Building a kit for kidding time

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I’m a little nervous about playing midwife for the first time. I know that my charges will probably drop those babies like pros and not need the least bit from me. But when you get into the realm of understanding what could happen and what you might need to know to be ready, it can get intimidating real quick.

So I’ve started preparing the kidding kit now, because those April due dates come right when I’ll be finishing spring semester.

What I learned when I first started building up our goat medicine/emergency care cabinet was that everyone has different ideas of what is crucial or even desirable to have on hand. So I should say, this birthing kit comes from a combination of recommendations from my mentor and my most-used goat resources. I do recognize that there are about 50 more things I could buy that might seem crucial if I considered them long enough, and on the flip side, there will be experienced goat people who would say you don’t need half of this stuff. Everybody’s right, and this is what I was comfortable with.

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Pictured here from top left going clockwise are:

  • 1st ziploc – What I need for the doe 4 weeks before kidding:
    • BoSe selenium shots.
    • CD&T vaccine is in this category but has to stay in the fridge.
  • 2nd ziploc – What I need for the doe after kidding:
    • dewormer. This was a hard choice for me. Although we’ve sent a lot of routine fecals to the vet, we haven’t needed to deworm yet and I hate starting that now.
    • molasses
    • Probios (both not pictured because I didn’t buy separate ones and we keep these on hand for regular use.)
    • the aforementioned CD&T
  • 3rd ziploc – What I need if I have to reach into the doe:
    • antibacterial soap (the only ones I keep in the house at all are in medicine kits)
    • lubricant
    • surgical gloves
    • antibiotic uterine boluses. I’d love to hear someone talk about the relative necessity of those boluses, I wish I didn’t feel the need to buy them, I’m glad I have them.
  • 4th ziploc – What I need if the kid has special needs:
    • popsicle sticks and surgical tape to make leg splints if necessary
    • Pritchard nipples and a clear plastic bottle that fits those nipples for bottle feeding if necessary
  • 5th ziploc – What I need for the kid’s umbilical cord:
    • veterinary strength iodine
    • a container to hold the iodine (ideally you’d use an old film canister or prescription bottle)
    • unflavored dental floss to tie the cord off before cutting (you cut if it’s too long)
  • Newspapers and old towels and washcloths – for laying down over messes, cleaning up the kid and other messes, keeping the kid warm.
  • Other things I haven’t added but will have:
    • garbage bags or empty feed bags for disposing of things
    • flashlight
    • scissors
    • weak kid syringe
    • the overalls and hoodie that I use for gross jobs
    • information I may print out or bookmark in my goat books for easy reference.

We most likely won’t need a heat lamp or hair dryer since this will be in April, but we’ve got those too.

See, doesn’t it make you feel better to see all of that readiness? It makes me feel so much better.

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