Congratulations on deciding to raise and care for a Kid. They are one of the most playful, cute and intelligent pets and will grow up to be loyal companions, like a dog. They can live for around 10 years.
You will need:
- A cardboard box lined with clean newspaper (you can replace this as necessary).
- Plastic soft drink bottle with screw lid.
- Two lamb teats — one is a spare — this should screw neatly onto the bottle. Denkavit lamb and kid milk powder — instructions for mixing are on the pack.
- The teats and milk powder can be purchased from any farming business such as Coastal Engineering in Clevedon, Takanini Racing and Stockfeeds in Ardmore and Profàrm in Papakura.
- You will also need a small neat collar and lead.
Your kid should spend his first week at least inside (depending on the weather) — maybe the laundry, cosy garage, barn or somewhere secure that is also dry, warm and sheltered. He should not get wet or cold or he may die. He will need several feeds a day at first — we feed our orphans about 5 feeds a day for the first week and slowly drop them back to 3 feeds a day, depending on the family routine and common sense. You want your kid to be well fed to grow well.
You can start training your kid in the first week. Put the little collar on and let him get used to the feel of it for a day or so. Then begin short lessons with the lead attached. Using lots of kindness and patience, help your kid to walk with you (You should be at his left shoulder) by gently pushing his bottom forward and walking forward at the same time — use a simple command such as ‘walk on’ and be consistent with this. Kids are intelligent and will quickly work out what you are trying to do. Mum or Dad can give you a hand here while you get started together. As he walks beside you later, lead him over small logs on the ground and around other obstacles — you will meet these later in the show ring in the LEADING SECTION of your School Agriculture Day.
Now for calling... every time you feed your kid you should call his name — he will soon respond to this and by the time you get to the ring, he should run up to you when you call... thinking that you will have the bottle ready. Do not let anyone else in your family call and feed your kid (except for Mum and Dad who may have to feed the baby at lunchtime while you are at school).
Care and rearing class
The judge will ask you questions about your kid, its breed, how you have fed and cared for it and what you know about its fleece, etc. The judge will also compare your kid to the others in the class to see who has the most healthy and well-cared for kid.
Your kid will enjoy picking at grass after the first couple of weeks - they also like meal and especially hay. Don’t forget, goats are BROWSERS, not GRAZERS — and are different from sheep in that they must have long grass not short. They are prone to internal worms and should be wormed at around 10 weeks and regularly after that. An oral sheep drench may be purchased from farming outlets or your vet can supply you with a single dose if you have just the one animal.
Their fast growing hooves should be trimmed every 6 weeks — remember they originally come from dry rocky countries where their hooves are kept naturally short. On soft pasture, we need to trim the excess growth — sharp garden secateurs are good or ask a farmer.
Never leave your kid alone with the family dog, whatever its size or breed. ‘Playing together’ may result in the kids death. Don’t let your kid wander into your flower or vege garden — some domestic plants are poisonous and very toxic to goats, eg potatoes, tomatoes, azaleas, rhododendrons, lillies, to name a few. Kids do not have their mother to show them what to avoid and if poisoned, they generally die. Further information can be found at your library.
Enjoy your kid — have fun.., regards Norma Browne