Sunday, January 17, 2010

Getting the Kidding Kit Ready

Since the due date for my first does to kid is in only 2 days ... I spent the afternoon making sure everything I'll need is in the Kidding Kit.  I put everything in a large bucket with a sturdy handle.  This lets me carry it easily and hang it on a hook above the inquiring explorations of any goats.  But, still keep in handy reach for myself.

 My Kidding Kit

 The medications I keep in the kit or in the fridge (easy to grab when needed) are these:


 I keep BoSe a Selenium/Vita E supplement in the kit.  It doesn't need to be refrigerated and must be obtained from the vet.  This is used to prevent white muscle disease in areas of the country that are selenium deficient.  I live in a selenium deficient area in southern Missouri.  Too much selenium is toxic and too little can also cause death due to weakness of muscles ... including the heart.  You might want to check with your vet before supplementing with selenium.   I give the newborn kids 1/2cc of the BoSe orally and the doe 1cc SQ per 100 lbs body weight.

I usually put each of the medications with the syringe in a zip bag.  That way I don't accidentally mix up a syringe with a different medication. This helps keep them clean too ... especially out in the barn!

 BoSe with syringe in a zip bag

I keep Oxytocin in the kit and give the doe 2cc IM just after they have delivered their last kid to prevent her from retaining the placenta.  Oxytocin is a hormone produced naturally by the doe that causes the uterus to contract.  I have not had any trouble with retained placentas since starting the habit of giving the doe the Oxytocin at the end of delivery.  If a doe is having a very slow unproductive labor, I'll give her the 2cc shot to speed up the delivery and make the contractions productive.  If I give her the shot during labor, I do not give her more after delivery.  A small dose (1/2cc IM) can also help a doe let down her milk

I keep Lutalyse in the kit and give the doe 1 to 2cc IM only if they have retained their placenta.  This natural hormone will cause them to cycle and clean out their uterus. It is a little harsh, but effective ... and much better than a retained placenta decomposing inside of them ... causing all sorts of problems!

I have Penicillin in the fridge just in case I have to assist with a difficult delivery by entering the doe to help position or pull a kid during delivery.  I give 6cc SQ or IM to prevent infection.

I like to use the kind of syringe that the needles screw onto instead of push onto. This keeps the needle more secure when administering medications.  I prefer using 18 gauge 3/4 inch needles for the goats.

I have Nutra-Cal in the kit just in case a newborn kid is weak and needs an energy boost for survival.  An excellent alternative to the Nutra-Cal is the Magic mixture of  1 part Molasses, 2 parts Corn syrup, 1 part Corn oil.  I keep this on hand all the time.  It is amazing how it helps a goat that is stressed or lethargic.

Magic mixture

I also keep a good de-wormer in the kidding kit and give the doe a dose right after kidding.  This is a time of stress and hormonal change when worms can increase in the doe and she needs to be de-wormed.


Other things I have in the kidding kit for the doe is a good calcium supplement.  I use CalMagCo gel diluted to half strength with water and give about 30cc with the drench syringe as soon as she has finished delivering her kids.  I give this to each of my does to prevent Milk Fever.  Since starting this practice, I have not had another case of Milk Fever.  Losing a doe to Milk Fever is heartbreaking and so easy to prevent.

CalMagCo and Hemorrhoid gel

I use the Hemorrhoid gel on the doe if she is swollen after delivery.  This brings down the swelling and makes her more comfortable.

I also have OB Lube and Latex gloves in the kidding kit.  If I have to assist with a delivery, I pour alcohol on my hand and arm ... then will put the OB Lube on my hand and up my arm to make it easier to insert into the doe.  I usually do not use the gloves in this case though.  They make it a little hard to feel when you're inside the doe ... and when you're sorting out legs and noses ... you need to be able to feel the best you can. 

