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Is it alright if I am not around when she has them?
Will they be alright in the cold? I have a brick barn so cold goes right through it but not drafts.
How can I keep them warmer? (I dont have electricity)
If I am there, what should I do?
If I am not there, what do I need to do when I see she has kidded?
What should I be feeding momma until she kids? (We are about 3 months away right now)
What should I feed momma after she kids?
What vaccines or other medical things do I need to give her before she kids and when?
What do I need to give her after she kids?
How do I castrate and dehorn the kids and what is your personal view on when to do it?


I am handy with sewing and such and I was wondering if I made a jacket for the kids to wear and I added pockets that can be velcrod shut, and I made small little rice bags (you know the ones you put in microwave and they stay hot for about an hour or so) to pit inside the pockets. Would this work with keeping them warm? I'm not sure I explained that very well but hopefully you get the idea.
 

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Here is some of my answers to your questions, hope they help!

Is it alright if I am not around when she has them?
Has she kidded before? If not, you'd probably want to be there for her just in case. Feel for the ligaments on either side of her tail (should feel like pencils) and if you feel one day that they are gone and you can just about wrap your hand around her spine, be ready as babies should be coming that day.

Will they be alright in the cold? I have a brick barn so cold goes right through it but not drafts.
As Karen said, how cold does it get in your barn? Going along with your next question, is there any way you can run an extension cord to the barn?

How can I keep them warmer? (I don't have electricity)
Heat lamps (the kind used for baby chickens is what I use) work wonders, just make sure they are too hot or too cold and tie them up good so no 'nosey' goats knock them down. Also, when my two does kidded end of January and beginning of March I had made little 'coats' for the kids. I used some of that fleece stuff you can buy at a craft store to make blankets with and I made it so they had front leg holes, and sewed a neck hole and left the rest of it as you don't want anything to block the umbilical cord or cover up a bucklings 'boy part'. (If you'd like more on this, just let me know)

If I am there, what should I do?
Don't panic!!! It should go very smoothly with you freaking out (I know I do!) Don't try to assist her right away, let her do her thing. She may get up walk around, paw/nest, lay down, go into a kneeling positing, sit. Don't worry, it's natural! Once you see the 'bubble' come out, the first kid is coming. You should see both front hooves and a nose shortly after, one hoof may be a little behind the other one. They should be in a 'diving' position. Look up kidding positions and make sure you know what to do if something goes wrong (seeing nose first, head caught, ect.) Also, make sure you have your vets number on hand just in case. Once the kids are out, let momma do most of the cleaning, this allows her to bond with the babies. If it's really cold or their are triplets or more, you may need to help her out a little bit. Get some towel (paper or fabric, which ever you want) and gently get the goop off. Once they are mostly goop-less, let her do the rest. You'll want to dip the kids' navels and hooves in iodine (helps dry them out faster and prevent diseases getting in there.) Some warm molasses water for mom will help her get rejuvenated after kidding. Also, deworm her after she has kidded (doesn't have to be immediate, but don't wait a week after she has kidded) as the stress of kidding can make her more susceptible to worms or activate some worms in her system. Also, be sure the kids have gotten a drink of her colostrum no later than one hour after birth. If they aren't drinking, nudge them in the right direction as they may try to drink from her chest or other areas on her that aren't her udder.

If I am not there, what do I need to do when I see she has kidded?
Make sure the kids are dry and that they are drinking. A kid NEEDS that colostrum no later than one hour after birth, the sooner the better! Now, they kids probably won't be getting a drink every five minutes, but make sure you see them walking around (don't worry if it's a little shaky) and make sure mom is interested in them! My doe that kidded in January wanted nothing to do with her kids (she was also a first freshner) and she had no idea what to do. I had to go down to the barn every one to two hours and hold her tight to get it so she would let her kids drink. It was foreign to her and she didn't know what to do, she just wasn't born with the 'motherly instincts' I suppose.

What should I be feeding momma until she kids? (We are about 3 months away right now)
Don't over do it on the grain, you don't want to have the kids get too large for her to birth. Maybe some others will have a more solid idea for you, as I am still very new to goats but have another doe due mid October.

