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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just wait until your mother gets here

I was just reading up on udder care, and you know, I still say that books are great guidelines, but they never tell the whole story.

Caring For Newborns

It's pretty simple when it comes to goats, by the time you find the new kids, they are usually up, dry and nursing.

Sable a few minutes old

If not, use a clean dry towel, and keep them warm, wait until they are standing and help them nurse, all within about 15 minutes of birth.

No worries about umbilical cord care. It would be best for you to leave that alone. But you can dip it in iodine to help prevent infections.

With nursing, if the kid has a weak suck, you will need to help it. Multiples may need help as well, and if your mom hangs low, help need there too. You should only need to help for up to three days, no more than 5. Weening should take place 2-3 months. (but doesn't always)

It always helps to have a very dirty child around to help with the kids

Now my own experience with milking a goat differs from what the books say. The books say that kidding causes the doe to be gentler and more cooperative at milking time. hahaha! Sorry fell off my chair. We are getting the ya know kicked out of us everyday. This wasn't a problem before kidding. After your kids have began to eat solids, you can separate them for a twelve hour period, milk and return kids to mom.

If one of your kids is weak, or chilled after birthing, warm her up best you can within the reach of mother. Try not to separate them for 6 hours. This is claimed to be the magical bonding hours. If you have to separate because of weak sucking or chill, try not to over use the bottle, and return them to mom asasp. There are studies out there that say that udder fed goats are more respectful of humans than bottle fed. This could be due to the fact that a bottle fed baby will see you as part o the herd, not something you really want from your goats. This is where the butting and biting can become a problem.

Before you know it, they are into everything.

All that is left to talk about is vetting and grooming. And then our goat tutorial is complete. Any questions?


Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

No questions. I am enjoying this tutorial! :)

Anonymous said...

Are some goats known for "weak" babies?

Anonymous said...

Same thing with cows....they don't take too kindly to you stealing the milk from their babies. And calves that are bottle fed tend to think you are another cow, rather than a human. I find the same thing with hen-raised chicks vs. hand raised ones. When they are hand raised, they are much more aggressive.

Beautiful babies! Someday, I hope to have a dairy goat or two!

Phelan said...

Jennifer :)

Ye, not that I am aware of. Fiber goats need extra proteins during pregnancy, because most of their energy is spent on growing all that hair, kids can be weak if the mother isn't fed properly. I have heard that meat goats are hardier than other types, like dairy, but I haven't seen that to be true in my neighborhood. They all seem to do just the same, however I am the only one that is having triplets, and I had one weaker than the other two.

Phelan said...

Kristin, I have yet to have a problem with my cows. Although my husband has had an issue or two with them. I am sure it is true with anything you attempt to milk.

HermitJim said...

Coming over here is like going to school ...only more enjoyable!

Thanks for the information, Phelan

Anonymous said...

Small is getting so big!

Cygnus MacLlyr said...

Can we turn their kicking action to churning energy... save the middle-class worker...

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