First time Goat Mom, Diana, isn't sure what just happened. We try to be around for first time Moms because you never know how they are going to react. Sometimes they just walk away. A baby goat can drown if the birthing bag isn't removed quickly or starve if they aren't up and nursing quickly.
-Often times, we will remove the birthing sac for both the health of Mom and Baby. It's not worth the risk of having a baby goat aspirate, get pneumonia and die or drown. Then Mom will stress out and get worm loaded due to the death of the baby.
-The towels help dry the belly and puts a barrier between the baby and the ground until we can move them to a birthing shelter / pen. We do navel dip cords in iodine. Mouth wash can be used if you don't have iodine.
-Locking the dam up prior to giving birth can be stressful because they aren't typically locked up. We let them kid first. We move her to a birthing shelter within an hour. She will follow the baby and happily go in to tend to it. We give our Mom's a special diet to support milk production so that the baby goats is able to thrive.
-We will hold a Mom if needed so the baby can nurse, just ask Emilee goat. She actually loves this because she gets so much love. She will run up to me so I will "hold" her. She sneaks and nurses the kids when I'm not looking. Luckily I can see the nursery pasture from my kitchen window. Emilee doesn't know this and I play along. Denver can tell you nursing isn't an option. It took me 12 hours in a birthing stall to get her to willingly nurse as a first time Mom. At 2:24 am she finally let the twins nurse without being held and I cried tears of joy. She is one of my favorite goats and I was determined she was going to raise her babies. Her second kidding was text book and she was a wonderful Mom.
-Putting in a birthing stall will allow us observe both the baby goat and Mom. We look for selenium deficiency in our babies. Our soil is both, selenium and copper deficient. Are the babies cold and not moving, do they need heat? We watch to make sure "all" of them, think triplets, are nursing. Colostrum is vital to a healthy baby goat. Is Mom up taking care of the babies or laying around a lot? Do we have a calcium deficiency aka milk fever or ketosis? Is she eating or drinking normally? Is she aware of the babies or is she stepping on them?
- How many Moms are in labor at one time? We have had 3 in labor at one time and another having babies that we found an hour later. Did I mention, they were in different pastures? We TRIAGE to see who needs help or we keep an eye on them if everything is going as it should. We only get involved when we need to. It is believed that those last, HARD pushes, the Mom makes to deliver the baby helps clear the mucus from the throat and tells the baby it's time to LIVE!
- We like to kid in colder months in North Carolina. It's easier to warm them for 72 hours than keep them cool when it's 100 degrees and humid. You also don't have to worry about BOT flies.
Baby goat kidding season is about being intentional and aware. We kidded over 100 babies last year and will kid over 125 this year. These are all things we have learned during this crazy goat journey we call #fortheLoveofgoats!