|Helen's due date is March 11. Kinders often kid earlier than standard|
size goats, however. She's not real big so I'm thinking twins or a single.
I realized I was late in performing this chore when I looked at the bottle of sterile calcium gluconate I used on Surprise last year. The 500 ml bottle was almost empty and had expired about a year ago. Worse, it had little black thingies floating around in it. Time to throw it out. Tractor Supply Co.'s supply was all out of date as well! Hopefully I won't need it this year.
For my first kidding event several years ago I looked at all the lists of recommended kidding supplies and felt a bit overwhelmed. I bought what I thought were the basics, and have added items since. What I added was based on my kidding experiences; it's horrible to need something at 2 AM on a Saturday with no way to get what's needed. So here's my list. Hopefully others will share theirs as well.
- Several old towels - for drying kids
- Betadine - for umbilical cords although the moms often chew these off
- Flashlights, lantern, or headstrap light if there is no electricity in the birthing area - in case it happens at night!
- Bulb syringe - for clearing little mouths and noses if needed
- chair or stool - more comfortable for watching and waiting
- Selenium/E oral gel - for the kids, because I live in a selenium deficient area. Many folks give BoSe injections, but this is a prescription item. The gel is not.
- Blackstrap molasses - after kidding molasses in warm water is often recommended for the doe. She'll be tired, hungry, and thirsty and drink this down. Any molasses can be used, but I like the nutrients in blackstrap
- Lubricant - such as Vaseline or KY jelly in case the third stage of labor (pushing) takes longer than 30 to 45 minutes. If that's the case then some help may be needed. I've encountered two kids trying to be born at the same time, head first presentation with bent front knees (needed straightening out), and a frank breech (tail first). The only one I couldn't save was the breech baby.
- Obstetric gloves (?) - I bought a package of these. They are elbow length and size large. I find them too awkward and clumsy to wear, so I just scrub up before going in.
- Sterile, sharp scissors - for cutting an umbilical cord if necessary (usually not)
- Chemical wormer - Holistic goat expert Irene Ramsey recommends worming the dam immediately after kidding to prevent parasites from taking advantage of the stresses of labor and delivery.
- Pritchard nipples and a bottle they'll fit - in case there are too many kids for the mother to manage, or, unthinkably, something happens to her. I can milk colostrum directly from her to feed, but hopefully I'll have on hand -
- Frozen colostrum. There's a powdered cross-species mix which can be purchased, but it's not anything I would want to feed if I could help it. Extra can be milked from a plentifully producing doe and frozen in ice cube trays or muffin tins.
- Kid coats - if it's winter time cold
For emergencies I also like to keep on hand:
- Nutridrench - for any kid that seems weak or a bit slow starting. It contains energy and B vitamins. If that doesn't do the trick, the nasty taste always gets them going. Also good for a doe in ketosis (pregnancy toxemia).
- CMPK drench - for prevention of milk fever (hypocalcemia). I'd give to a doe which was down, disoriented, and couldn't get up. It's oral so it's not as fast acting as an injection.
- Calcium gluconate - injection for hypocalcemia. If the doe has had a good diet with a proper calcium and phosphorous balance, this won't be necessary. Still, I feel better having it on hand
- Injection vitamin B complex - for any goat that seems weak or disoriented. Especially helpful for pregnancy toxemia to stimulate the doe's appetite.
- Luer lock syringes, both 3 cc and 6 cc sizes
- Needles - I like the 20 gauge, 3/4 inch size. It's large enough for most liquids and small enough to not be as painful as a larger gauge (the smaller the number the larger the gauge). The length is perfect for giving subcutaneous (subQ, i.e.under the skin) injections
- scales - for weighing kids if desired
I hope I'm not forgetting something. If I have, I'll amend the list as soon as I think of it.
|Daphne's due date is three weeks after Helen's. Daphne is a bit|
bigger than Helen, so I'm guessing twins or triplets (or more).