My family has raised goats for many years. I really enjoyed having goats because I could help out more on the farm. The part I liked the most was when we were having babies.
Intact male over a year old= buck
Intact male under a year old= buckling
Castrated male of any age= wether
Female over a year old= doe
Female under a year old= doeling
Baby goat= kid
Goat giving birth= kidding
Nanny and Billy are not the correct terms to use. Goats can have 1-6 babies! Twins are ideal even for first time kidders. This is because goats have two quadrants to their udder with two teats. It can be nerve racking your first kidding season because there is so much to learn. If owners can have basic knowledge then it will help in the long run.
This is our small ruminant birthing kit at the clinic so then we are prepared for any situation. It is responsible for goat or sheep owners to make a ‘ready to go kit’ as well.
There can be many different positions that the kid(s) can be in. Most of the time owners should not need to assist with the labour. It should take 30-45 minutes of active pushing for the doe to deliver her first kid. Usually once the first kid is out it will take less time to deliver the others. First time kidders may take longer. If there is no kid after 45 minutes then you will need to wash your hands really well, put on some OB gloves (the ones that go up to your shoulders) and put regular latex gloves over top. We put them on in this order to form the shape of your hand and to get some grip. OB gloves are also one size fits no one! After that you want to put lots of lube on your hand and reach in gently. It takes practice to recognize kidding positions. Ideally the kid should present with its front feet stretched out in front with its head in between (like Superman). I recommend feeling for legs first, gently pull a leg out and hold it with your non dominant hand. With your free hand, feel up the leg and try to determine if you feel a shoulder or neck or if it’s the hind end. If it is a front leg the bottom part of the hoof will be facing the ground and it will be facing the sky if it is a back leg. When the hind end presents first it is important to find legs before pulling. Once you have found two back legs and you are confident that they belong to the closest kid you want to gently pull in a downward motion as the doe pushes. The issue that arises with hind end or breech births is that the umbilical cord can break off from the fetus while the kid’s head is still inside leading to distress.
If at any point during the labour you feel too overwhelmed be sure to call the Vet.
In 2014, my family went on a vacation to Mexico to visit my Grandpa. When we were there, we saw so many stray dogs and I could not help but want to bring one home. When our vacation was over my Grandpa called a few weeks later and said he had found a dog. This was the photo he sent to us. How could anyone say no to this amount of cuteness. Luna was found in a ditch with no mom or litter mates around. She was covered in ticks and in very poor health. She was approximately six weeks old. Luna became a part of my family in June 2014.
Luna came everywhere with my family because we wanted her to be well socialized with people and other dogs. She excelled at watching my brothers baseball practices! Socialization is very important at a young age to help prevent unwanted behavioural issues such as food or toy aggressions and fear and anxiety towards other dogs. Because we made socialization a focus with Luna, she is a very well mannered dog that is able to go many places easily and without worry with her family.
My name is Ashlyn and ever since I was a kid, I wanted to work with animals. I grew up on a small farm north of Edmonton with my two brothers. We raised cattle for a while but moved into purebred breeding meat goats. I have three small dogs, that I love dearly, we also have some cats, horses, and larger dogs on the farm.
I graduated from the Animal Health Technology program at Lakeland College in the spring of 2020. The end of my college career didn't go quite as planned when Covid hit the world. I finished the last week of classes online and took my final exams at home. The benefit of finishing up that way was that I was ready for the workforce sooner. When Stone Ridge Veterinary Services was in need of an AHT I was able to start working while studying for my Veterinary Technology National Exam. The Edmonton testing facilities were closed due to Covid so I had to travel to Calgary to take my exam. I proudly passed with flying colours in September and became a Registered Veterinary Technologist.
In the field of veterinary medicine, my interests, so far, consist of Fear Free, small animal dentistry, nutrition, and rehabilitation. I am committed to learning more on all these topics as I develop my skills and look forward to sharing some things I learn along the way.
Outside of work, I like kayaking, skiing, and fishing. My favourite dish is shrimp alfredo pasta. I strongly dislike spiders and orange flavoured candies.
Join me to learn more!