What should I feed momma after she kids?
Like I said further up, give her some warm molasses water right after she kids and then (depending on how much grain you are giving now) very slowly up her grain as she'll need to be able to get enough protein to make milk. Don't let her get too thin or she won't have enough nutrients in her to feed her baby/babies.

What vaccines or other medical things do I need to give her before she kids and when?
I highly recommend deworming her after she kids, maybe other can help you better on this one, too.

What do I need to give her after she kids?
1) Warm molasses water
2) Dewormer

How do I castrate and dehorn the kids and what is your personal view on when to do it?
You may want to have a vet do at least the dehorning. Castrating can be done by either literally castrating (cutting open the sack and cutting the cords of the testes) or banding (a tight rubber band placed on the sack above both testicles which causes the blood circulation there to stop and the testicles will fall off. I recommend getting the kids disbudded between three and seven days old? Some other may do it at different times, though. I had my buckling wethered when he was a little over two months old and he was castrated, but agin others may do it at a different time. If you have registered stock, you'll also want to think about when you'll do your tattooing in their ears. Around when they get disbudded would be fine.


I'm sure some of the more experienced goat owners/raisers will be able to fill in any holes I may have left, these were just some of the things that came to my mind right away. Don't forget about research! Look up kidding videos and websites that talk about kidding to prepare yourself.

:kidblack: Hope this helps and happy kidding! :kidblack:
 

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Excellent information above!
Personally, in 15 + years and dozens of babies I missed exactly one kidding. A doe in labor I was sitting with got tired of me, literally waved me out of her pen. So I said to heck with you, went in the house to get a beer and heard her hollering. Went back out and she had two on the ground!
I hear stories from noobs who lose babies when their first fresheners drop newborns in water buckets, mommas and babies lost when a kid is stuck and nobody's home, etc. Gives me the willies to think about.
I have always been pretty OCD about kidding time. Fortunately due to knowing the exact breeding date of all my girls and anally marking the calendar at 145-55 days for each, I know when to begin watching.
I have taken LOTS of sick days over the years. It's become a standing joke at work.
My post probably isn't a lot of help. The vast majority of kiddings go off without a hitch and no assistance needed. I'd still advise you to be home and prepped if you can. The Fiasco Farm website has excellent kidding info and pictures, there are also a lot of kidding videos on YouTube.
 

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I would suggest to get on YouTube and watch goat kidding videos. This helped me out a lot. Some of our goats have been pretty quite, but some of our others having been loud while kidding and sound like they are being killed. The videos will help show you how they act and how to assist if needed. We have been raising goats for 3 1/2 years now so we are still newbies, this past kidding season we had to pull one baby, she was a huge single doe, mom and baby are both great! And we had an emergency c section on a doe, her and both of her doelings are great also!! We missed 3 of our girls having babies this year and all did great!
 

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If it is below freezing, you do have a chance of kids freezing to death if you aren't there when they kid. At minimum, you need to get them fully dried. If they are cold, they won't nurse.
 

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This is what I do....first you should try to be there when it is time. It seems for me when something goes bad its usually really bad. Now this is what I do :)
About a month before kids are due I get mom in and trim feet and I give CDT triangle 10 (its a vac. I choose to use on my goats) vitamin a and d.....and now am throwing Bose into the mix. I also had a doe abort and never got it tested so I put them on CTC. Once kids are born I dry the best I can and if its cold or late at night I turn the heat lamp on. Once kids eat I then tube them with nutradrench and bar guard 99 and give them a shot of CD antitoxin. As for cold on your part and what I have done is I bought a small dog coat and copied it and made jackets for them. I try not to use the jackets or lamps because I feel its hard for them to adjust to the real temp. Moms after they give birth I give her warm water with molasses in it all she can eat at all times while nursing and slowly bump her grain up till the kids start to nibble on their own grain then I slowly cut her back to just a little. I don't measure so sorry on that lol. As for castrating I band them at about 2 1/2 months old. I disbud them when I can start to feel a little bump on their head. Don't waist your money on the 30X disbudder go for the 50. I bought the 30 and have scurs and borrowed the 50 and will be buying one of my own before kidding. You will also want to give a tetanus shot at that time as well. Hope that helps
 

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Is it alright if I am not around when she has them?
Will they be alright in the cold? I have a brick barn so cold goes right through it but not drafts.
How can I keep them warmer? (I dont have electricity)
If I am there, what should I do?
If I am not there, what do I need to do when I see she has kidded?
What should I be feeding momma until she kids? (We are about 3 months away right now)
What should I feed momma after she kids?
What vaccines or other medical things do I need to give her before she kids and when?
What do I need to give her after she kids?
How do I castrate and dehorn the kids and what is your personal view on when to do it?

