In this neck of the woods the very first sign of spring is not crocuses, but daffodils. I am pleased to report that this past week I was able to pick daffodils on the south facing bank of a nearby road. So, spring is in the air!
With the advent of spring, we usually have a bunch of new arrivals on our farms, and while it is exciting and usually a joy filled time, we occasionally need to be right on top of things to preserve the lives of some of these little blessings that show up.
Because sheep and goats regularly have multiple births, all those legs can get a little tangled up, and we sometimes need to help the dam get those kids sorted out and delivered. If you have been involved with sheep or goats for any length of time, some of the info in this newsletter will seem like old hat to you. While that may be the case, from time to time going over someone else’s prepper list for birthing supplies may remind you of something you have forgotten about, or give you an additional item to include in your own preparations.
Kids and lambs often have their lives hanging in the balance in the first hours after their birth. It is always best to have what you may need in advance than to find you have forgotten something and cannot get it until the weekend is over or risk having to call a vet out at 3am to supply something you could have had on hand if you had only thought of it during the week. Because there are so many little things to think about that might mean the difference between life and death, this newsletter is devoted to Birther Preps of the critter kind.
We hope you enjoy the information and do feel free to send in your tips and tricks for this time of the year. We can always benefit from other ideas!
All of Us at Hamby Dairy Supply
Basic Birthing Kit
For Sheep and Goats
- Flashlight & batteries – For those night time deliveries.
- Latex gloves – In case you have to assist.
- OB Lube – In case you have to “go in” to assist.
- 7% iodine – To treat the umbilical cord to prevent navel ill.
- Small spray bottle or film container – for dipping or spraying the umbilical cord with iodine.
- Dental floss – To tie the umbilical cord, if necessary.
- Blunt nosed scissors – For cutting the umbilical cord if it is too long.
- Long Shoe String- to make a loop to pull leg into position
*Corn Oil and Turkey Baster- to help lubricate for a
large kid to come through you can flood the vagina
with corn oil.
*Vitamin E oil- 2cc of vitamin e will often help a kid nurse
- Alcohol – to sterilize tools
- Baby nasal aspirator – To remove fluids from newborn’s mouth & nose, if necessary.
- 3 old but clean towels & 2 washcloths – To dry kids to prevent chill & dry hands.
- Bottle & Pritchard Nipple – In case you need to bottle feed, I have had the best luck getting newborns to use the Pritchard Nipple over others.
- Lamb / kid puller – In case of a kid that is positioned wrong. (Usually just your hand is enough to help a doe that needs help but it is a good idea to have one).
- Weak lamb syringe & feeding tube – To feed kids too weak to nurse.
- Small scale – to get a birth weight on the kids.
- Feed bag or garbage bag – For afterbirth.
- Soap & warm water – for washing up in case you need to assist.
- Small notebook & Pen – to record birth weights, etc.
- Digital thermometer – To check the temperature of chilled kids.
- Quiet hair dryer – to warm a mildly chilled kid.
- Phone # of 2 goat knowledgeable keepers/veterinarians – in case of an emergency.
Disclaimer: The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by newsletter and blog contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the Kinder® Goat Breeders Association. Goat husbandry advice found in the newsletter and blog is not meant to substitute a valid veterinary relationship. Please request permission to share or reprint newsletter and blog posts.