Oh my goodness. This prep for our first kidding (goat birth) has me reminiscent of the season of life where I was preparing for my own births! I wasn’t fortunate enough to be able to have a home birth (I was high risk 4 out of 4 births) but I always watched the prep videos so I could live vicariously through their excitement! And to clarify I had 4 beautiful hospital births so no complaints or bitterness here.
The excitement in the air is palpable! There are definitely some nerves involved (now I guess I know what my husband was feeling) being on the other side of the speculum. The goats don’t seem interested in attending my “Hypno-goaties” seminar so I’m trusting that nature will take its course. They’ve also turned down Lamaze, Bradley’s and birthing ball lessons. I’m assuming they’re going to try something a little more natural–that or they’re planning on getting an epidural. I don’t judge on how others birth!
One of the things that us humans have done to prepare is to gather supplies into a “Kidding Kit”. The kit includes:
Now from what I’ve read (major eye roll here because as important as reading and research is there is no substitute for advice from seasoned professionals or experienced homesteaders) USUALLY mamas don’t need help kidding. Nature takes its course and mama does what she needs to do (much like in human birth) BUT it’s always good to be prepared! How’s the saying go…? “It’s better to need it and not have it than have it and not need it…”. That doesn’t sound right, but that’s how I always want to say it so I always have to correct myself. It’s to “HAVE IT AND NOT NEED IT THAN NEED IT AND NOT HAVE IT!”<
am prepared just in case I need to get in there and get my hands messy so to speak–but not really because…gloves (see the list).
In case it wasn't straight forward here is what you'll be using all of the accoutrements (please read this with a fancy accent) in your kit for.
Dog/Chux pads: These will serve multiple purposes. It's something for the mama goats to lay on. They are absorbent–if it's anything like human kid births there will be various fluids. They are also great to wipe the kids off with. And in a pinch if you pee yourself with excitement–well no one will know and they'll save you a little embarrassment. Don't worry I won't tell.
Iodine/ Betadine: For dipping cords.<
olasses: Because sometimes birth takes a long time and you may have time for biscuits.
I stand corrected. Turns out the molasses is for the mama goat. Molasses water is a good pick me up for after birth or during a particularly long birth. All I got was ice chips.
Scissors: You want your scissors cleaned and sterilized. Usually the cord will be taken care of by mom but occasionally I have heard they require cutting. <
owels: I stress old because you're never too old to get in trouble for using the GOOD towels. I plan on using white (no I'm not crazy) that way they can be bleached afterwards. But honestly does it really matter if they stain. You're just going to be use them for birthing. It's like cloth diapers, that first kid you break your back fighting stains and by the fourth kid you're like "they're just going to poop in it does it matter".
Head Lamp: Not just because it'll make you look super fashionable (but they definitely will) but if it's dark during the delivery you want to be able to be hands free. A lantern would also serve you very well here! (it’s okay if you don’t look THIS cool–not everyone can pull off the look)
Gloves: I pray that when your goats kids they don’t need any assistance. I hope that it goes as quickly and smoothly as possible and you’re holding sweet little babies before you know what hit you. BUT if you do have to interfere it’s best to wear gloves to protect both you, mama goat, and that sweet little baby.
Lube: WORD OF ADVICE!! When purchasing your lube (which I bought in the human lube aisle) you may spend awhile there–there’s a lot of kinds of lube and they might not like the same kind as you and your spouse– warning and cooling sensation isn’t for everyone but that’s none of my business. But after staring At the lube for awhile someone may say something or offer you assistance DO NOT I repeat DO NOT say “It’s for my goat”. It’ll save you a lot of explaining. That’s a pro tip from this rookie! Here is a link in case you want to order it from the comfort of your own home. But of course the lube will be used in case you have to use the gloves (see above) to assist the mother. KY or generic will work fine too just don’t get any of the fancy ones. Save those for the hubby (or your significant other)!
Emergency Colostrum/Bottle/ Pritchard Nipples: are all good to have on hand in case something goes wrong and you need to supplement baby. And if (hopefully) nothing goes wrong you can use the bottle and nipple to bottle feed the babies mama’s milk.
Garbage bags: to clean up all of the mess and used supplies.
Hanging scale: this is optional but I got it in case I needed to weigh the babies for any reason.
With any luck my girls will deliver with no problems and no interventions needed but in case something goes wrong I’ll be ready.