Useful Management Tips

 Any information given in this section is based upon my 19 years experience in raising goats.  I am not a veterinarian.  While practical tips & hands on experience may be helpful, I do encourage you to find an experienced vet that can assist you in caring for your goats.

Colostrum:  Colostrum is vital to the health of your newborn kids.  If you have a doe that has kidded with a single kid, it's the perfect time to plan ahead for future problems or emergencies.  Milk some Colostrum from the doe within the 1st 24 hrs to be frozen for emergencies.  Use an ice cube tray.  Place Colostrum into individual cubes for easy, single dose thawing. I use ziplock bags to freeze colostrum in.  NOTE:  When you need to use the Colostrum.........Do not microwave.  Place cube(s) in a ziplock freezer bag or small container.  Float the container or ziplock bag with Colostrum in hot water, until colostrum thaws and is warm.

Lethargic Kids:  One of our major kiddings is in the winter.  PA Winters are harsh, with temps frequently dipping below freezing.   Wet, newborn kids that are born in cold weather can become lethargic quickly from low body temp.  If the kid is responsive, we dry it with a hairdryer......while rubbing with a paper towel.  This works for kids if their temp has not plummeted too low.  If the kid is not responsive & very cold, we bring it inside & submerse it in a tepid (luke warm ~ NOT hot) tub of water.  Be careful & hold the goats head up out of the water.  The kid may take up to 15 minutes to gradually warm up.  After submersing the kid, dry it off with a hairdryer & towels.  Don't try to feed a lethargic kid..........the risk of aspiration is great.  When the kid is alert, you can try taking it back to its mother for nursing.  I have used a coffee ground or 2 under the kid's lower lip to give a boost of caffeine...........enough to get him started with nursing on mom.  Colostrum is very important.  If the kid is too weak to nurse, milk his dam........or warm up your emergency Colostrum that you previously froze.  A few cc's of warm Colostrum boosts the kid.