well as for the kids.

  3. This post came at just the right time for us. We are preparing for our first ever kidding in a few weeks, and I'm a little nervous! There are a few things on this list I hadn't thought of, so I'll have to run out and get them. Thank you!

  4. You're very welcome, Erin. I'm glad it helped. I hope all will go fine with your first kidding - usually it does, so don't worry too much!

  5. Great reference post. We keep Lamb SURVIVE! as our energy boost of choice for lambs and any tired mommas. We also keep our tail banding supplies and alcohol in our kit.

  6. I won't need a kidding kit until next year (most likely) but you've made this seem soooo simple! Sometimes the lists seem so long and complicated that I feel like I could never be prepared. This is such a great list and I'll be remembering this when I'm (finally) assembling my kidding supplies!

  7. Thank you, Monica, I'm really glad it was helpful. :-)

  8. Thank you for posting this. We are in our first kidding season, so this could really come in handy.

  9. I hope your kiddings are all easy ones, LC.

  10. I love how you have everything you need in that bucket. So organized! Thanks for sharing your outdoor post on today's Maple Hill Hop!

  11. I always make sure there is plenty of udder wash in the barn. It is a mixture of concentrated udder wash solution that contains iodine, and water. I keep it in an old dish soap jug with a large pump dispenser. If I need to intervene with a doe, I can wash up my hands quickly, and after I get the kids up and running, I can wash up then as well. It is great to have on hand for a number of things. If the weather is not too cold, I leave it in the barn. Otherwise, I carry it up when the kids are born.


  12. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead7:50 PM

    What a great tip, Fern. I reuse containers a lot, and this is a great use for one. I like that you have it handy and that it holds a lot. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Farm babies are so exciting! Thanks for the great info and for sharing on the Homesteader Hop!


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