February 27, 2019
All the basic information you will need to prepare your goats for pregnant goat care & successful kidding.
Disclaimer: I am not a licensed veterinarian
New to raising goats? Dreaming of having baby goats jumping in your pastures? This was my dream when we bought our raw land. I would drive through the rolling hills and pastures and admire all the baby goats everywhere out on the drive to our property! One time I was driving to town with my husband and no joke there was two baby goats only a few hours old on the side of the road. I tried to take them home with me but my husband reminded me that stealing livestock is literally one of the original felonies in the United States. This is when my true goat obsession became real. I knew I needed some baby goats on our Thermaland Oaks Homestead.
It’s that time of year when we focus on pregnant goat care as we roll into the spring season and start preparing female goats to breed. Spring kidding is one of my favorite times of the year on the farm and there is much to do to prepare yourself and your does for the new babies on your homestead.
Goat pregnancy preparation should have start even before your doe is bred. Goat gestation may only be short five months, but pregnant goat care really begins months before your doe ever meets her lucky man, the handsome buck! Below I’ve put together a timeline with the most important things to remember as you prepare for having a pregnant goat. Care needs to be taken at every step of the process.
Nutrition is key for goats to have a have a successful pregnancy. It is very important to not over feed a goat while pregnant. I know all I want to do it give my girls lots of grain treats but I have to remember that if a baby grows so large that your doe will have difficulties during kidding.– the overfeeding can lead to ketosis and hypocalcemia. Here are some google definitions:
Ketosis is a metabolic condition also called pregnancy toxemia at the end of gestation and lactational ketosis during early lactation
Hypocalcemia A calcium deficiency. During pregnancy and lactation, the goat is not having her calcium needs met because of incorrect feeding.
When you purchase good quality hay and have adequate pasture the pregnant moms will have sufficient nutritional requirements in the first few months of pregnancy. If you doe is thin you can feed her some grain as a treat to give her some more calories. Gradually replace their hay with alfafa. If you suspect that your doe is carrying multiple babies she will need even more nutrients and calories. Another important topic is fresh water. Plenty of water is very important. Throughout their pregnancy, does can drink up to four gallons a day. In the last few months of gestation your unborn kids will be growing very fast.
While your doe is approaching labor, it is your responsibility as goat owner to make sure she is in the best possible heath and that her kidding will be as smooth as you had hoped for. Fingers crossed here! There are many different things you should do and be educated about before kidding and afterwards to properly care for your pregnant goat. I am not a licensed veterinarian, these are basic pregnant goat care techniques I use.
Worming your does about two weeks before kidding should occur should protect the doe and unborn kids from the unwelcome parasites.
Approximately two months before kidding, you should trim their hooves before their belly becomes too bulky and with winter season the mud can add to hoof rot which could be protected if hooves are kept clean.
Also the exciting tip is that you should have a birthing stall set up and a birthing kit ready to go as the due date gets closer! I have compiled a list of birthing kit essentials I have gained knowledge after two years to keep on hand. Better to have more items available with each situation since goats seem to kid at 3am around here on our homestead.
This picture makes me giggle with the view of all the pregnant goat bellies. The does are very hungry when they get this large. Summer is on the left standing up in the feeder, she is not pregnant too young this year but she is always hungry like she is!
Vaseline – in case you have to turn or pull a kid, use with long gloves on
Scissors + iodine to cut the cords
Heat Lamp if your kids are born on a freezing cold night/ storm
Heating pad – we used this for Tiny Tim this year
Bottle and nipples – just in case the doe refuses to nurse or dies during labor in variety of sizes. They have really come in handy this season
Goat Treats to give the moms while you try and get the babies to nurse on the moms
Camera for the birthing pen to watch labor -some take longer than others to watch instead of going in side and outside all night long
Kid Colostrum – Really helpful to have on hand for kids who have an issue in the beginning with latching on to their mother.
First Aid Bleeding powder
Goat treats for the mother
Goat Dewormer – About 2 weeks before pregnancy to protect the moms + babies
Hoove Trimmers – trim hooves before the belly becomes too bulky
I hope that this post has been helpful for you getting ready for kidding season on your homestead. Pin some images on Pinterest for reference later. The links in this post are affiliate links, and buying products directly from these links truly helps me so much. Thank you for your support of this growing blog!
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