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Old 12/17/08, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Missouri
Posts: 284
Kidding stall size?

We currently have only 2 all purpose stalls, but we'd like to cut those in half to make 4 kidding stalls. Anyone have any suggestions on how big a kidding stall should be (or in our case how small)? We'll have to put 8 does up all at once - if I could get 4 stalls out of the 2 current stalls, it would really help out. I don't want them too small that a new kid gets laid on. The stalls we're using are 12 long and 4 wide - would 6 long by 4 wide be big enough?
Thanks for your input!
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Old 12/17/08, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,393
Probably...what kind of goats? The 12 ft is pretty good, but depending on their size 4 ft sounds a wee bit crunch time.
If you can rig up a box of some kind for the kids to curl up in that would be great..I've found that kids find a box on their own real quick.
Bob and Nancy Dickey
Laughing Stock Boer Goats
"Seriously Great Bloodlines"
and the meat goes on....
Near Seattle
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Old 12/17/08, 07:20 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Missouri
Posts: 284
Boers - the stalls would be 6x4 if we halved them. They're currently 12x4.
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Old 12/17/08, 10:22 PM
jerryf's Avatar
West Central Minnesota
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 355
I have large Boers. My kidding pens are 4 ft wide and 6ft long. I have a 55 gal barrel strapped in a corner with a heat lamp. Plenty of room. They stay in the pens for 3-6 days depending on the kids, the doe and me. If I feel they need more time they stay. Its always an anxious moment...releases does and kids into the community pen. I watch so no one gets hurt.
Yes I baby my smal herd.
Oh I posted new pics to my web site. Does and doe kids. Have alook

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Old 12/18/08, 12:02 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 946
My shed is 10x20 I also have eight does but I make up two kidding pens. 5x10 I find that I can usually rotate them around and keep the other side 10x10 open for the expected and new. They also have access to outside from there. Once in a while I will have to make an additional pen but not that often. I usually let moms stay with kids two days before mixing everyone back together again. Sometimes it has to be sooner but I've never had a problem. Kids learn who their moms are and stay away from who isn't. (unless they are opportunity drinkers) Like goat servant said, having boxes helps.
I wouldn't try to make it into four. That would be too small.
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Old 12/18/08, 03:05 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: North of Houston TX
Posts: 4,817
With the barn remodled several years ago, all kidding stalls were removed, my does really hated to be away from their friends, it made the whole process of reintroducing them hard also. I do keep a 'stall' 10x10 open and super clean for emergencies, but all my does kid in the main barn. Limiting the size like you are doing is just asking for problems if you are not right there when they are kidding. Vicki
Vicki McGaugh
Nubian Soaps
North of Houston TX

