The does are expecting. I've waited 136 days. For me that's a seriously long wait for something I'm excited about! By now the does have had their vaccinations and selenium boosters. They have been moved to the maternity run and are settled into the labor and delivery, oh, I mean, kidding stalls.
It's time for the kidding clip.
Why do I give them a kidding clip? Well, they get really hairy in winter, that's why!
Birth happens to have a whole lot of goop. It may be a miracle, but it is a really messy miracle. Lots and lots of fluids and goop and grossness come out, as well as a little, adorable kid! With all that hair for the goo to stick to and no showers in the barn, a quick clip is the way to go! It also makes the small changes in the udder and tail head easier to spot as she prepares for the big event!
Maggie was my very patient model for this blog post. I love this doe. She was perfectly content to stand there and let me take pictures of her backside. I can't say I'd feel the same way if our positions were reversed! I chose Maggie not just because she is an incredibly patient doe but also because she comes with a kidding clip pattern conveniently printed on her backside. Most goats do not appreciate the kidding clip. They rather like their lady parts in the "Au Naturel" state. I don't care though. That's why I have the opposable thumbs! Be prepared for disagreement usually expressed in the form of stomping, jumping, and occasionally kicking (the latter are from hippie goats). It would be even worse if you skipped the clip and tried to brush all the dried goop out of their hair!
When you clip your doe remember to shave against the flow of hair. If the hair grows down, you should be moving the clippers up. If you look at the picture of Maggie you would simply shave all the black areas and leave the white. I start a bit above the hocks and shave all the way up to the tail head in one smooth sweep. Remember not to shave the tail switch! Stop about a thumb length down from the fleshy end of the tail but shave the shaggy sides. Trim the udder too! You want it to be as easy as possible for the kids to find a teat right after birth. If they have to hunt through long, flowing tresses it just complicates matters.
When done the doe should look like this.
To trim the fringe edges on the sides of the shaved area turn the clippers and gently shave in the direction the hair grows. This will leave the doe with a tidier appearance. Remember to trim a bit in front of the udder too if you have abundantly fuzzy goats like Maggie here!
The kidding clip is complete! Now I have to go bake so I don't stand around staring at my does backsides, waiting some indiscernible change!
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