19 Important Items to Include in Your Goat Birthing Kit (Free Printable List)

Two young brown Nubian goats in a winter pasture.

Spring means kidding season for most goat-owners. Here are nineteen important items and supplies to keep in your kidding kit.

Important supplies to have in your goat birthing kit

Usually I breed my goats in October for March babies, but a few years ago my buck was spending the summer with the does, just for company. Nubians are seasonal breeders. They "take the summer off," so to speak.

Breeding season arrived earlier than I expected - the does came in heat and the buck was in rut - and I didn't get him moved in time.

By the way, that taught me that as soon as the summer mornings start to cool off, the female goats will begin cycling which will bring the buck into rut - so keep an eye on the weather in the summertime.

My goats gave birth at the end of December that year, during the coldest and snowiest winter we've had since we moved to Oklahoma. I learned my lesson. Since then, my does kid no earlier than March.

Here's how I decide when to breed my goats so it fits my schedule, not theirs!

This post contains affiliate links; if you click on a link and make a purchase I might make a small commission but it doesn't affect the price you pay. Read my disclosure here.

Headshot of a brown and black Nubian buck goat with white frosted ears.

Where to keep your goat birthing supplies

I keep all my kidding supplies in one place so that I always know where they are. When spring arrives I don't have to find everything; it's all in my "kidding kit."

My goat kidding supplies are kept in a cat litter bucket with a lid. I have lots of these handy buckets, courtesy of our indoor felines. The buckets pile up fast, but they are quite handy on a homestead so I put them to use in many ways.

Cat litter buckets are deep so they can hold tall bottles, and can corral a lot of "stuff". They have a lid to keep dust and mice out, and a convenient handle too. I put a strip of masking or duct tape across the front and use a marker to label the bucket.

If you have a round five-gallon bucket lying around, it will work well too. I recommend using a bucket with a lid, to keep your supplies dust-free until they're needed again.

A yellow cat litter bucket on a shelf with a strip of duct tape reading "Kidding Kit."

I keep my bucket of kidding supplies in the house so the items inside won’t freeze in cold weather.

Before kidding season arrives, I check the bucket to make sure I didn't run out of something last spring, restock it if needed, and I launder all the towels and no-sew kid coats.

If you're a bit worried about kidding season, this post with kidding resources might help put you at ease.

Many of these recommended items are in my Amazon storefront. Check it out for all your goat needs.

What to keep in your goat kidding kit

1. Towels and some old t-shirts to dry newborn kids

2. Dental floss to tie the kid's umbilical cord

3. Scissors to cut the umbilical cord

4. Iodine in a small jar or an empty pill bottle to dip the navel.

How to dip a newborn 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 kid's belly with the cut-and-tied umbilical cord (the stump of cord) inside the bottle.

This will put the bottle at a 45° angle to the ground. Wiggle the bottle around a bit to splash the iodine against the kid's belly. Let it dry naturally.

5. A bulb syringe to get gunk out of the kids’ mouths

6. A roll of paper towels

7. Molasses - mix about half a cup of molasses with warm water in a bucket and offer it to the doe to drink after delivery. Molasses is a great energy booster and my goats love this warm drink.

8. Probios paste for ruminants for doe and kids. Giving a dose of this to kids and the doe shortly after birth helps to manage stress and nutritional upsets. Pro-Bios contains live, naturally-occurring lactic acid bacteria.

9. Thermometer - a regular thermometer from the local drugstore works fine and is inexpensive.

10. Paper and pen to write down any pertinent details (which kid was first, or the doe's temp, or whatever you might need to remember)

A collection of items for goats: Probio Powder, a bottle of Iodine, dental floss, small scissors. a tube of Vitamin A, D, E and B12 gel, and a pill bottle containing a bit of iodine.

Some nice extras to have on hand when your goat kids

11. Hair dryer - If you have an electrical outlet in your barn or goat shed, you can include a hair dryer to dry off and warm up the kids.

12. Empty feed sacks - When kidding season approaches I save a stack of empty feed sacks in the barn. When a doe is in labor I spread them out in her stall as a clean place for new kids to "land on."

