Preparing for the birth of a goat kid will insure they get off to the right start. Of course, the doe is going to do most of the work in the birthing process, but there are many reasons why a baby goat kid might need your support and preparation.
You can increase the likelihood that the baby will thrive if you have on hand colostrum and goat kid milk replacer. In the case of premature or difficult birthing; abandonment or multiple births, the doe may not be able to care for her kid(s).
One of the most important needs for the baby is the feeding of colostrum milk. During the first few hours after birth, it is critical that the baby ingest colostrum. The colostrum, or first milk, contains antibodies which the doe does not pass to the fetal kid in utero.
Consumption of colostrum must occur as early as 30 to 60 minutes after birth. It is in that precious few hours, after the baby is born, that the kid can absorb the antibodies (passive transfer) that are contained in the colostrum. The colostrum should be bottle-fed to the newborn to insure adequate consumption. Research indicates that disease organisms, especially Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE), may pass from doe to kid through the milk. Transmission might be avoided through the use of a purchased colostrum powder or pasteurized colostrum.
Milk Replacer feeding should begin on day two. Always follow the mixing and feeding instructions on the bag. Adding dried colostrum to the milk replacer feeding on day 2-4 is a great way to mimic what their mother would give them.
There are a lot of diseases such as pneumonia and scours (diarrhea) that can be deadly to the baby kid. Studies have shown that feeding colostrum after day one can assist the baby in developing a strong immune system.
There are many things that are important about the nutrition, environment and health of the baby goat kid that need to be practiced to keep them healthy and nurtured. Being prepared by having on hand items such as colostrum and goat kid milk replacer are just two such tools that can mean the difference between life and death for a baby goat kid.