Kidding Prep Guide: What to do before Kids Arrive

Published on Wed, 02/26/2020 - 10:07am

Kidding Prep Guide: What to do before Kids Arrive

Article and images provided by Land O’Lakes Animal Milk Solutions

New Kid Checklist
Kidding season is an exciting yet stressful time of year. Here’s a quick checklist of kid management areas to prepare for in advance for a stress-free kidding experience:

Start by Setting Goals
A new year means a new kidding season. It’s the perfect time to reflect on and refresh goals for when your kids arrive. Here are a few goals to consider:

Build a Kidding Kit
Kidding can be unpredictable. Prepare for any situation by putting together a kidding kit that is ready at least seven days before you anticipate the first doe will give birth.
Include these items in your kit:

Colostrum: A Kid’s First Meal
Colostrum provides critical nutrients and immunoglobulins (IgGs) to help kids build their immune systems. Ruminant animals, including kids, do not receive immune support from their mothers while in utero, so feeding high quality colostrum or colostrum replacer during the first hours of life is essential for kids’ long-term health and performance.

Feed kid goats a colostrum replacement when:
• Quality or quantity of maternal colostrum is inadequate
• Newborns are unable to suckle
• First pregnancy doe gives birth
• A multiple birth occurs
• Doe is experiencing health challenges (e.g., sick or weak)

Kids should consume 10 percent of their body weight in colostrum or colostrum replacement within 18 hours of birth. Feed at least half of this volume within 4-8 hours after birth.

Make their first feeding LAND O LAKES® Colostrum Replacement.
When maternal colostrum quality or quantity isn’t up to par, you can trust LAND O LAKES® Colostrum Replacement for Kid Goats and Lambs. Colostrum Replacement provides essential antibodies to help build the immune system and give your kids the best start possible. Every batch of LAND O LAKES® Colostrum Replacement for Kid Goats and Lambs is licensed and tested by the USDA to meet passive transfer requirements.

After colostrum, feed LAND O LAKES® Doe’s Match® Kid Milk Replacer
LAND O LAKES® Doe’s Match® Premium Blend Kid Milk Replacer is a kid-specific milk replacer with a balance of 25% protein and 28% fat to mimic doe’s milk and provide nutritional value for efficient growth. Kids raised on Doe’s Match® had similar growth rates and less scours than those raised on doe’s milk. 1
1 Land O’Lakes Trial KT 01-07-01

Build a Kid Nutrition Game-plan
A kidding kit isn’t complete without a kid-specific milk replacer.
Which kids should be fed milk replacer?
Feeding milk replacer allows you to market doe’s milk and help grow big, vigorous kids who can stand out in the showring, parlor or breeding herd.

Consider feeding kid milk replacer to:
• Dairy goat kids
• Orphan, unclaimed or extra kids in large litters
• Weak or small kids
• Prevent the spread of Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) to kids

Which milk replacer is right for my kids?
A quality milk replacer can help address early health problems and boost performance. Research your options and ask yourself:
• Is the milk replacer specifically designed for kids?
• Does it contain technologies to support health and growth?
• Is it made with human-grade ingredients?
• Does it mix easily without separation?
• Is the product well-researched?
• Are there experts available to help me and answer questions?
When should you feed kid milk replacer?

Begin feeding milk replacer on day two after feeding colostrum. Provide fresh, clean water along with a free-choice, high-quality dry feed.

Start by feeding a half pint of milk replacer mixture 3-4 times a day for the first three days. Gradually decrease the number of feedings and increase the volume fed per feeding. Adjust feeding rates according to age, bodyweight and growth goals.