Are you prepared for your goat to deliver? Keep reading to get the complete list of kidding supplies for your goat kidding kit!
The average gestation period for goats is 150 days, but they can go anywhere between 145-155 days, and that means you need to be prepared at least a week in advance of your estimated kidding date.
Just like any expectant mother has her hospital bag packed by the door, you should have your kidding kit packed and ready to go at a moments notice.
What supplies should you put in a kidding kit so that you have everything you need on the big day?
Related Reading: 9 Signs Your Goat is in Labor
What You Need in Your Goat Kidding Kit
When packing your goat kidding supply kit you need to take into account all possible situations that can crop up.
This means you need to prepare for a normal birth as well as one that doesn’t go as expected. So even if you plan on allowing the mother to raise her kids, you should still plan for bottle feeding just in case.
You also need to keep in mind your location, season, and temperature.
If you are kidding in the middle of summer, you won’t have to worry about kids getting chilled. If it’s below freezing, you will need supplies on hand to ensure that the kids stay warm especially when they are still wet after birth.
Below are the supplies you should pack in your kidding kit to be completely prepared for your goat’s delivery.
Supplies for the Birth:
Betadine surgical scrub. This is for antiseptic purposes. To dip the kid’s umbilical stump in, to sterilize any supplies, and to scrub your hands in case you need to help in the birthing process.
Paper towels or cloths. These are to help wipe off the kids’ noses and mouths and help get them clean. Though your goat mamas will do most of this for you, you if you need to help dry the kids quickly, you should have towels on hand.
Towels and/or puppy pads. Most likely the babies will be born in a straw-filled stall, and a wet baby and straw make for a big mess. Having the kids land initially on to a towel or puppy training pad will soak up some of the moisture and keep them a bit cleaner.
*I prefer the puppy pads since they are disposable and I don’t have to deal with washing towels covered in afterbirth.
A flashlight. This is handy if the birth takes place at night or in a poorly lit area. And if you need verify the position of the kid. A headlamp is especially helpful if you need both hands and don’t have someone available to help hold a light for you.
Supplies for the Newborn Kids:
Floss/String/Clamp. To clamp the umbilical cord. Sometimes your doe will chew the cord herself. If it’s long and dragging you will need to trim it.
Scissors. If you need to cut or trim the umbilical cord. You may not use it, but have a pair on hand just in case.
A small bowl/container. To fill with betadine to dip the cord stump in.
Kid Colostrum Replacement. This is for just in case. Things can go wrong with any birth. The mother may not be able to nurse right away or she may reject the baby. If you can’t milk colostrum from the mom and feed to the kids you need to have this replacement on hand for the first 24 hours.
A bottle and nipple. This can be special for goats or simply a human baby bottle with a large hole in the nipple. Again this is for just in case, unless you plan on bottle feeding the babies exclusively.
Nutri-drench. Give the kids a little to help give them extra energy.
BoSe or Selenium/E Gel. If you live in a deficient area you might have to deal with selenium deficiency. This presents itself as white muscle disease in newborn kids. A shot of BoSe will turn a kid around in about 24 hours. Here’s more on how to dose BoSe for goat and when to give it.
*BoSe is prescription only, but you can also use a selenium gel OTC. It isn’t as fast acting, but if it’s all you have, it will work.
Supplies for the Doe:
Warm water with molasses added. This gives them a quick pick-me-up after a job well done. You can also give some homemade goat electrolytes.
Grain. She’ll be hungry!
Nutridrench. For quick energy and replenish nutrients.
Miscellaneous Kidding Supplies
Garbage bags. One to collect all the messy towels in and one for the afterbirths.
Goat baby sweaters/heat lamp: If you area is still particularly cold you will need more than just mom to keep the kids warm. Be very careful with heat lamps and secure them where the goats can’t knock them.
*After the first 2-3 days newborn kids should be able to hold their temperatures even in very cold weather. Just give them plenty of straw and bedding.
A camera. Obviously!
Keep these kidding supplies in a bucket or bag in the barn or by the back door. Some things- like grain and molasses water will be added last minute to keep it fresh.
Now just sit back and wait, and watch for signs that goat kidding is near!
Do you want more information on getting ready for goat kidding? My Busy Homesteader’s Goat Management Binder has a full Newborn Kid Checklist with everything you need to take care of your new babies and their mama. There’s also a breeding and pregnancy checklist to ensure a healthy delivery! Click here to learn more about it!