A 3 decade dairy goat farm homestead that is now a retail/wholesale soap company and construction business.
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Old 12/18/08, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,393
Whatever you construct them with, think industrial strength!! The first year we didnt know any better. They popped welded wire almost by just looking at it.
Then we went to field fencing. Even sisters would butt each other thru it, scratch on it, bow it out.
Kidding pens are now lumber, gates with heavy duty hinges. They can pop the cheap ones quicker n a flash. Its not fun to go to the kidding barn with a few does & their kids running around jumping on hay & spreading straw where you dont want it.
If you can build your gates to each pen so you can get a wheelbarrow in and out of it you'll be further ahead than us!
Better yet are those pre-made steel ones if you can afford them. We had to return ours....we forgot to measure ceiling height on the gate.
Bob and Nancy Dickey
Laughing Stock Boer Goats
"Seriously Great Bloodlines"
and the meat goes on....
Near Seattle
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Old 12/18/08, 06:44 PM
dosthouhavemilk's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: SE Ohio
Posts: 2,174
I put pens up as does prepare to kid. I have various lengths of cut hog panels. Generally 4-6 feet long. I have a long cement wall (bank barn) and use that as one side. I put up the first pen about 5 days before the first doe is due and bed it heavily.
I am there for most births and the does generally do not go into the kidding pens until I believe them to be in active labor. The exception to this is first fresheners that I do not trust. In the winter, a first freshener is the most likely one to go out and kid in the snow and we end up with frozen kidsicles.
Ideally, first fresheners are left in their bonding pen with their kid(s) for a week. At least until I am confident they will keep track of their little one(s). Mature does, well, it depends on the doe and any outside pressure to free up space. I have booted mature does who freshened less than 12 hours prior instead of removing a FF to make space for a freshening doe.
The does and kids are released during the day when the majority of the others are outside eating at the haybale. This gives them a chance to explore and the dam can go out and beat on the other goats.
I've had as many as nine pens up at once this past winter. Hopefully, it won't be as bad this year, but I do have about 10 does due in a week span and 7 of them are due in a two day span.
I have not had any trouble with does squishing kid(s), nor breaking down the makeshift pens. Since they can still see and touch their buddies, there also doesn't seem to be too much separation anxiety. Also, they are not generally cooped up in the kidding pens until after kidding.
It works for us.
Morning Mist Herd
Journey's End Jerseys
Jerseys, Jersey/Norwegian Reds, Beef, Boers, Nubians & crossbreeds
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Old 12/18/08, 08:41 PM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Missouri
Posts: 284
Last kidding season we put each doe up just before birthing and they did fine. We left them in pens for 3 days and put them back out with the herd. But we didn't have so many coming due at once. The end of February can be cold here - I don't want any kidcicles either. 3 of them will be first timers - which will be a new experience for us. Just want to be prepared and make sure all the kids have a good start. Thanks for all your advice.
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Old 12/18/08, 09:20 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Idaho
Posts: 1,706
Our kidding pens for the Boers are 6' X 6'. These girls are so long, that a 4 ' wide pen would make it a bit cramped, especially is we were trying to check the does. Our kid "houses" are made of plywood in a triangle, with the flat part of the triangle facing into the pen with a big arch cut into it, and the other two sides fit snugly into the corners of our pens. We zip tie the houses to the fence (so they can't fall over) and also zip-tie the heat lamp that hangs half-way down the wooden triangle.

It gets pretty cold here in January, so we like to have heat lamps for the kids for the first night at least, and sometimes the first day and then the first night, depending on the time they are born. The kids tend to go back to the well-bedded "houses" after nursing (a few snuggle up with Mom), as they provide excellent draft protection and help keep the heat of the kids more contained. The does tend to stick their heads into the hole to mother the kids, so they are sometimes a bit wider than I would like, but I don't like their horns to get stuck!

We use portable panels (like Sydell's), only a little longer and taller. A fellow up North of Spokane makes them during the winter, so they were much more affordable too. It allows us to build as many as we want/need and then we take them down after kidding season and hang them on the wall of the barn.

The Saanens get a much larger pen, 4 X 16, but that is what fits nicely into 1/2 of the Lean-to near the Dairy Goat barn. We have two of them. Since we bottle raise the kids, the dams are in a pen just long enough to kid, get their hot water and treats and then pass their placenta. After that, they return to the pen with the other girls. Our does are pretty easy going so a short trip away from the pen doesn't result in any fighting or jockeying for position.

We do have a wooden triangle box with the heat lamp as mentioned above for the Saanen kids. They generally get the 2nd kidding pen (no muck) or the large half on the other side of the lean-to. Generally the older kids go there and have a straw bale house that can fit 6-8 kids comfortably.

We like a longer kidding pen, because if you have to get down to help a doe, it is nice that she can fit and so can you while you are messing with her. And since both our Saanens and Boers are so long, we work to accomodate them.

Lastly, we only leave the Does with the kids in a kidding pen for 3 days (and they are wormed and feet trimmed if necessary before we move them) - then they get moved to a much larger, "Mommy and Me" pen (in a large Lean-To off the main barn), with no special houses or anything. Just plenty of bedding, and if it is really cold, we make a few straw "Ls" so there are lots of snuggly corners. So unless all of your does are due to kid in the same 3 days, you should be able to rotate them out of the pens and rotate another one into it, once it has been cleaned.
Copper Penny Ranch
Copper Penny Boer Goats (home of 4 National Champions, 4 Reserve Champions)
Copper Penny Pyrenees
Whey-to-Go Saanens
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