For the Love of Goats
Spring is when most goats give birth. Are you ready for kidding season? In this episode I’m talking about what you need to have ready before kidding season starts, and I’m sharing some of the things we learned the hard way so you don’t have to make the same mistakes. (Like — don’t leave your clean kidding towels in the barn because mice will make a mess of them!) I’m also giving you tips and tricks for kidding in the middle of a cold winter so that you can reduce the risk of hypothermia for your baby goats.
How do you know if a kid has hypothermia? The first thing to go is their ability to suck, so if you have a kid that’s not nursing, stick your finger in its mouth, and if it’s cold, that’s a problem.
Here are photos of the kid coats that I made out of an old sweatshirt sleeve for our Nigerian dwarf kids when they were having trouble maintaining their body temperature in sub-zero weather. Most kids do just fine once you’ve dried them off, so I rarely use these, but if I have a kid who gets hypothermia after they are dry, that’s when I put a coat on them. They usually only need it for the first day. Leaving it on them longer is not really helping because they need to get acclimated to your regular temperatures. Remember that it is always possible that the coat could wind up getting snagged on something and causing injury or death.
The wrist band on the sweatshirt becomes the neck band for the kid coat during the transformation. If you have bucklings, be sure that there is no fabric under their belly so that they don’t wind up in a wet coat. If you have larger kids, you can use the leg of old sweatpants.
For more information on goat birthing you can check out
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