Monday, January 28, 2013

Are you Prepared for (Goat) Kids??

It's time for new kids!! 

Jordan & Jennifer holding a kid. He was quite the screamer!

When we purchased our doe Delilah in the beginning of October 2012, she had already been exposed to a buck. This was 5 months ago, and now we are expecting her kids to come in the next few weeks.

Here's how we prepped for our newest additions:

1. Clean pens

Newborns are very susceptible to diseases found in feces,urine and other contaminates so a clean pen should be the first step towards making sure your mama delivers healthy kids.

This work is literally pretty....poopy.  We had three does in an enclosed pen, and the poop really piled up. We start out by shoveling the waste and used bedding into a wheelbarrow and dumping it in a garbage/compost pile. After all the loose waste/bedding is removed we sweep and scrape the rubber mats to make sure it is as clean as possible. Trying to rush this job or doing it alone is just not possible. The best thing to do is to "invite" friends over to visit the goats and offer them a chance to work hands-on...then give them a shovel (mwhaha)!
Unfortunately Mac is useless with a shovel.

Once everything is clean, add new bedding. For our pregnant moms, we mixed a flake style pine shavings and fine pine shavings from Tractor Supply Co. The fine can be dusty, so mixing the two bags creates more coverage and less cost.


2. Clean water bowls/feeders

We feed both alfalfa hay and a grain mix, so we make sure the feeders and grain bucks are clean, and replace the water. Having quality food and clean water ensures healthy, happy moms!


3. Move them in

Once the pens are clean, we moved our girls right on over. Goats are herd animals, so we never leave a goat by themselves if we can help it. Luckily our friend's doe Honey is due the same time, so the pen is a "maternity ward" for the two of them. Once in, the girls are always quick to investigate their new surroundings.
Delilah (standing) looks out the window. Her roommate Honey looks on.

4. Vaccines

Immunity boosters are vital to making sure that the kids are born with all the immunities they need to grow and thrive. Our girls took them like champions! (Honestly at this point, they are so tired of being pregnant they don't care about anything other than food. The shots are administered in their neck just under the skin. After the shot, a pro-biotic medication is administered orally. 

Our buck MegaMind getting his shot. What a good boy!

5. Wait...(and wait...andwait...andwaitandwait!)

While we can guess when the girls were bred, we don't know exactly when they will go into labor and deliver. Our best guess is in the next 2-3 weeks, but factors like this being their first pregnancy and the number or kids delivered make it hard to pinpoint the day. This means a lot of anxiety for us humans and many, many trips to the barn to look for signs of labor. We also continue to change bedding to keep it as fresh as possible.

So as we wait for the delivery, let me know if you have questions! What do you want to learn more about? Let me know...I'll be waiting!

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