Dairy Goat Kidding and Kid-Rearing Calendar

Here's an abreviated checklist of tasks and materials to get you through the year's kidding. It comes to us from Mary Blankevoort, DVM, via ADGA (www.adga.org) under the "About Goats" tab.

 Spring

Prepare for Kidding
  • Have kidding area cleaned and bedded with fresh straw several days before the doe’s due date.
  • Get supplies ready:
    • A good light in the delivery area.
    • A clean bucket for water.
    • Surgical scrub such as Nolvosan, or a bottle of mild detergent (Ivory, Joy) for cleaning hands and the vulva of the doe.
    • Obstetrical lubricant (Lubrisept, K-Y) and, if possible, disposable obstetrical gloves for assisted births.
    • Dry towels for cleaning and rubbing kids.
    • Iodine (7% tincture) for dipping navels. A small jar or film canister for individual use is handy. Dip navel immediately after birth, and repeat in 12 hours.
    • Scissors for umbilical cord.
    • Keep frozen colostrum from a safe, CAEV-free source. To heat-treat colostrum, heat colostrum to 135ºF in a double boiler or water bath and maintain temperature for one hour.
    • Clean bottle and nipple for feed­ing colostrum.
    • Feeding tube (12-18 French) and large syringe (35-60 cc, with catheter tip) for giving colostrum to weak kids.

CAE Prevention
  • Tape doe’s teats one week before due date with teat tape. This will prevent kids from possibly nurs­ing a CAE-positive doe.
  • Segregate CAE-positive parturient does from the rest of the herd to prevent horizontal transmission from infected genital secretions.
  • Remove kids from doe immediately after birth.
  • Feed colostrum from a safe source within the first couple hours after birth. Give 10% of kid’s body weight within 18 hours (e.g., 13 oz. for an 8 lb. kid). Then feed pasteurized milk, CAE-free milk, or milk replacer.

Nutrition for the doe
  • Have pregnant does on a rising plane of nutrition in late gestation, i.e., good quality grass hay, supplement with some leafy alfalfa. Gradually increase grain ration in last few weeks to provide energy.

Disease Prevention: Does
  • Be sure does are boostered for CDT in last 4-6 weeks prior to due date. Consult your veterinarian for advice on selenium supplementation for does and kids in deficient areas.
  • Deworm doe 1-2 weeks postpartum.

Disease Prevention: Kids
  • Begin Coccidiosis preventive or start monitoring fecals by three weeks of age.
  • CDT series at 4, 8, and 12 weeks of age.
  • Begin deworming at 6-8 weeks.

Summer

  • Be sure kids have gotten their CD-T boosters (e.g., 8 - 12 - 16 weeks).
  • Wet weather has given parasites a big boost in many areas. Practice regular helminth (worm) control in all groups of animals. Doses of deworm­ers in goats are usually 2X the cow or sheep dose (4X the cattle dose for Fenbendazole--PanacurR). In the case of Ivomec, use the oral formulation. Resistance to all dewormers is appearing, so monitor success with quantitive fecal exams.
  • Rotate pastures every several weeks, if possible.
  • Coccidiostats for kids.
  • Check for external parasites; keep animals clipped and clean.