Baby goats – or kids – need to be taken care of especially the first few days since their birth. Special, tender and loving care are needed to raise your goats well, healthy and strong. This articles gives you some tips on how to handle the first moments of a baby goat’s life.
What To Do With A Newly-Born Kid
As the kid emerged – it is wrapped in a membrane, the placenta and is wet. It may even look lifeless. The doe, by nature, cleans the kid, licking off the membrane that wraps the kid to stimulate the breathing process. Also, you can assist by wiping it off with a clean towel.
Further on, it would not be required to cut the umbilical cord – as it will fall off by itself. In worse case of excessive bleeding, use dental floss to tie it and dip it in a 7% iodine solution to protect it from infection.
Within half an hour, the kid should be able to stand up and nurse. It is important that the kid sucks the colostrum content from the milk of the doe. Colostrum is the thick substance from the doe milk that comes the first time the baby sucks it smother. It is highly nutritious – this helps the kid develop antibodies while growing up. If the doe is not able to produce colostrum, you may buy it from feeds store to feed the kid. You might need to steer the baby to his mother’s teats and even milk the mother a couple of times to start the process.
In instances when the kid comes out choked and breathing is laborious, you may need to suck out excess fluid from the mouth using a syringe and wipe it off. If these actions don’t improve the breathing, you may need to hold the kid by its hind legs for a few minutes to help free the respiratory passages from fluids.
Once normal breathing starts, gently rub its body to encourage circulation of oxygenated blood.
After giving birth and having been fed by the doe – provide the kid with a warm, dry place to sleep far from the herd to avoid any harm or injury to the kid. After two or three days, the kid may join the herd. By this time, the kid is stronger. It eventually needs to move around and get enough exercise to develop its mobility and body.
Kid Grooming And Health
If the doe is no longer nursing the kid, make sure that the kid gets its feeding from other means. Bottle-feeding is the alternative – or maybe you may want to use fresh goat’s milk as well. If it is not available, try out cow’s milk mixed with corn syrup. Continue bottle feeding until it is time to wean the kid, at 8 weeks from birth. Also, feed the baby goat with good quality grass hay for optimum health.
To make sure that the kid is healthy, give its vaccination against Enterotoxemia and Tetanus 3 weeks from birth. After 3 weeks from the vaccination, follow with booster. Then, put your baby goat on a de-worming schedule to avoid infestation.
Moreover, you must know that kids need to be groomed just like human infants. At 2 weeks of age, dehorn the baby goat to avoid hurting themselves. Proper grooming include trimming hooves regularly and cleaning ears, body and legs using a damp, warm cloth to remove dirt and debris from his hooves. Then, run a soft brush through the baby goat’s coat
The key is to raise your kid well with patience and perseverance.