by Heidi Ritter

Starting one month prior to due date, bring your doe into the milk room once a day. Rub her tummy, feel for the babies, handle her "would-be" udder, and sooth and comfort her. You want her to be comfortable on the milk stand and comfortable being handled. Feed her a daily grain ration on the milk stand while you handle her (to get her used to the routine).

Two weeks prior to her due date, start bringing her in twice a day, doing the same things for handling and talking to her. Start to familiarize yourself with her udder tissue (how much, how soft or hard, how full it's becoming) and with the feel of her tail ligaments.

When you get to one week prior to her due date, halt all added protein to her diet. Feed her basic grain, but no added animax, protein suppliments, sunflower seeds, peanuts, etc. The protein can cause udder edema.

Clip your fingernails back. Clip her tail and hind-end area. If there is lots of hair, it catches lots of gunk, so to help keep her clean - clip it now. It doesn't have to be pretty, just practical.

I start to feed them Tums EX (for calcium) and Vitamin C at this time. Tums ~ 3 tablets, twice a day. Vitamin C ~ 500 mg, twice a day.

Watch her closely for the tail ligaments to loosen and disappear, and her udder to fill. When you can no longer feel her tail ligaments, you are about 12 hours or less from delivery.

Make sure you have all your supplies, put your frozen colostrum in the fridge, and clip back your nails again.

Get Ready…….because babies are on the way!!!!!!