Kidding Preparations

— Written By N.C. Cooperative Extension

With a good number of small ruminants in Burke county, It seems appropriate during this time of new births to talk a bit about kidding preparation.

For does, it is a good idea to have a few kidding pens in the corner of a barn or shed to confine does as they give birth. Ideally, pens should be 4×5 with clean dry bedding material. Wire stock panels work well, and can be easily fastened together with hog rings. The whole concept of kidding pens is to provide a warm secure environment for does to kid, where they can be observed, protected from predators and can bond with their young. Heat lamps overhead can provide warmth, but can be a fire hazard.

Prior to kidding its a good idea to deworm does and to give CD& T boosters to provide passive immunity to kids. Parasite control is particularly important now, as lactating does suffer a temporary loss of immunity due to hormonal changes, resulting in a rise in worm eggs. Deworming now will help to rid does of excess worms and reduce kid exposure. Valbazen should not be used on pregnant does. Vaccinations should be done 2-4 weeks prior to kidding so that immunity will be passed to newborns through colostrum. Does should be given a coccidiostat during late gestation to help reduce the risk of coccidiosis infections in the kid crop. Two weeks before your first does are due to kid gather your supplies and set your facilities up for kidding. If you are pasture kidding, bring the does to the pasture where they will be kidding.

Damon Pollard
Extension Agent