Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Kidding check list

That time of year is rolling around again, that magical time where baby goats are born and I completely loose my marbles.  So with that in mind, here is my personal check list of everything I do to get ready.  It is also a convenient list of why you might not hear from me as much as usual until about mid-March.

Thirty days before the does are due, put everybody on the milk stand, trim their feet, and give them CDT vaccines.

A couple of days later, remember that I was also supposed to give them their annual selenium (I use oral gel) and semi-annual copper bolus (think really big vitamin).  Wrestle with the goats because they think I'm trying to poison them.

Put together my goat midwifery kit.  Contents:
  • OB lube (I just buy whatever water based personal lubricant is cheapest at the grocery store.  In large quantity.)
  • Vet-strength iodine
  • Large numbers of towels
  • A tube of oral selenium (in case the kids need it)
  • Molassas, corn syrup, and CPMK (a calcium supplement)
  • Tums (For the goats, not me.  Ok sometimes also for me.)
  • Injectable Penicillin (kept in the fridge), needles, and syringes
  • A big pile of empty feed sacks, which I have yet to actually use
  • Bottles (the empty soda kind) and nipples (the black lamb kind), just in case
Two weeks before the does are due, I start them on their late pregnancy ration of grain, and start feeding alfalfa again.  The goats think I am God.

One week before the does are due, I start feeling tail head ligaments.  One of the surest signs a doe is about to kid is she "looses her ligaments" - ie, they become impossible to feel.  This is also about the time I start fiddling with their udders, which they hate, and trying to feel the babies move, which they hate even more.  The goats think I've lost my ever loving mind, except for Emerald, who will do anything to have her cheeks scratched.

I continue in this holding pattern until all the does kid - they are all due the same week this year, and goat due dates are plus or minus five days, so worst case scenario I've got about two weeks of absolute wackadoo.  I'll let you know how alive I still am when we have a head count and everybody is eating.

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