Keeping Your Goat Herd Healthy

Kid Care

There is nothing better than a baby goat unless maybe it is two or three baby goats!

Cleaning Up Baby

Tie the navel cord with dental floss about 2" down and then cut it. Place baby in front of mom and allow her to clean the baby. This is one way that they can bond. You may wish to assist mom as well.

Navel Care

Naval Ill

It is one of easiest things to prevent. Don’t let your kid suffer from something so easy to prevernt. Once the baby is born dip the navel cord into iodine. This will prevent bacteria from being introduced through the cord. Naval ill can be painful and cause swelling in the joints. Kid may not be able to stand to nurse. It does not however affect their appetite. In bad cases you may see discharge around the navel area. If this happens the kid will need to be treated with antibiotics. By just taking some time to dip the cord you can save you and the kid a lot of grief. They sell special cups to use for dipping the cords. Some breeders have been known to use an old shoot glass to dip the cord into it. Others will use a syringe to drench the cord with iodine. It is also important to keep the area in which the will be born as clean as possible. I use pine shaving is all my kidding pens. Fresh hay or straw will work too.   

Make Sure Mom has Milk And Baby Can Nurse

It is important to make sure that the baby can nurse. It will take a little time for them to be able to stand up but from the moment they are born they are looking for mom's teat! Babies should have a drink at least within the first 4 hrs. The sooner the better. Sometimes there will be a plug preventing the milk to come out. You should check this on each mom. You will know when they are getting milk because their tail will wag!

Normal Baby Poop

The first poop will be black and remind you of tar. After the babies begin to nurse, the poop will become a very thick yellow. It is important that the babies butt stays clean. Most moms are good at keeping their kids clean, but sometimes we need to help. If the sticky poop stays on and builds up; the kid could become clogged and he/she may no longer be able to poop. If you have to help mom, you can clean them with a warm wash cloth or even some babies wipes. The poop will stay yellow until the kids starting eating solid foods such as hay or grain. The poop will then turn brown. Will be tiny pellets.


This is a difficult time for both mom and her babies. They will both cry for a day or two once they are seperated but it gets easier with time. Goats should not be weaned before 8 weeks of age. Some are just not ready even by then. Make sure the baby is eatting good before weaning them. Due to the stress of weaning the baby may get some diahrrea. If so you will need to treat them.

Babies Ears

Sometimes the babies ears appear to be floppy. This should correct on its own with time as the cartilages get stronger.If is best to wait to register a baby with this type of ear until you can get a picture of them standing on their own.

Bottle Babies

Bottle babies are a big commitment. The first few days they will require feeding every few hours. It is like having a newborn in the house. I bring most of my bottle baby inside where it is easier to take care of them through the night. If I am just giving a supplement bottle then I will leave them with mom.

I prefer to use whole cows milk mixed with a can of pet milk. I will dump out just enough milk to add a can of pet milk into my gallon of milk. I use only whole milk. No 2% or fat free. Babies need the calories.

I have used milk formulas designed for goats. They have worked well for me. I do not use any generic formulas.

Day one offer a bottle every 2-3 hours. 1-3 oz is about what they will eat.

Over the first week I will continue with 7-8 feedings per day. They will begin to take a litlle more. By the end of the week they may be up to 6 oz each time.

For the next few weeks I will gradually increase the amount per feeding and cut feedings down to about 4-6 times per day.

I will continue with 4 feedings per day until they are about 2 months old. At this point I will cut them back to 3 feedings per day. The next week I will cut back to 2 feedings per day. Then I will only offer 1 bottle per day. I will then go to 1/2 bottel per day and wean them around 3 months of age.

Of course they will need hay and grain offered to them duing this time. Fresh water too.

  • * Day three- 4 oz.[3] (per feeding) colostrum if you have it or whole milk, 8 times a day
  • * Day four- 6oz. [4-5] (per feeding) whole milk, 7-8 times a day.
  • * Week One – 6-8oz [4-5] (per feeding) whole milk, 7-8 times a day.
  • * For the next 2 weeks-6-8oz.[4-6] (per feeding) whole milk, 6 times a day.
  • * For the next 2 months-10-12 oz.[6-8] (per feeding)whole milk, 4-5 times a day.
  • * For the next 1 month or 6 weeks-10-12 oz. [6-8] (per feeding)whole milk, 3 times a day.
  • * 10-12 oz. [8-10] (per feeding) once a day for the next 2 months.



This should be done as soon as possible( As soon as the horns pop through). Make sure that the goat is not polled. Sometimes they will have little knobs that are not horns. After the first few weeks of life you have a good chance for scurs to form. Males tend to grow scurs more than doe because of their hormones. Make sure your iron is hot enough and use the figure 8 technique. You will see a ring form and you will know you have left it on long enough. Again I would use a little banamine prior to the procedure. 


 To avoid  urinary calculi in male goats it is best to allow the urethra to grow as long as possible. The longer you wait to band one the better off the goat will be in the long run. They make banders that are large enough to band one when they are a year old. (They will band calves with them). You will have to decide at which age you think is too old to still be considered an ethical procedure. Some breeders think it is very unfair to wait too long while other don't. I prefer to wait until they are 12 weeks old. I like to give a little banamine prior to the procedure and a tetanus shot as well.