So, you’ve bred your goats and now you have a bunch of does with huge pregnant bellies ready to pop. The final countdown is on as you await the arrival of newborn kids. Before those goat kids come though, you will need to have a safe place for your goats to kid as well as supplies on hand.
Goat Kidding Supplies: What You Will Need
To give your goats the best chance of success in the kidding process you will want to have some supplies on hand to help them out.
One of the first things on your supply list should be your vet’s number. Most of the time you will not need to get in touch with your vet while your goats are kidding, but every once in a long while you may need to and that number will be invaluable.
Here are some tangible kidding supplies you will also want to have on hand:
- Towels. You can use old towels that you no longer use, as long as they are clean. Or you can buy a new set like the Utopia Pack of 6 for $32. The purpose behind towels is to dry goats off after they are born so they don’t get cold.
- Latex Gloves. Having a couple sets of latex gloves on hand can be extremely useful when examining your doe, helping pull a kid, and handling newborn kids. You can find boxes of latex gloves from many places or order a box of 100 Latex Gloves off Amazon for $9.
- OB Lube. You can use OB Lube to help pull kids and examine your does. Using the lube can make this process easier on your does. A bottle of OB Animal Lube costs $7 on Tractor Supply’s website.
- Dental Floss (unflavored). When you think of kidding dental floss does not usually pop up in your head. Surprisingly though, dental floss is a great way to tie off the umbilical cord once kids are born.
Bear Mountain Acres has a good video that demonstrates Umbilical Cord Care and tying off the umbilical cord. Having dental floss won’t break the bank either. You can pick a Pack of 6 Dental Floss up for $6 on Amazon.
- Iodine. Iodine is a very good way to sanitize your kids’ umbilical cords after they are born. Using iodine on your kids’ umbilical can help prevent infection in your newborn kid. You can refer back to the Umbilical Cord Care video by Bear Mountain Acres on applying Iodine to your kids’ umbilical cord. Buying Iodine off of Amazon will cost you $6.
- Rubbing Alcohol. Rubbing alcohol, or alcohol prep pads, will be a great tool to use when you are sanitizing things. You will not want to use it on your kids since it burns, but it will work very well on sanitizing the tools you use. A box of 200 Alcohol Prep Pads will run you $6 on Amazon.
- Surgical Scissors. A good set of surgical scissors will be beneficial when you cut your kids’ umbilical cords. Before you use them, you will want to sanitize them with rubbing alcohol. You can refer back to the Umbilical Cord Care video by Bear Mountain Acres on cutting your kid’s umbilical cord. Buying a good set of Surgical Scissors will only run you $6 on Amazon.
- Colostrum Replacer. Just in case a kid needs a little extra help in the first 24 hours, or your doe is not able to nurse, colostrum replacer should definitely be on hand. DuMOR Colostrum Replacer is a good product to have at your immediate disposal and costs $13 for 1 pound.
- Milk Replacer. Since colostrum is only needed for the first 24 hours, it is a good idea to have milk replacer on hand as well, plus it costs less per pound than colostrum replacer. DuMOR Kid Milk Replacer costs $60 for a 22-pound bag.
- Kid Bottle. With all the milk and colostrum replacer, it is needless to say that you will need a bottle made specifically for kids. You can find them locally or order a Goat Kid Bottle online for $6.
- Heat Lamp. These handy tools can save the lives of many kids. You do have to be careful on their placement though, because poor placement can result in fire. But, the heat lamp is definitely a valuable tool when placed correctly.
Since newborn kids have a hard time regulating their own body temperature and are prone to hypothermia, a heat lamp can be the means of saving the lives of your newborn kids.
A good heat lamp is the Producer’s Pride Brooder Lamp that retails for $10. It is good to pair your heat lamp with a red bulb, since that bulb does not disturb their sleep. A Red Bulb retails for $6 and you may want a couple on hand in case one goes out.
- Wood Shavings or Straw. A necessity that should not be forgotten is straw or wood shavings. Either one will work just fine as long as they are clean. You can usually pick up straw from a local farmer or you can buy some wood shavings from a farm supply store locally. You can get 8 Cubic Feet of Pine Shavings from Tractor Supply for $6.
Goat Kidding Pen – DIY or Where to Buy One
Now that many goat kidding supplies have been covered, it is only fitting that the location of kidding is covered as well. There are many options when it comes to the location of where you let your goats kid, and the final decision is up to you. However, a kidding pen can be very nice to have once kidding season comes.
Even though goats have had kids outside in the wild for thousands of years without any human help, domesticated goats benefit from a more controlled environment made by humans. When you have your goats kid in a kidding pen you have control over what the doe and her kids are exposed to. This means you can eliminate many dangers to your doe and her newborn kids.
Goat Kidding Barn
Some people will build a barn that is specifically for does that are kidding. The size of the barn all depends on what the goals are for your goat numbers. You can place does in their own 5×5 pen, or use the whole barn as a place for them to kid.
The nice thing about putting them in their own pen though, is that you have more control of the doe when she does kid and the other does won’t get in her way.
So, depending on how many does you plan on kidding, and if you are going to put them in individualized pens, will determine the size of barn you will need.
The Kidding Pen
Build Your Own Kidding Pen
Just like with many other things, you can build your own goat kidding pen or buy one. If you make your own kidding pens you can open yourself up to a lot of savings, but it will take your time and a few tools.
Hilltop Acres Homestead has a great video tutorial on how to make a Goat Kidding Pen using cattle panels. You can use this video as a guide if you decide to build your own kidding pens. The panels are found at many local farm stores near you along with the other materials that you will need.
You can even order Cattle Panels online for $24 each, making this a very cost effective option for a goat kidding pen.
Buy a Kidding Pen
If you decide that you would rather not deal with the hassle of building pens, there are premade pens on the market that you can buy.
One of the options is buying a 5×5 dog kennel. You can find these at many pet and farm supply stores locally. You can even order something like the Lucky Dog 5×5 Kennel for $210 off of Amazon. Or, if you want a pen that is specifically made for goats, you can order four Goat Kidding Panels off of Tractor Supply for $90 each.
Whatever pen you choose to build, you will want to make sure that you sanitize it a few weeks before your goat is due and fill it with clean wood shavings or straw. You can let your goat play with her friends during the day and bring her in at night so that you can keep a better eye on her.
If she starts acting like she is going to start kidding though you will want to keep her in her pen so that you can have her kid where you want her to.
Kidding is an exciting time on every goat farm and usually goes off without a hitch. To give you and your does every advantage, you will want to make sure you have all of these necessary supplies ready and know how to use them.
Having all of these supplies can help you avoid some tough situations and potentially saves the lives of newborn kids and your does!