Preparing for Kidding Season - Resources for New Goat Owners

Are you worried about your goats giving birth? Check out these resources for new goat owners.

Are you worried about kidding season?

I've found that whenever an upcoming event is causing me anxiety, preparing for that event as much as possible will help to calm me. This was true about our first kidding season too. 

Here are ways to prepare ahead of time for goat kidding season.

Find a mentor and a veterinarian

Two of the first people I met when we moved to Oak Hill Homestead were goat owners. One was a relatively new goat owner like I was, and the other had had dairy goats for years and was also a registered nurse.

One day, after the three of us met for lunch and the nurse (we'll call her "Sue") had headed home, the other friend asked me "what are you going to do if one of your goats has problems kidding?" 

We bemoaned the fact that at that time, no local vet would work on goats. I said, "I'm going to call Sue!"

And so we agreed, the two of us, that Sue would be our "go-to" person if we had any kidding problems.

We were both fortunate to have problem-free kidding seasons for several years, but I'm sure the possibility of a kidding gone wrong was in my friend's mind as it was in mine every single year.

And eventually, of course, the time did come when I called Sue, when Dream's big buck kid was all turned around and I couldn't reposition it easily. She helped me through things on the phone.

Does the thought of a difficult goat birth scare you as much as it did me in those early days? I'm hoping that these posts will help put you at ease and manage kidding season with confidence.

Don't worry too much. Most goat births happen naturally with no problems and no need for you to get involved.

Of course if you end up in a situation that is beyond your ability, don't hesitate to call your veterinarian, no matter what time of day or night. I recommend that you find a vet before your goat is due to kid.

Thankfully, more veterinarians are willing to work on goats now. We are blessed to have several local vets now who will do so.

Assemble a kidding kit

Worried about kidding season? This round-up of goat posts will help you be prepared and confident.

I'm the kind of person that likes to be prepared ahead of time because it helps me to manage my worrying.

Here is my list of 15+ items to include in a kidding kit before your goat goes into labor. I keep it all in a cat litter bucket, but a five-gallon bucket or other container works just as well.

Be sure to keep your goats' loafing areas and shelter as clean as possible, especially as kidding season nears.

How to know that your goat is in labor

Worried about kidding season? This round-up of goat posts will help you be prepared and confident.

As a new goat owner I wondered how I'd know when my goat was in labor. 

There are subtle signs of impending labor, and then there are obvious signs of active labor. In this post you'll learn some of the signs of a goat about to give birth.

My first experience with a difficult goat birth

Worried about kidding season? This round-up of goat posts will help you be prepared and confident.

While most goat are normal, occasionally there are problems. This difficult goat delivery was the birth that made me call Sue for advice.

How to train your goat to behave on the milk stand

Worried about kidding season? This round-up of goat posts will help you be prepared and confident.

Sometimes you need to milk your goat right away. 

Her udder might be so full that the kids can't latch on to a teat, or she may have super thick colostrum that you'll need to milk out a bit so it's easier for the kid to nurse. 

Perhaps you want or need to bottle-feed the kids, so you need to milk the doe, or maybe her babies didn't survive.

Some does will consider you one of her kids and let you milk her with no issue whatsoever. I've found this to be true with most of my goats if I'm there when she gives birth.

And while most of mine have been wonderful at first about letting me milk, after a few days the doe might start to object a bit. She seems to have realized that the milk belongs to her real kid.

And some - like my goat Dream - don't want you anywhere near their udder!

Here are my 8 tips to train your goat to behave on the milking stand. If you plan to milk your goats, you may need some of this advice.

How I keep my new goat kids warm: no-sew kid coats

Worried about kidding season? This round-up of goat posts will help you be prepared and confident.

Heat lamps have always scared me, but goat babies can get chilled very easily and need to be kept warm. I made several coats for my goat kids based on dog coats, but they didn't stay on the kid very well.

Finally I found this simple and cheap way to make no-sew goat kid coats

While they're not beautiful, they keep the kids warm and I don't feel bad when they need to be replaced. What a stylish way to help goat kids handle cold weather.

Disbudding goat kids

Worried about kidding season? This round-up of goat posts will help you be prepared and confident.

Firefly after disbudding

Should you disbud your baby goat kids? Disbudding is the process of burning the goat's horn buds to prevent horns from growing. 

This post discusses the pros and cons of disbudding so that you can make an informed decision.

It's a good idea to decide ahead of time - before your goat has her kids - and know how you'll accomplish the dehorning process if that's your plan. Who will do the disbudding: you, a vet, or a goat-owning friend?

People differ about when they prefer to disbud kids. Some do so when the kid is just a few days old, others when the kid is 7 or 14 days old or even older. Find out ahead of time when you need to have it done, if you decide you want your goats disbudded.

The 10 things you'll need when you bring home your goats

Worried about kidding season? This round-up of goat posts will help you be prepared and confident.

Are you new to goats? Maybe you're bringing home your first goats this spring? Here are the ten things I suggest you have on hand when you bring home your goats.

Goat record-keeping - free printables

I developed a set of record-keeping forms for my goats, including a basic information sheet, medical record and kidding record sheets. Would they be of help to you too? You can download them for free here: Goat Record Sheets.

Since designing those four free forms, I've designed many more forms for my own use and thought you might benefit from them as well. You'll find my Goat Record Sheets set in my Etsy shop.

More goat information

Click here to find all of my goat posts. If you don't find the answer to your question, you are welcome to email me.

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

If kidding season scares you, these resources will give you confidence and help you be a prepared goat owner.

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


My mission is to inspire and encourage you to live a simple, joyful life,
no matter your circumstances or where you live. Join me here:
Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Subscribe