My mind has begun to think about what needs to be done in preparation for sweet little babies to join farm life here at The Simple Farm. I will be honest, kidding season is always a bit stressful. In the past, we have had some difficult births and even loss of mothers and babies. We do the best we can and sometimes our best just isn't good enough. We ALWAYS are with our girls when they give birth. My gal pal Gretchen always tries to be available for delivery. We are just a good team. Michael, of course, is part of the process. Sometimes, you have a mother deliver those babies so fast that you need the extra hands to take new little ones and help clean them up and get them in front of the mother.
This year, we have invited a professional photographer to document the birthing experience. I am thrilled that Fawn Deviney will be here to join us.
Cherry and Hazel are both due mid-March, Today, while checking on the girls with Laura of Pickett Fence Pastries we actually saw Cherry's little babies roll and roll. She is supposed to have 2 - but I wonder if there is not 3.
So, we gather our birthing kit - a Home Depot Tool Box and begin to replenish all my birthing supplies. See my LONG list below. My Birth Notes are always near by. I need something to remind me of the process. Coffee is always on board too.
We plan a birthing pen - but sometimes the birthing pen use just doesn't happen. I keep thinking that maybe babies will be born on a Thursday morning - if so - perhaps there will be opportunity for others to quietly observe. We will see.
PREPARATION FOR KIDDING - SUPPLIES
For ease of kidding the following items are useful:
Paper & pencil:
A. To write down kidding dates; a ball point or felt tip doesn’t work as well in cold
B. To record order of birth and any unusual problems or occurrences.
2. Syringes & Needles:
A. A supply of 3cc, 12cc, 20cc, and 35cc syringes.
B. A supply of 19 gauge, 20 gauge, 22 gauge, and 18 gauge needles 1 inch long.
C. A supply of 18 gauge needles 1 & ½ inch long.
D. A 20cc syringe with a 3-inch clear vinyl tubing for feeding new borns Nutri-drench,
Colostrum or milk.
E. A 20, 30, or 50cc Drenching Syringe [see attached picture].
3. A bottle of Goat Nutri-drench.
4. A pair of insulated coveralls and a washable jacket.
5. A large heavy cardboard box [4’x5’] to put the newborn kids in.
6. A heat lamp [with extra bulb] for cardboard box & sufficient electrical cord.
7. A bale of shavings for the new born cardboard box.
8. Lots of old towels and a reliable hair dryer for cleaning and drying kids in cold weather [with
sufficient electrical cord]. Several rolls of paper towels.
9. Several suction bulbs to suction mucus out of new born kid’s nose and throat to prevent lung
10. String to tie off umbilical cord [something tough like kite string is recommended].
11. Scissors to cut string & umbilical cord after cord is tied.
12. Strong Iodine 7% in pump bottle to spray kid’s naval after cord is tied and cut [less
possibility for contamination with spray pump than dipping].
13. Antibacterial soap in pump bottle to wash hands [warm water in sink] and new roll of paper
towels. Be sure to use pumps in all dispensables like Iodine and antibacterial soap to
14. Vinyl exam gloves & Sterile Lubricant in case you have to reach inside the doe to examine
her or to assist with the birthing process.
15. A stack of paper feed sacks cut half way down with a “flap” to wrap the afterbirth for
disposal so second and subsequent kids won’t land in the first kid’s mess.
16. Old washcloths and small plastic bucket of warm soapy water to clean doe’s udder after she
kids. Doe’s rear area & tail should have been clipped in advance of kidding.
17. Oster A-5 clippers with 15 or 30 blade to clip rear udder and tail area prior to kidding.
18. 100mg. Tetracycline to infuse doe after kidding, especially if you had to enter the doe
to assist in the kidding process.
19. A 20-ounce plastic pop bottle with black rubber nipple & 18gauge by 1&1/2” needle
for air vent [to prevent bottle collapse] to feed colostrum to new born kids [see attached
20. Popsicle sticks or similar items and surgical tape to splint weak legs in case the kid can’t
21. Feed grade molasses to mix with warm water for the doe after she gives birth. A handful of
raisins or roasted peanuts to reward the doe for a job well done. We use peanuts in the hull.
22. A thermometer. For whatever problems that may arise. The doe cannot tell you anything,
you have to sort it out. Determining the goat’s temperature is a crucial first step if the doe is
sick. A stethoscope is also useful.
23. A Scale and sling to weigh the new born kids.
24. A Digital Camera to take pictures of new born kids.
25. Wormer. We worm pregnant does 1 week before kidding.
26. Give Mastitis boosters [J-5 and Lysigin] at or before kidding.
27. Caution: Make sure the doe’s water bucket in the birthing room is high enough off the floor
so new born kids won’t fall in and drown.
Just so you know what it's like - Noah Goddard of Goddard Farms in Kansas has given me permission to share his Birthing Kit List.