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Taking care of kids.

KID CARE:

 

There is nothing cuter then a goat kid. Here is how to take care of them.

As soon as they are born, dip their navel in 1% iodine and place a cord clamp as close to the navel as you can get it. This prevents infection from traveling up the cord and making the kid sick. After a few days the cord & clamp will fall off on its own. It is also a good idea to submerge the cord clamp in iodine before putting it on. If it is very cold out, you might want to place the doe and her kids in a pen by themselves with a heat lamp in one corner. Make sure the kids are dried off before moving them to prevent them from getting a chill. The heat lamp should be out of reach of the doe, and wired to a board or nail. Do not use string as it can fray and break, the heat lamp can cause fire if it falls on straw or shavings.

Once all the kids are born, let the doe dry them off and bond with them. You usually don't need to help her, unless she has a lot of kids and it is chilly out. Make sure all the kids receive enough colostrum-first milk. The first milk is thick and creamy yellow contains the important immunities the kids need to survive. If a doe rejects a kid, ether milk out some of her colostrum and stomach tube feed it to the kid, or if you have frozen goat or cow colostrum, warm to room temperature and feed them that. It is always a good idea to freeze extra colostrum in case a future doe doesn't have milk.

When stomach-tubing colostrum, milk, or electrolytes, the kid should be placed on its side on a soft towel on a firm surface, with its head towards the side from which you will be funneling the tube already attached to a weak-kid syringe. Measure the tube from the kid's mouth to the location of the stomach so you have some idea of how far to insert the tubing. Hold the head steady and control its body with your other forearm and carefully thread the tube into the kid's mouth and down the side (not than down the center) of the throat. If you meet resistance, pull the tubing out and begin again. When it is in, gently blow and then list to the end of the tube. You should hear crackerling noises that are made by the stomach. If you can feel air coming out of it you are in the lungs.
When pouring liquid into the funnel, limit the amount to half an ounce at a time to make sure the kid doesn't bring the fluids back up into the lungs. It is good to pinch the tube from time to time to give the stomach a chance to contain the fluids. To make it easier for the fluids to go down lift the kid's head up a little, but don't stretch it all the way up. When you are done tube feeding the kid, pinch the tube and count to 20 seconds, and then slowly remove the tube to prevent fluids from trickling down into the lungs. Colostrum is thick and so you may want to dilute it with a little warm water to make it flow down the tube better. Use wire to unstop the tube if it becomes clogged.
To tell if the kid is full or still needs more, place the kid on a level surface on all four legs and feel the stomach with both hands in front of the hind legs. A full stomach will feel firm but shouldn't be tight. If the kid's stomach is soft and jelly-like it needs more fluids.
Don't tube-feed colostrum or milk to a kid who is too weak to hold its own head up. Give it some sugar water, molasses or Karo syrup to give energy until it is able to lay on it's keel on it's own.

I prefer to dam raise the kids, they do better on her then being bottle babies. If you handle them daily they will turn out as friendly as bottle kids. Make sure you separate the bucks from their sisters and dams before they are three months if you keep them intact, there is no reason that a buckling bred his sister because you couldn't band or remove the kid.

 

DISBUDDING, DEHORNING & BANDING:

 

Disbudding:
Disbudding is done when a kid is two to three days old with a hot disbudding iron. Contact your vet so they can do this for you if you don't want your goats to have horns. A hot iron is applied to each of the kid's horn buds and held on for 2-3 seconds, as you slowly rotate it. When you are done, there should be two copper colored rings were the horns where. This is a two person job; someone needs to hold the kid while the other does the disbudding. The kid will kick and scream, and you need to make sure you don't hold the iron on too long as it can start to burn the skull and damage the brain.

Dehorning:
This is done on older goats. Bands are placed around the horns as close to the skull as possible. Then the bands are wrapped with duct tape to prevent them from rolling up the horn.

Banding:
This is for bucklings you don't want to keep intact, banding should be done at 2 1/2 months to allow the urinary system to mature. Before banding give a CD/T shot to guard against tetnus. To band, you must have a standard bander used for calves and docking lambs. Here is a link to a picture of one: http://www.animart.com/cgi-bin/details.cgi?sku=2608702008&line=Calf_Supplies
To use, you place the green rubber castrator band over the four closed prongs of the bander. Then have someone hold the kid while you gently pull down on his testacies. Make sure both are descended, do not band if there is only one. While grasping the testacies, squeeze the handle of the bander to open it up, stretching the rubber band. Then, with the prongs facing upwards, place the band around both testacies and slowly release the handles. The ring will be around the testacies and now you need to gently slip the bander off the ring. The kid will probably cry and walk funny for a while, this is normal.

 

VACCINATION, DEWORMING, HOOF TRIMMING:

Newborn: Dip navel in 7% iodine solution and use cord clamp.

2-3 days: Disbud kids.

2 weeks: Deworm with Safe-guard dewormer.

1 month: Give first booster shot of CD/T.

2 months: Give second booster shot of CD/T. Trim hooves if needed. Castrate or band bucklings not used for breeding.

3 months: Wean or sell bucklings dam. Sell or wean wethers.

14 weeks: Give first booster shot of Lepto-5.

4 months: Give second booster shot of Lepto-5.

20 weeks: Deworm with Ivomec orally. Trim hooves if needed.
Every 6-8 weeks until 8 months of age: Deworm and trim hooves if needed. Rotate dewormers to reduce the risk of resistance in worms.

8 months: Before breeding, vaccinate does and breeding bucks with Lepto-5. Breed first time does to small buck to reduce the chances of a difficult labor and birth. Write down when does where first exposed to buck so you have idea when they are going to kid.

10 months: Trim hooves. If does are pregnant, do not trim again until after doe gives birth, struggling during hoof trimming can cause abortions.

2 weeks before kidding: Give booster shot of CD/T and deworm with Ivomec.

After kidding: Deworm with Levasole or Valbazen dewormer. Follow the above schedule for each breeding and new kids.