Farm Blog

What’s in my Kidding Kit?

What’s in my Kidding Kit?

Kidding Season is right around the corner for us here at 805 Farms and I know Im starting to count down the days to when our first bouncy babies hit the ground in mid January.

If this is your first kidding season, it can be super exciting, intense and at times slightly terrifying, still to this day, I always get some preseason jitters! Being prepared can help you feel more confident and ready for your season. I have put together a thorough list of supplies and meds that I use in my Kidding Kit!

Pre Kidding:

4 weeks prior to kidding the expectant does get their yearly CD&T shot, we use covexin plus here on our farm and I get a bottle from my Vet. I also do an overall body condition score on the does at that time and give a dose of Vitamin E Selenium paste. Minerals and good nutrition are crucial during the last month of pregnancy so be sure top up mineral feeders or add in some grain for does with a lower body condition score. I also make sure to offer lots of kelp to the girls during their pregnancy and lactation.

Ok lets get to the good stuff! Whats in the handy dandy kidding kit….

Kidding Kit Supplies:

-a box of latex gloves

-lube

-catheter tip syringe (helps to squirt lube inside the doe for those big stuck babies)

– puppy pads (I like to place these under the doe as shes giving birth, makes for a quicker easier cleanup in the stall

-scissors

-umbilical clips

– bulb sucker (for nose and mouth)

-iodine spray for umbilical cords

-leg puller

-scalpel (emergencies only)

-LOTS of old towels for drying off babies

-baby wipes

-vitamin B12

-selenium & vitamin e paste

-thiamine

-probios

-replamin gel

-colostrum gel

-pritchard nipples and bottes

-tube for feeding weak kids

-molasses (mommas earn a nice warm molasses water post birth to regain some energy)

-hairdryer (to warm babies if they get chilled or to help them dry off quickly)

-heat pad

-a painkiller and an antibiotic for those more invasive births or if the doe has tearing. Make sure to chat with your vet to find out what kinds are right for your herd

Post Birth

My goal during kidding is to interfere as little as possible, if I suspect an issue is presenting, I will glove up and assess the situation (tangled up kids, large baby, breech ect). If a doe is pushing for more then 20min with no progress I most certainly get in there and help. Once all babies have safely arrived I help mom dry everyone off, especially in the case of multiples. I make sure to see each one of the babies nurse and know that mom is standing up and doing ok too. I will then leave for a bit to allow the new mama to bond with her little ones. My does usually stay in the kidding stall with their babies for a couple days.

Thanks for reading my post, wishing everyone a safe and happy Kidding Season!

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What you need to know as a first time Goat owner!

What you need to know as a first time Goat owner!

If you’re considering adding goats to your family’s farm then this post is for you!

One of the most common questions I get asked is “What do I need to know as a new goat owner?”

It has been 3 years since we got our first goats and I’ve had to do a ton of learning in the process, like what to feed them, what kind of shelter they need, when to deworm and how to care for them in our cold Canadian winters! Goats can make wonderful fun additions to your farm or homestead but they’re far from easy keepers! Here is a little run down on some of the main things I have learned while owning my Nigerian Dwarfs

Shelter:

Goats need a good 3 sided shelter, one that provides adequate wind block but enough ventilation so they don’t get strong ammonia build up which can irritate their lungs. I always keep a door open on their shelters and in the winter I use freezer strips along the doorways to help keep the cold air out and the warm air from their body heat inside the shelter. I find the freezer strips work amazing and it gives them nice ventilation while helping to keep the cold air off them. I recommend cleaning their shelter every couple weeks and adding lots of good fresh straw bedding during the winter months.

