14 Mar 5 Things I do to Prepare for Kidding
With Tahlia from Diego Valley Miniature Goat Stud
Here at Diego Valley I am getting ready for the first kiddings of 2022! The first you say? I split kiddings in to two groups of does every year. This gives certain does a break but also splitting up the amount of kiddings I can spend more one-on-one time with the doe and kid/s.
Kidding in Autumn vs Spring? A lot of the standard dairy goats are seasonal breeders, however myself breeding Nigerian Dwarfs and Miniature Anglo Nubian which can be bred all throughout the year I can choose when to mate the does.
This year the first kids born for 2022 will be in Autumn. Preparing the does for kidding is very important, so they can be their happiest and healthiest.
Here are 5 things i do to prepare for kidding...
1. Change of paddocks
The does have been in the paddock with stud buck, Jitterbug for the last 3 months. I take the girls out and put them in to the main house paddock for observation. This allows me to watch the girls more closely and observe the changes on their body, such as their bellies but more importantly their udders, and their behaviours.
Does behaviours will change in their late pregnancy. Each does behaviours will be different. Watching my does closely I can learn their behaviours, so if I see something that is out of the ordinary for that doe, I can make sure I am doing everything possible she is feeling her best.
One month out from kidding all girls have their 5 in 1 vaccination. This protects doe and kid. The biggest reason I vaccinate my herd is because of prevention. Diseases such as pulp kidney (enterotoxaemia) are quick and fatal, so it is very important all my does are up to date. It is a quick procedure, injection is given subcutaneously (under the skin).
3. Increase feed
Increasing my does feed is very important for health of doe and kid/s. A goat gestation (pregnancy) is 145-155 days. I increase their Thompson and Redwood Goat Pellets and Goat Muesli in their last month of kidding.
It is important to increase their feed in late gestation for vitamins and minerals and growth of kid in doe. However, is it important to slowly introduce grain back into their diet if they have not been getting grain.
It also is important not to feed to much grain in early gestation as you don’t want the kid to grow too quickly, this can cause problems during kidding.
4. Hoof trimming
Pedicure time! I like to trim their feet a month out from kidding, so I then don’t bother them when they are close to kidding or when they have kidded. They also get very large for the milking stand during late pregnancy.
Whilst the girls are getting their pedicure on the milking stand they all get a yummy snack of T & R Goat Muesli.
5. Health Check
Another great reason having them on the milking stand is great for an overall body check. I normally look closely at their legs, run my hands along to check for any lumps and bumps. Access their weight, look at their udder development etc.
Looking at the udder gives me a good indication when they will kid. Every doe is different, as some does can develop their udder, one month, one week and even a few days before kidding.
GOAT Fun facts
- A female goat is called a doe
- A male goat is called a buck
- A baby goat is called a kid
- When the doe is giving birth it is called a kidding
Tahlia runs Diego Valley Miniature Goat stud, located in Western Australia and is a registered breeder of Australian Miniatures, Miniature Nubians, & Nigerian Dwarfs.