I am handy with sewing and such and I was wondering if I made a jacket for the kids to wear and I added pockets that can be velcrod shut, and I made small little rice bags (you know the ones you put in microwave and they stay hot for about an hour or so) to pit inside the pockets. Would this work with keeping them warm? I'm not sure I explained that very well but hopefully you get the idea.
The only time I am not there when a doe is kidding is if she does not show any signs of kidding. There is nothing worse than trying to pull kids out of an exhausted mother.

Whether or not they will be ok in the cold depends on Mom. It takes about 15 minutes for a 10 lb kid to freeze to death in below freezing temps. The colder the temps, the less time it takes. First timers usually flip out to some degree or another, and the kids pay the price.

To keep them warmer - deep, dry straw bedding. DO NOT use wood chips or shavings! They will stick to the baby, can block noses and mouths, and make it much more difficult for Mom to clean and dry the kid. Don't use them under straw, either, because Mom's pawing during birth brings them to the surface and can cause problems. No drafts of any kind. Heat lamps or warming barrels. Assuming Mom gets the job done, and the baby has nursed, towel draped cat carriers placed in the kidding pens give the baby somewhere to go and the carriers trap body heat. Can you tack up some of that pink, sheet type insulation on the inside?

Watch, talk to her softly, pet her if she wants you to, leave her alone if she wants that, monitor progress. Once the water bag has presented, if there is no progress within 30 minutes I find out why. Make sure you have your vet's phone number in the contacts on your cell phone. Make sure you have your cell phone. Have warm, dry towels ready to help Mom dry kids off. If Mom is freaking out and won't let the kids nurse, help the kids find a teat and nurse.

If she kids when you are not there, depending on the temps, there are generally only two things you can do - gather up the dead kids and dispose of them, or enjoy the newborns. If you find cold, dummy kids - take them in the house, put them in the bathtub - making sure their heads are propped up by a towel - and hose them down with warm water until their feet and legs warm up. Tube them with a mixture of 50% warm water and 50% Dextrose, wrap in warm, dry towels, and tuck them in a box or laundry basket about 5-7' from a heat source - again, making sure they are not laying flat out - and wait for them to start responding. When they are dry, warm, and responding take them back out to Mom and help them find the teat.

I feed my heavy breds very good quality grass/alfalfa hay. No grain - just the hay.

I feed all of my lactating does good quality straight alfalfa hay. If someone is raising triplets or more and needs help, I also give them either grain or alfalfa pellets.

A lot of people dip cords and feet in iodine - I do not do this. Whether you choose to do it or not is up to you. I also do not vaccinate - again, whether you do or not is up to you.

As far as castrating and disbudding - I would recommend you take them to the vet until you feel comfortable doing it yourself. I do not disbud, and I band at 2 months of age or so.

As far as the jacket goes, yes, it could be very helpful or it could cause Mom to reject her kids because they don't 'smell' right - especially a nervous, first timer. I don't think I would bother with the rice packets, though. A kid cannot regulate his/her temp until they reach about 24-48 hours of age, so it wouldn't do a lot of good if the heat only lasts for an hour or so. If it were me, I would be finding some electrical outlets and running heavy duty extension cords so I could plug in heat lamps. Bear in mind that you cannot plug more than one, possibly two heat lamps into one outlet, though, or you run the risk of overloading the circuit.
 

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Can you move her to a garage or somewhere that has electricity?

I'm guessing she was bred when you bought her. In the future, you may want to consider breeding her to kid in warmer weather. Then you won't have to worry about electricity.
 

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I have a book called raising dairy goats,get a goat,and the backyard goat. Those will answer some of these questions it can be found most likely on ebay,tractor supplies,or barns and noble
 

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Its a little pricey the get a goat was $25
 
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