Mineral:

Goats need access to a good mineral supplement. Mineral makes up for what is missing in your soil, feed and water. We use a couple different minerals and have found great results with them. A mineral should always be tailored to the animals needs based on your location and what your feeding. For an every day all around good loose mineral I recommend Cargill Right Now Onyx. My does always have beautiful soft shiny winter coats when they are on this mineral. We also use a 2:1 calcium phosphorus loose mineral when the does are strictly on forage, this helps keep that ratio in balance. We offer kelp while the does are being bred and throughout their pregnancies, kelp is full of vitamins and minerals that keep the does healthy while growing babies through the colder months. I also love the Zinc and Copper powdered minerals from Mad Barn. We put these minerals out free choice in smaller amounts about once a week. I have found that I only really need to do a copper bolus once a year while following this mineral regime.

Water:

Goats drink a ton of water! They always need access to clean fresh water. During our cold Canadian winters it’s especially important that goats get some fresh WARM water. The warm water helps to keep their internal furnace stoked up and encourages them to stay hydrated when the temperature drops. Good hydration is especially important for wethers and bucks due to their risk for urinary calculi.

De Worming:

Goats are susceptible to all kinds of parasites especially stomach worms and coccidia. Dewormers can vary by location and I always recommend doing a fecal exam before treating for worms. Running a fecal will allow you to determine what kind of parasites you’re dealing with and if your goat actually even needs dewormer. Overusing dewormers can cause resistance so it’s always important to know what you’re dealing with first. I generally like to deworm my does just after kidding- over the summer when worms are most active in the soil.

Hoof Trimming:

Goats need their hooves trimmed every couple months to keep them healthy and prevent hoof rot and overgrowth that can affect how they stand and walk. We use a regular pair of clippers along with a Hoof Boss tool that works amazing to grind down their hooves and the tough hard skin on the pad of their foot. The hoof boss is a bit of an investment tool, but if you have more then 5-6 goats it’s soo worth it!

You can’t just have 1:

Goats are a herd animal! They need a couple companions to spend their days with. If you are looking at getting goats for the first time I always make sure they have a buddy waiting at their new home or we generally sell our wethers or kids in pairs if they are going to a new farm without other goats, plus having a couple goats is double the entertainment and fun!

Medical Supplies:

I always recommend as a new goat owner you pick up a thermometer, taking a goat’s temperature is the first thing you should always do when you suspect something is off. A normal goat temperature is 103 F. I also recommend you have some probiotic paste as well as some vitamin b and electrolytes on hand. If a goat is under the weather or gets an upset tummy it’s important they have those 3 things. Goats are ruminants that rely on live bacteria in the stomach to digest their food. If the bacteria is disrupted and needs to be replenished then you would be safe to give your goats some probiotic paste to help balance the bacteria and a vitamin b paste to help with their appetite. Electrolytes are important if your goat ever gets scours, giving electrolytes will prevent dehydration. Baking Soda is also a handy old school bloat prevention trick. Baking Soda can be put out free choice like minerals, I have found my goats have a good instinct for knowing what their body needs and I have safely put out baking soda and minerals free choice.

Feed:

One of the most important parts of goat care is their feed! Making sure your goats have a balanced diet and optimal rumen health is so crucial to a healthy happy goat! Over the summer and into the fall/winter season our goats are on a grass-timothy hay as well as their lush green grassy pasture. As winter and colder weather arrives we start adding in some higher protein alfalfa bales and once the does start kidding they are fed a diet high in alfalfa and grains. Remember to add grain into their diet gradually so their rumen has a chance to get used to the change in their diet. The does and their kids will remain on alfalfa until the summer months when they are done lactating. We usually do not feed our bucks or wethers much grain or alfalfa due to the risk they carry for Urinary Calculi. Wethers especially, do not have high physical needs and really do not need the extra grain and protein. I will feed my bucks some higher protein alfalfa when the temps dip low and they need the higher protein feed to keep warm. I have our hay tested every year to find out what the protein levels are and also to check for TDN and to see if the calcium and phosphorus levels are balanced at a 2:1 ratio.

I really hope some of this information has been helpful to new and current goat owners. There’s always sooo much to talk about when it comes to goats and I know I’m really just scratching the surface on these topics.

Check back soon for more tips on goat farming!

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