A Goat Is Born
My name is Prince. I was born August 1, 2013. My mom's name is Gypsy. She was bought at a livestock auction. I am a purebred Pygmy. I am the smallest goat in the herd. I have a twin brother named George. We look almost alike. He is a little bigger and darker than me. Twins are very common in goats. We have more twins born in our herd than single births. It makes things very exciting.
This is how it began. I am getting my first bath after being born. Mother goats are very protective and love to give you a bath. My owner will help dry me off and get me to my feet. At our farm, expectant mothers are put in the birthing pen about 1-2 weeks before their due date. We usually have several goats in the pen at the same time. The number increases as more goats get close to their due date. So we have mothers and babies and expectant moms in together. Mom didn't let them too close for a few hours, but soon enough I was checked out by everyone and accepted into the small herd. Eventually when all the babies are at least 6 weeks old the gate will be opened and the entire herd will be back together again.
Have you ever owned a pet goat?
Here is the list of items I keep on hand for new arrivals:
2. Betadine to clean the umbilical cord
3. Colostrum gel to be given the first 3 days of life
4. Powdered colostrum and formula in case the nanny does not make milk (has only happened to us twice)
I always make sure my finger nails are trimmed when birthing time is near. I have had to assist in the birth of many baby goats and trimmed nails make it safer for mom and baby
My First Day
Just a few minutes after I am born my Mom gives me a bath and my owner dries me off with a towel. Then my umbilical cord is cleaned with betadine. This keeps me from getting an infection. If the umbilical cord is too long my owner will trim it so it does not drag on the ground because that could make me sick. Now it is time to eat. My owner helps me find the milk. It takes a few tries but I finally figure out what to do and it's dinner time! After I get a good first meal of colostrum my owner gives me a dose of colostrum gel to help give me a head start. I will get that for my first three days of life. It helps my stomach start working correctly.
Take Care Of Momma Goat
After all the babies are born (twins are very common, triplets somewhat common), make sure the momma goat passes her afterbirth, I usually give her a little grain and hay to nibble on afterwards and have a bucket of water for her to get a drink. Remember she has just been through a lot and is very tired and usually hungry. Clean her with a warm wet washcloth. I have a barn for the goats but also several dog igloos around the field. I will put one near the momma goat with fresh pine shavings and hay inside since she will keep the babies separate from the herd for a few days. If she is very weak afterwards I will give her a shot of vitamin B complex to boost up her strength. Then it is best to leave momma and babies alone so they can bond.
Mommas and BabiesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Every time a new baby is born it is a special day. Each baby is precious and unique. All of them are showered with love and affection and given a name. Even if we are not planning on keeping the baby at our farm we still spend plenty of time with them so they will make a great pet for some lucky person. Each birth is exciting and special. You never know what colors the baby will be. You can breed two white goats and get a brown and black baby. That is part of the fun of goat breeding. They have such different personalities and temperments so there is never a dull moment.