February 25, 2011

Preparing for Babies

Within the week, we should start seeing the baby activity from our goats!  I am so excited!  I LOVE babies.  Love, love, love! 

Last year, when our sheep were pregnant, I was NOT prepared.  I knew they were going to be having their babies any day, but I didn't really have anything to prepare MYSELF.  God created animals with a motherly instinct, and most mother animals do just fine on their own to deliver and take care of their young ones.  But having animals on my farm, I feel that we have taken them out of that "natural" element , and making them more dependent on humans.  So, we need to be prepared to assist if necessary. 

Plus, when I went down for the first time last Spring and found that my sheep was in FULL labor, I freaked!  I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to gather things and to call my friend who was more experienced in animal births.

So this year, I am determined to be more prepared.  Each year, I will probably discover more of what I want and don't want, maybe some better ways to do things, but for now I am sharing what I am doing.  For you personally, it has to fit what you like and what you don't like.  It all comes with experience.

So here is what I am going to have on hand for the birth of our new goats/ sheep:
  • Heat Lamp-  This is a MUST in Indiana weather.  Especially the stuff that we have right now!  Make sure even if you already have a heat lamp and bulb, that you buy a NEW bulb, just in case.  You MAY just want to replace it right away so you can be sure that it won't burn out after a few hours then your baby is chilled to the point of being sick...
  • This isn't something to have on hand, but your pen should be cleaned out well.  OR you should have a separate pen to put your mommy in right before she is to give birth.  That way, she has a clean pen, and less stress.  She may need a friend if in a new pen.  Make sure it isn't someone she will fight with!
  • Scissors (cleaned).  This can be for any number of things...  I always need them in the barn anyways, and never have them!  You don't want to be running to the house in the middle of the birth!
  • Betadine-  You can use this for the dip for a placenta after the baby is born.  it helps it dry up a little fast.  Or for any wounds, this is good to have around on the farm.
  • Garbage bag (or old feed bag)- For any trash from cleaning up a baby, cleaning up placenta, etc.
  • Paper towels, Puppy Potty Mats, old CLEAN towels-  These are for clean-up.  When the baby comes out, it helps if you can dry the baby of right away.  You can lay down a potty mat to keep the baby clean while it lays on the ground.  Then you can clean off all of the goo! 
  • Baby bottles or special bottle for baby goats or sheep- These are "just in case". 
  • Milk Supplement- This is just in case also.  It is SUPER important that the baby gets the colostrum from the mother though. But if it comes to life or death, we need to get milk into the baby.  Make sure the milk is approved for goats or sheep.
  • Special treat for mommy-  Make sure you have some sweet feed or molasses or honey and water for her after all of her hard work!
Now, mentally prepare yourself for the birth!  And know that not every birth is perfect.  There could be problems.  But I believe that God is in control of everything.   So if a goat is having some issues and you try to help and it dies, it is difficult! But that is what was supposed to happen.  This part is difficult for me. But knowing that God is all knowing and always in control helps me out a lot.

Hopefully this helps someone out there!  Maybe showing you that you CAN have a baby on your farm!  You don't have to be afraid!  If I can do it, you DEFINITELY can!  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.  Like I said I am an amateur, but have been through it twice! I can point you in the way of an answer or help you out if I can!


Laura-Lisa said...

Don't forget dental floss for tying off the cord, rubber gloves are a good idea if you have to assist it helps with grip of slippery kids, nose aspirator (buger sucker), lube if you have to help further in, small container (film canister) to dip umbelical cords in or so you don't have to contaminate whole container and a flash light not all births happen during the day and they are usually in the darkest corner. Hope this helps. Good luck!

Kate said...

Being prepared is soooo worth it! Careful of clipping the cord to short as the mama may want to chew it further, resulting in a bleeding issue. Good luck with your babies!

Renata said...

What a great post! Our sheep have always lambed in the paddocks (usually at night - we wake up & find them with their babies), but this year we have a flock of very old ewes that are going to lamb here in May & we know we have to be more prepared as their is a greater chance for something to go wrong. I'll have to consult your list to make sure I have everything!
Have a wonderful day

Perth Flights said...
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