Goats (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB9733 & PB0081)

Pregnancy and Kidding

33. Heavily pregnant females should be handled with care to avoid distress and injury which may result in premature kidding.

34. Pregnant and nursing females should receive sufficient food to maintain the health and bodily condition of the goat and ensure the development of healthy kids. This is particularly important during the last 6 weeks of pregnancy. Water should always be available.

35. Stockmen should pay particular attention to cleanliness and hygiene. Every effort should be made to prevent the build up and spread of infection by ensuring that kidding pens are provided with adequate clean bedding and are regularly cleansed and disinfected. A kidding pen within sight and sound of other goats is desirable. Any dead kids should be removed without delay.

36. Stockmen should be sufficiently familiar with problems arising at kidding to know when to summon help. Veterinary advice should be sought when the need arises.

37. It is vital that every newly-born kid receives colostrum from its dam or from another source as soon as possible and in any case within 6 hours of birth. Adequate supplies of colostrum should be stored for emergencies but pooled colostrum, for example, from other premises, may constitute a disease risk.

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