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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time kidding, so I’m trying to get everything set. I have three does that are due at the end of January. I’m setting up a 10’x20’ vinyl “carport” that has all 4 sides (and roof, of course) but won’t be airtight - airflow will still get in, even when closed (the herd already has one of these structures in their main area; this is a second one just for kidding). When the weather is nice, I’ll open up the sides for complete airflow. I’m planning to subdivide it into (3) 5’x8’ areas.
Questions:
1. I’m in central Texas, so my idea of “cold” varies from you tough northern folks. The worst I’d expect in late January would be a day here or there of lows in 20s/highs in 30s at the worst, with highs in 50s (or higher) mixed in. Will this shelter be adequate for kidding? I’ll have electricity available such that I’ll have a “kid heat barrel” available. I’m just nervous about them getting cold and sick/dying.
2. Subdividing: I’m debating 4’x8’ plywood versus 5’x8’ wire panels I saw at tractor supply. The wire spacing ranges from 8”x4” squares at the bottom to 8”x6” squares toward the top. The wire panels would be easier for me to maneuver, but are those holes too big for the babies? The entire kidding area is surrounded by no-climb fencing, so they can’t escape completely, but I don’t want them getting separated from their moms. Also, I thought the does might prefer to see their herd mates, making wire better?
3. At what point do I let the moms/babies mingle with other moms/babies? I no longer have bucks on property. I have three more does due a month later, as well.

Thanks to all the great info here, I have my kidding supplies just about set. Once their area is set, I’ll just be (impatiently!) waiting!
 

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Your weather sounds about the same as mine, i might be a tad cooler. Anyways I would go with the plyboard, and I did lol I have carports too! On a wet kid that wind can really suck the heat out of them. The plyboard totally blocks it. There can be a small draft over them just not on them. I’ll see if I can find pictures on here to show you what I did.
The panels, those kids are going to go right threw them. I only use those panels on areas that it’s not the end of the world if they get threw. I wouldn’t use them to keep kids with moms. I’ve had new borns slip threw those and then the dams totally forget that was ever their kid. Or they get around another doe and just bug the crap out of them.
For me really it depends on the wether. If it’s nice out no wind and warm, then they never get stalled. If it’s cold (for my area lol) usually no longer then 24 hours unless there is a reason to be. First time mom just a little clueless, weak kid, trying to graft a kid on, those kinds of things.
 

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Ok so these are my stalls and "barn". It's actually 3 car ports butted up to each other. Anyways I put Tposts in on the ribs and then connected the plyboard to them so it's a solid wall, then I came threw and made the stalls. The gates I usually just hang towels on them if it's overly windy that day, or staple feed sacks onto them. I made them in a way that I can just come threw and take out the screws and put it all away when I'm done. The stalls are 4X6 so I'm only dealing with 4X4 pieces of the plyboard. I'm hopefully going to put them up today or tomorrow so if you want more pictures just let me know
Shade Water Wood Rectangle Gas
Stairs Wood Rectangle Tints and shades Sky
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok so these are my stalls and "barn". It's actually 3 car ports butted up to each other. Anyways I put Tposts in on the ribs and then connected the plyboard to them so it's a solid wall, then I came threw and made the stalls. The gates I usually just hang towels on them if it's overly windy that day, or staple feed sacks onto them. I made them in a way that I can just come threw and take out the screws and put it all away when I'm done. The stalls are 4X6 so I'm only dealing with 4X4 pieces of the plyboard. I'm hopefully going to put them up today or tomorrow so if you want more pictures just let me know View attachment 166163 View attachment 166165
This is all very helpful - thanks so much!
 

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You really don't need heating barrels if your weather is that warm. As long as the kids are healthy and get dried off quickly and there aren't drafts they should be fine. I had kids last year born in -20 degree weather and all they had was a heat lamp and they did very well. Goat kids are tougher than you think as long as they are dry, healthy, and out of the wind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You really don't need heating barrels if your weather is that warm. As long as the kids are healthy and get dried off quickly and there aren't drafts they should be fine. I had kids last year born in -20 degree weather and all they had was a heat lamp and they did very well. Goat kids are tougher than you think as long as they are dry, healthy, and out of the wind.
Thank you for this. On the one hand, I realize this from reading posts here by people like you. On the other, I'm a nervous new goat-grandma-to-be, and if I thought I killed one by not providing for it...I would be crushed! I really appreciate the reassurance and you sharing your experience.
 

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Just try not to keep a heat lamp on them for a long time. The more you have them under it the harder it will be to adjust to not having one. Now with that said I pull mine out for any late evening or night time kiddings. I would rather play it safe and not stay out there for hours making sure they are dry. I think the biggest key to keeping a new born warm though is get them to latch onto mom as soon as you can. If I’m there I usually whip the majority of the goo off them, make sure they latch on and then dry half way and watch to make sure they can find the teat on their own, then it’s bed time lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just try not to keep a heat lamp on them for a long time. The more you have them under it the harder it will be to adjust to not having one. Now with that said I pull mine out for any late evening or night time kiddings. I would rather play it safe and not stay out there for hours making sure they are dry. I think the biggest key to keeping a new born warm though is get them to latch onto mom as soon as you can. If I'm there I usually whip the majority of the goo off them, make sure they latch on and then dry half way and watch to make sure they can find the teat on their own, then it's bed time lol
Wait, so I'm NOT supposed to sleep out there with them?? :)
 

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Hi Coolbreeze..Im in Oklahoma. I have a burthing barn I built out of wood panels. I use the big plastic transport tubs for birthing pods. I have 5 of them in my barn. I use chicken wire on the bottom of cattle panels to keep the little guys in. They can see it too..helps them learn what fences are.
Last Dec. Jan & Feb. My does all delivered..and I put dog sweaters on all my newborns. They all survived, and I didnt use any heat.
Inside the plastic pod. I covered the bottom with the paper feed bag. Put in about 2 inches of hay. And all stayed warm & cozy in our -10° nights. And its easy to clean. Just roll it up
Spray vinegar water mix. Wipe up..and redo the paper bag & straw.
 