OB Lube and Latex gloves

I keep a bottle of Alcohol in the kit to sterilize things like the small scissors that I use to trim the navel cord to about 2 inches ... if it tears off too long when the kid is being born.  Be careful not to trim the cord too short.  I keep a bottle of the Iodine and small cup to dip the newborn kid's navel cord into to prevent bacteria and germs from entering the cord. 

Antiseptics - Alcohol and Iodine

Some things I have in the kit for the newborn kids are a suction bulb for clearing mucus out of the nose and mouth, a baby medicine dropper, a syringe with a tube for feeding weak kids.  The tube I use is the soft tubing you can find in the store for aquariums.  It fits nice and snug on the end of a regular syringe.

 Medicine dropper, Suction Bulb, & Stomach tube,

If you have to use the stomach tube be sure you are putting it down the right side of the kid's throat.  You can get into the lungs if you go down the center or the left side.  If you are holding the kid in your lap with it's head facing away from you ... hold it's head with your left hand ... feed the tube down the throat with your right hand ... there will not be resistance so don't push hard ... feel the end of the tube to be sure there is no air coming out of it... if there is, you are in the lungs and you need to pull the tube back out and try again.  If the tube is in the stomach ... put the syringe (that has the colostrum or medication in it) onto the end of the tube and administer it slowly.   Please use caution and only use a stomach tube if the kid is unable to nurse on it's own.

Something I made from the sleeves of old sweatshirts are kidding coats.  They work great!  Just lay out the sweatshirt sleeve ... cut off the cuff (it's usually to tight for the neck) ... cut the back end of the kid coat about 12 inches from the neck part (curving the under part) ... leave about 6 inches of the seam on the underside of the sleeve ... cut holes for the front legs to go through.  These work great to keep newborn kids warm!


 Kid Coat

Here are a couple of the kids from last spring's kidding season wearing the sweatshirt sleeve kid coats.  The sweat shirt material is strechy, warm and comfortable for the kids.  And besides that ... it's a great way to recycle those old worn out sweatshirts!

Kid wearing the coats

Of course a stack of clean towels is essential at kidding time for drying off wet newborn kids.

 Stack of clean towels

 Well, I think my kidding kit is ready for this year's kidding season!

Note:  These are the medications and procedures that I use and have found to work well for my goats.  You should consult your vet if you have any questions about these medications or procedures.


Linda said...

I LOVE the kids coats! That could prove very useful!

Feral Female said...

Looks like you`re ready Brenda! My kidding kit looks very similar to yours but shall stay in the house for a few more months. =)

Deborah said...

Thanks for sharing the details. I am trying to gather the needed supplies for mine. This is our first year kidding, so I am starting from scratch. Trying to buy the esstenials first, then add the other items as I can. What would be your can't live without items? I have little time left before we could see our first kids. Can't wait!

Brenda said...

Deborah, the items I wouldn't be without in my kiddig kit are: old towels, alcohol, iodine, small sizors, medicine cup ( like the one that comes with cold medicine - use it to dip the navel cord), CalMagCo ($5 from the feed store) Drench syringe, de-wormer, the Magic mixture, BoSe (in my area it's needed), Penicillin, and the kid coats. You could probably do without the Lute (it's pretty expensive), but the Oxitosin is under $10 for the bottle from the vet. Since having to deal with retained placentas my first kidding season from a couple of the older does, I'll always use the Oxitosin to prevent it.

I wish the best to you all for the best kidding season ever!

Leslie said...

I have left you an award on my blog. I really enjoy reading about all of your goats.

Brenda said...

Thank you, Leslie. I enjoy visiting your blog too!

H Diamond Farms said...

Will the Magic mix keep for very long, or do you have to make it up fresh for each kidding?

Brenda said...

On the Magic mixture ... Since all of the ingredients in it keep without refrigeration, I keep it out on the counter top. I'm not sure how long it will last that way. I usually use it up pretty fast. I do make sure I have the ingredients on hand to mix up a batch when I need it. I found that it stays mixed better if you whisk it with a wire whisk when you first make a batch. I hope this helps.

H Diamond Farms said...

Thanks Brenda!