Thursday, February 14, 2013

Kidding Season Checklist

It's kidding season again and it is always good to review some things to ensure a successful kidding season.

30 days prior to kidding:
  1. Administer Bo-Se or selenium paste to the doe if you suspect selenium deficiencies in your area.  Kids that are born weak are often selenium deficient.
  2. Give CD &T vaccinations to the mother so that she may pass immunity to her kids via colostrum.
  3. Trim feet now before doe gets too heavy.  
  4. Kids begin their growth spurt now so the doe has increased nutritional needs.  Gradually increase their grain rations and make sure the does have access to a loose mineral daily. I also feed kelp to supply trace minerals, especially iodine.
  5. Gather and order any kidding supplies that are needed such as:
           Nipples for bottle feeding,
           Towels and  puppy pads for catching and drying off babies,
           Iodine and a small container for dipping navels,
           Dental floss for tying off umbilical cords if they don't break,
           Bulb syringe for clearing out mucous from the nose and mouth of kids,
           Baby monitor if desired,
           Phone numbers or contact info for a phone-a-friend or vet,
           "First Arrival" paste for the babies if desired,
            Powdered or frozen colostrum for emergencies (death of doe or no milk),
            Molassas and corn syrup to make up hot drink for doe during and after kidding,
            A box or large bag for carrying supplies to the barn,
            Bo-Se and syringes to administer injection to a weak kid,
            Wormer to deworm doe after kidding. Worms flourish during stress of kidding,
            Coccidia preventative medication for the kids.

As the kidding date approaches:
  1. Prepare a clean kidding stall. I sprinkle the bare floor with a dust that kills mites, and I cover this with and mixture of diatomacious earth and lime.  This is then covered with a thick layer of straw or hay.  
  2. Check condition of doe frequently to make sure she is eating and acting normally. 
  3. As the due date approaches check tail ligaments.  When the two pencil-sized ligaments that lie on either side of the tail go soft  expect the doe to kid within 24 hours.
  4. Move doe to kidding stall and supply her with a small bucket of water.  Kids have been known to drown in buckets they can't get out of. 
  5. Hang heat lamp at a safe height if the weather is cold.  It helps them get dry and helps keep them from chilling.
  6. When the doe appears restless, starts pawing the ground and bleating, then the doe is entering the first stages of labor.  This is when I bring all my supplies to the barn and lay in the straw with my girl and comfort and talk to her.  It is a great opportunity to bond with your doe.
  7. Observe her during labor to make sure everything is proceeding normally.  I don't interfere Unless the doe has been in hard labor for a while and it is obviously making no progress.   Try to be patient though.  Your instincts will help you decide when intervention is needed.  A doe in extended labor will often benefit from a drink of hot molassas water when it is offered.  Recipe below:
          Hot drink for doe during and after kidding (for energy and electrolytes)
                32 oz warm to hot water
                8 Tbsp molassas
                8 Tbsp light corn syrup 
                2 tsp salt
                2 tsp baking soda
Related posts from 2012
Gettin' Ready for Babies:

Kidding Preparations - Part 2:


  1. The only other thing I can think of is a camera to take a picture of the mother and kid when all is done.

  2. I wish we had the internet when our little goat was pregnant but that was almost 30 years ago! Luckily we had no problems and little "Joy" was born with no interference from us. Those were good days, wish I had them to do over again! This is a wonderful resource for anyone with goats today. Thanks Shelley! I especially love the part where you lay with the doe to comfort her - a great bonding experience, I'm sure!