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15+ Items to Include in Your Goat Kidding Kit


What to include in your goat kidding kit, from Oak Hill Homestead

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. Breeding season arrived earlier than I expected, and I didn't get him moved in time.

Kidding happened at the end of December, during the coldest and snowiest winter we've had since we moved to Oklahoma. I learned my lesson, and I will be more diligent in the future. From now on my does will kid no earlier than March.

What to include in your goat kidding kit, from Oak Hill Homestead

I keep my supplies in a cat litter bucket. I have lots of cat litter buckets, courtesy of our three indoor felines. A strip of masking or duct 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. See 20 Ways to Re-Use Kitty Litter Buckets for some ideas.

What to include in your goat kidding kit, from Oak Hill Homestead


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What to keep in your kidding kit

In the bucket are:
- Towels and some old t-shirts to dry kids
- Dental floss to tie the kid's cord
- Scissors to cut the cord
- Iodine in an empty pill bottle to dip the navel (affiliate link)
- Bulb syringe to get gunk out of kids’ mouths (affiliate link)
- Roll of paper towels
- Molasses (affiliate link) to mix in a bucket of warm water for the doe to drink after delivery
- Probios for mama and babies - I prefer probiotic paste from Valley Vet Supply but have also used ProBios powder (affiliate link)
- Thermometer
- 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)

What to include in your goat kidding kit, from Oak Hill Homestead

Some extras to include

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

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 as a clean place for new kids to "land on".

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 kid's belly with the cut-and-tied umbilical cord (the stump of cord) 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 (affiliate link) and J-lube
- Antibacterial soap

What to include in your goat kidding kit, from Oak Hill Homestead
Pritchard nipple

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

For early or weak kids:

- Selenium and Vitamin E gel (affiliate link) or BoSe injectible and syringes/needles
- Bottles and nipples - I like the red and yellow Pritchard teats (affiliate link) that fit on soda pop bottles
- Tube-feeding kit (Save-A-Kid syringe from Hoegger Goat Supply)

What to include in your goat kidding kit, from Oak Hill Homestead

I had the tube-feeding kit for several kidding seasons before I needed it, but I hoped I'd never have to use 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.

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 - in other words, 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.

It might not sound like it, but I figured the odds were heavily in my favor. I read the directions again, gathered up my nerve and did it. It wasn't hard, and he lived. I'm no expert, but that gave me the confidence to do it again when a friend had a goat kid that needed to be tube fed.

What to include in your goat kidding kit, from Oak Hill Homestead


Extra items that I keep in my kidding kit:

The bucket seemed like the best place to store my no-sew kid coats too.

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 small dog collars at the local big box store, 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.

Since I always have my cell phone with me when I'm outside, I can take impromptu notes and photos, and I can call the vet or a friend if I need advice about a situation.


What else would you keep in your kidding kit?

15+ items for your goat kidding kit.

What to include in your goat kidding kit

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

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16 comments

  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.

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  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.

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  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!

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  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!

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  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.

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  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!

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

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

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

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  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!

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  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.

    Fern

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  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.

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

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  14. Thank you Kathi for all the tips. We are new goat owners. And we ended up with two pregnant does. According to signs I’ve read about, we should be expecting kiddos in the next week or so. We don’t know when they were exposed. So, do I absolutely need to cut the umbilical or does the doe take care of that? You mentioned floss and scissors. Part of me believes this is taken care of naturally (I mean God created them) but I don’t want to be naive. Thank you!! We are so excited (my 5yr old and 2 yr old)!! But I’m nervous too. And then, I don’t know what to think about this whole milking thing.... do I have to, do the babies take care of that, some people choose to milk to use the milk, so confused?? I’ve been reading so much that I don’t know what to think. Please help! Heather

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    Replies
    1. Hi Heather! Congratulations on your upcoming kids! I didn't have to cut the cord very often (on occasion I did have to) but I always tied it and dipped it in iodine. Just think about the environment those kids are born in and live in, it's not hospital-sterile. Tying the cord helps keep germs out and helps prevent "navel ill."

      As for milking, it's up to you for the most part. Some goat owners prefer to milk the doe and bottle feed the kids, others let the babies have all the milk, at least for awhile. BUT you may have to milk a little if the kids only nurse from one side, or if the doe produces more milk at first than they can drink.

      I hope you'll go read this post Kidding Resources for New Goat Owners that links to my other kidding posts - several of them address your questions, even your question about milking. If you have any more questions I'd love to help. You can email me at kathi @ oakhillhomestead.com

      Don't worry too much, most kiddings happen on their own without problems.

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