As I said in my book, Goats Giving Birth, there is nothing about goat ownership that creates as much excitement, anticipation, frustration, and fear as kidding season! I created this course to give you an idea of what to expect so that you will feel more confident in both your goat(s) and yourself.
According to the veterinary textbook, Goat Medicine, 95% of births don't require intervention, but it can be challenging sometimes to figure out what's normal and what's not. Even though I had been a certified childbirth educator and doula in the 1990s, that didn't do much to prepare me for goat birthing, and it took me many years to stop worrying about my goats and understand the wide range of what's normal.
I chose these particular videos for this free course because they address some of the most confusing issues I see with goat owners during kidding season. Although I hope you'll watch all of them, two of the most important are the ones about supplies needed and how to check udders and tail ligaments.
I find that people waste a ton of money buying things they don't need and don't know how to use ... and most people don't know the difference between the muscles around the tail head and the ligaments, which causes a LOT of unnecessary worry and intervention with goats that are not even close to giving birth. (Anyone who tells you their goat lost her ligaments a week or two before kidding does not know this crucial difference!)
In 2002, Deborah and her family moved to 32 acres on a creek in the middle of nowhere to grow their own food organically. With the help of goats, sheep, pigs, and poultry, they produce 100% of their meat, eggs, and dairy products, as well as a large percentage of their vegetables, fruit, and herbs. They sold chickens and turkeys for more than 10 years, and are currently a licensed egg producer in Illinois and sell eggs to a grocery store and through a CSA.
Deborah is the author of six books, including Homegrown and Handmade, Ecothrifty, and Raising Goats Naturally, as well as her latest book, Goats Giving Birth. She also teaches sustainable agriculture courses online for the University of Massachusetts - Amherst. She has been teaching Raising Dairy Goats Sustainably since 2013 and Pastured Poultry since 2015.
In 2022, Deborah got certified as a FAMACHA instructor so that she and her students could feel confident that she was providing the most up-to-date information on parasite research and management.