Keep the kids at home for the first few weeks to about one month (especially if the does have to travel long distances to browse and water). The kids require warm and dry conditions during their first four weeks of life. Housing should protect kids from heat, cold or even spread of diseases among kids
- Kids should suckle the first milk (colostrum) within the first six hours of birth which is rich in antibodies that increase the immunity of the kid. If the doe is not producing enough milk for her kid, fostering or bottle feeding is recommended.
- From about 3 weeks of age kids start nibbling grass and leaves. This is important for rumen development.
- They should be allowed to browse/graze from no later than one month. Effective grazing and browsing starts at 6-7 weeks.
It is important to have identifications for individual animals as this makes record keeping easier. There are a number of methods that can be used. These include ear tagging, ear notching and attaching names to animals. It is also a government requirement that all the animals have standard identification for traceability when exporting livestock and livestock products.
- If numbers are used with tags the system of numbering should be logical for example one can have the year of birth, sex, and order of birth. For example: If an animal is born in 2007, male and its kid number 23 in the flock it can have the number 07123, meaning that 07 is the year of birth, 1-for male and 23 being the order of birth. Females can be having a 0 on their tags to show the sex.
- Ear tagging is quick and easy. Tags can be made of plastic or metal. The disadvantage of this method is that the tag can get torn out of the ear and in a large flock the animal cannot be readily re-identified. To avoid this problem put tags on both ears.
Health care in kids
- A clean environment will reduce the incidence of diseases. A farmer should always be on the look out for diarrhoea & for respiratory problems- coughing or nasal discharge
Prevention is better than cure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Make sure kids get colostrum within six hours of birth
- Make sure bedding is clean and dry
- Do not confine many kids in a small area
- Avoid damp conditions and excessive heat or cold
- Avoid overfeeding kids with milk as this result in scours.
To improve the general health of the kids ensure the following; to the whole flock:
- Dry sleeping places
- Clean drinking water (about 5litres per animal per day)
- Adequate feeding (3-5% of their body weight per day)
- Control of internal and external parasites
- Ensure that the kids are housed to protect them from being eaten by jackals, eagles and other dangerous animals.
- Do not allow kids to browse in dangerous places unattended
- This should be done when the kids are hundred days old on average and weighing between 8-12 kilograms
- The most common weaning method in goats is complete separation of the kids and the does.
- It is however critical to vaccinate the kids and the does against certain diseases.
- Weaning enables the does to be in good body condition in preparation for the next mating season
This is the severing or cutting of the spermatic cords so that the animal cannot mate with the females. Castration improves the quality of meat by reducing the characteristic smell of the entire male. There are three main methods of castration used in goats i.e. the rubber ring, knife/razor and burdizzo.
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