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We are also in central Texas, last January when our triplets were born after mom had licked/ cleaned them up pretty well we finished drying them with a blow dryer on low and used kids sweatpants legs as coats for them. I just went to good will and bought 4 pairs for about $3.00 and washed them when the babies were born I just cut them to length and cut leg holes...two jackets per pair. They worked great and were easy to wash. Just get the kind with elastic around the ankle. We used a dog heating pad that warmed up when the kids would lay on it and would shut down when they weren't on it. It worked great. This year we have 5 maybe 6 bred does due from Feb-April so I'm going back to good will soon to get more goat coats :)
@Coolbreeze89
Quick question though....how does your "barn/carport" hold up to the weather and high winds and hail we get here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We are also in central Texas, last January when our triplets were born after mom had licked/ cleaned them up pretty well we finished drying them with a blow dryer on low and used kids sweatpants legs as coats for them. I just went to good will and bought 4 pairs for about $3.00 and washed them when the babies were born I just cut them to length and cut leg holes...two jackets per pair. They worked great and were easy to wash. Just get the kind with elastic around the ankle. We used a dog heating pad that warmed up when the kids would lay on it and would shut down when they weren't on it. It worked great. This year we have 5 maybe 6 bred does due from Feb-April so I'm going back to good will soon to get more goat coats :)
@Coolbreeze89
Quick question though....how does your "barn/carport" hold up to the weather and high winds and hail we get here?
Great ideas - I've added a hair dryer to my kidding box, and I'll pick up some kid-sized sweatpants.

The carports have generally done well, with some modifications. My husband anchored the legs to T-posts as traditional stakes wouldn't hold anything in our sand. I added a zip tie over each of the "rubber band" attachments that the setup comes with to reinforce against them popping in the wind (none have popped with this so far). My kidding carport is right next to our big utility barn, on its south side, so it's protected from the worst winds out of the north. My "herd barn" carport doesn't have a building for a windblock, but is also staked down. They both held up well in the 45+mph winds we had in the last week or so (they've not been tested by hail). The main wind issue is at the corners: the sides are supposed to "seal" together using a long Velcro strip. That's great until the bigger winds come. I've reinforced the side panels to stay attached at the corners with rope so they don't flap, but gaps still develop and let wind through. The adults don't mind as it's still MUCH more protected than outside, but for the kidding shelter I'm going to build solid-sided stalls within it (thanks to the guidance here) that will completely block the wind at goat-level. There is some blowing-in of rain with high winds, but not too bad. The really nice thing for us in Texas is that you can roll up both ends and open up portions (or all) of the long sides for airflow in the heat. It was a great shade-provider, but never got stuffy or hot under it.

I got mine at Costco in Austin- they usually carry them in the summer, and are $250ish (I got one on clearance for under $200!). They're certainly not a permanent solution, but they're working great as I learn what I like/don't like about shelters and animal management, location preferences on my property, etc.
 

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Great ideas - I've added a hair dryer to my kidding box, and I'll pick up some kid-sized sweatpants.

The carports have generally done well, with some modifications. My husband anchored the legs to T-posts as traditional stakes wouldn't hold anything in our sand. I added a zip tie over each of the "rubber band" attachments that the setup comes with to reinforce against them popping in the wind (none have popped with this so far). My kidding carport is right next to our big utility barn, on its south side, so it's protected from the worst winds out of the north. My "herd barn" carport doesn't have a building for a windblock, but is also staked down. They both held up well in the 45+mph winds we had in the last week or so (they've not been tested by hail). The main wind issue is at the corners: the sides are supposed to "seal" together using a long Velcro strip. That's great until the bigger winds come. I've reinforced the side panels to stay attached at the corners with rope so they don't flap, but gaps still develop and let wind through. The adults don't mind as it's still MUCH more protected than outside, but for the kidding shelter I'm going to build solid-sided stalls within it (thanks to the guidance here) that will completely block the wind at goat-level. There is some blowing-in of rain with high winds, but not too bad. The really nice thing for us in Texas is that you can roll up both ends and open up portions (or all) of the long sides for airflow in the heat. It was a great shade-provider, but never got stuffy or hot under it.

I got mine at Costco in Austin- they usually carry them in the summer, and are $250ish (I got one on clearance for under $200!). They're certainly not a permanent solution, but they're working great as I learn what I like/don't like about shelters and animal management, location preferences on my property, etc.
Thanks I was thinking of getting those at our Costco when our barn got torn up by straight line winds. I'm further north than y'all (about an hour 10 min. North of Waco) and on a hill so I was worried about them getting ripped up. I was thinking maybe the canvas might be better but the sun would break down the fabric...I guess there's no perfect solution.
 
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