In case the mama goat needs help, I also have:

13. Latex gloves and OB Vet Lube

14. Antibacterial liquid soap to wash my hands.

A tiny newborn goat kid, brown and white, standing in straw next to a plastic bottle of milk with a yellow and red Pitchard nipple on it.
Pritchard nipple

Keep these items on hand for premature or weak baby goats

15. Selenium and Vitamin E gel will help get a weak kid off to a better start, or you can give an injection of BoSe - you'll need syringes and needles if you go this route.

16. Bottles and nipples - you might be planning to let your does raise their kids, but there are several scenarios that might require bottle feeding, such as:

  • The doe might reject her kid.
  • The doe might die. 
  • Some weak kids need to use a bottle for a few days before they are strong enough to latch on to the doe's udder.
  • You might need to make sure a smaller kid with a stronger sibling gets enough milk.

I like the red and yellow Pritchard teats that fit on soda pop bottles, pictured above. They're more expensive but they work so much better and the kids seem to accept the nipple more readily than other types.

A 2-piece tube-feeding kit for baby goats on a white background.

17. Tube-feeding kit (Save-A-Kid syringe from Hoegger Goat Supply) - even if you hope you'll never need to tube-feed a kid, you should have a feeding kit in your kidding supplies. It's like having a $4.95 insurance policy.

I had the tube-feeding kit for several kidding seasons before I needed it. I read the instructions online, and I watched several videos (this YouTube video on tube-feeding goat kids is good), but I wasn't confident about using it and hoped I'd never have to.

Then I had a very weak buckling born, and I realized that he was going to die without my intervention, so there was no risk if I attempted to tube-feed him. There were three possible outcomes: he would die without my help, I'd kill him by tube-feeding him incorrectly, or I'd save him.

I figured the odds were heavily in my favor for giving it a try. I read the directions again, gathered up my nerve and did it. It wasn't hard, and he lived. That gave me the confidence to use it again when a friend had a goat kid that needed to be tube-fed.

Four homemade goat kid coats - 2 pink, 1 blue, 2 black - on a yellow table top.

Other items I keep in my kidding kit

18. I store my no-sew kid coats in the kidding kit too. Even though I might not need them right when the kids are born - or even at all some years - it's a handy and logical place to store them, and they don't take up a lot of space in the deep, lidded bucket.

(I prefer to let the doe bond with her babies without a goat coat in the way for as long as possible. I don't want to confuse her with different scents - and mommas love to lick their babies!)

Learn how to make your own kid coats without sewing a stitch for just a couple of dollars each - or less!

19. A friend of mine had an ingenious idea when her first goat kids were due. She worried that she wouldn't be able to tell which kids belonged to which doe if they happened to kid at the same time. Yes, it happens!

She bought matching, small-size dog collars in sets of three in case there were triplets. When a doe kidded, all of her kids were given matching collars that were the same color as the doe's collar.

This idea came in very handy the year I had three sets of twins, all of them brown. I could tell at a glance which kids belonged to which doe.

20. Colostrum replacer - you can buy replacer in a tube that will fit in your kidding kit, but even better is a zipper bag of colostrum from another doe in your freezer. If the doe rejects her kid, or is unable to feed the baby, colostrum should be given to the kid for the first 24 hours; after that, the kid is given goat milk or replacer. 

NOTE: Use your cell phone to write or record impromptu notes, take photos or videos, or call the vet or a friend if you need advice about a situation.

How will you know when your goat is in labor? Check out this post where you'll find some of the subtle signs of kidding plus a video of a goat birth.

Want to print this post for your goat binder or homesteading notebook?

Readers have often asked me for an easy way to print some of my posts for their goat binder or homesteading notebook. You asked, I listened!

The printable also includes a checklist to use when you assemble your own kidding kit.

With fewer, smaller images and no ads, the printable is designed to be printer-friendly, to be kept in your goat binder or homesteading notebook. For even more economy, set your printer to “black and white” to save on color ink.

You'll find the printable in my Etsy shop.

If you'd like more information about raising dairy goats on the homestead, check out 
my goat resource page.

As a goat lover and a homestead gardener, I'm excited to also share my gardening tips with you - from planting seeds to enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor! You can find my gardening advice and insights right here, so let's dig in and cultivate some fresh, delicious produce together.

For more homesteading and simple living ideas and inspiration, subscribe to The Acorn, Oak Hill Homestead's weekly-ish newsletter, and join me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

A young black and white Nubian goat kid with frosted ears standing in a chain-link pen.

19 items for your goat kidding kit.

What to include in your goat kidding kit

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My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at: 
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