Care of New Born Kid/Lamb
Why it is necessary? Kids are prone to variety of disease at the time of birth and if proper care will not provided then frequently death will result. In India approx. 45% new born kids died due to ignorance and carelessness of owners. No doubt kids are future of the farming business and real profit of farm. end’. First we shall look at what we might call the ‘perfect’ kid. Then we will examine the various factors that can cause newborn kids to be less than ‘perfect’ and more prone to problems in the first few days of life.
Main problems associated with birth are broadly related to (1) Nutrition (2) Temperature (3) Infection
Nutrition: When considering nutrition in the newborn lamb we are mainly concerned with energy. Protein and other nutrients are of course essential for growth, but we are most interested in survival for the first few days of life and a shortage of energy is most likely to reduce viability.
When compare to adult animal
Kids have lower energy reserves in the form of carbs and fats. These are around only 3% of body weight in new born a.c.t adult animals. New born is totally depend on mother for energy supply, and need more energy to survive than adult on per kg weight basis. When born in cold whether they are prone to lose more energy as heat than adult, e.g. 4kg kid’s skin surface area is 2 times more than goat of 30kgs, larger body surface loses more heat.
Hypothermia: Lower heat production inside the body and greater heat losses will result in poor temperature maintenance and kids ultimately fall into hypothermic conditions. The main factors which lead to hypothermia are (1) large body surface area (2) low insulation capacity of skin because hairs or wool are not developed (3) newborn kid is born wet (4) direct wind drafts (5) pregnancy toxaemia in goats at the time of birth leads to lower milk production.
Very little energy reserves and greater energy losses, it is not surprising that starvation is a major killer of newborn lambs.
The ewe/doe plays a very important part in reducing the rate of heat loss from the newborn lamb. The faster she licks her lamb dry, the lower is the rate of heat loss and the risk of hypothermia. Shelter and bedding along with temperature regulating devices like heaters and blowers also reduces the risk of hypothermia. First five hours are most critical after birth. Hypothermia during this period probably accounts for one-quarter of all kid losses.
Which one is perfect new born?
Thermogenically, a 3kg kid produces as much heat as a 50 watt light bulb! but a high rate of heat production can only be maintained if energy is available. Kids can die from hypothermia due to starvation before they are twelve hours old. This problem accounts for another quarter of all lamb losses. Heat generation from the body’s energy resources is coming under non-shivering thermogenesis in newborn kids.
Infections and diseases: In the adult goats, resistance to many diseases caused by agents such as bacteria and viruses is acquired by previous exposure to the agent. This may be by exposure to the disease itself, or by treatment with a vaccine such as a clostridial vaccine, which induces resistance to a disease without actually causing it. Vaccination has two effects on the body’s immune system: first, the expansion of immune cell (lymphocyte) populations and production of antibodies found in the blood and elsewhere is stimulated.
The newborn lamb has a problem. It has experienced neither disease nor vaccination. The antibodies in the ewe’s blood cannot pass to the foetus (the developing lamb in the womb) and thus vaccination of the ewe confers no immunity on the lamb before birth.
While antibodies in the doe’s blood cannot cross the placenta to the foetus they do cross into the udder and are concentrated in the colostrum (first milk), which is produced for a few days before and for up to 18 hours after birth. The same situation exists in the cow but in some species, such as man, antibodies can pass from the mother to the foetus before birth. When the kid sucks colostrum the antibodies are absorbed through the wall of the small intestine and enter the kid’s blood where they circulate to all the organs of the body to provide instant protection against infection. The benefits of vaccination in the doe are thus passed on to the lamb. But this benefit will only be fully acquired if the kids sucks plenty of colostrum as soon after birth as possible and throughout the first twelve to fifteen hours of life.
Practical tip: If sufficient colostrum is not available then 10ml to 15ml of the blood of the mother should be taken out and serum is extracted by keeping it in a slanting position for 45min. The obtained serum is either mixed with normal low-fat milk at the rate of 1ml serum in 19ml milk. This mixture is fed at the rate of 200ml per hour 2 to 3 times in early life. This is called passive immunity and provide protection for 3 months. That is why all vaccinations carry out after 3 months of age except the clostridial (ET) vaccine which is done at 7days of age. Add some prebiotic to this solution.
Some of the antibodies in colostrum manage to remain active within the gut itself, thus intestinal diseases, such as enteritis, are also much less likely if a lamb receives adequate colostrum. It must be remembered, though, that colostrum itself is not enough. The newborn lamb is much more susceptible to infectious disease than the adult sheep and management must be adjusted accordingly.
Navel cord is another potent source of infection in newborn kids. To understand the significance of this route we must examine a most fascinating aspect of physiology how blood circulates in the foetus and the newborn.
Circulation in adults is quite simple but in the fetus, it forms a complex network of blood flow. Forty per cent of the left heart output perfuses the body, but 60% leaves the body via the umbilical artery and the navel to perfuse the placenta. Blood returns from the placenta via the navel and the umbilical vein to join the blood returning from the body. This mixed blood returns to the right heart.
The lungs in the foetus are not functioning. They are simply growing. Thus the requirement of the lungs for blood supply is much less than in the breathing kid or adult goat. A reduced blood supply is achieved by means of two short circuits, the foramen ovule (round hole) and the ductus arteriosus.
The effect of these short circuits is that approximately only 10% of the blood leaving the right heart perfuses the foetal lungs; 50% passes through the foramen ovale and 40% through the ductus arteriosus. Our circuit is now complete.
Breaking of the umbilical vessels cuts off the placental supply of oxygen to the lamb, and very soon a shortage of oxygen to the brain stimulates breathing. As the first breath is taken, the foramen ovale and the ductus arteriosus functionally shut and the newborn lamb suddenly acquires the circulation of the adult.
What is the significance of this remarkable sequence of events to infectious disease?
Although the umbilical artery and umbilical vein in the navel are functionally shut, preventing the leakage of blood, they are not anatomically shut for some time. The umbilical artery leads to the aorta (the major artery of the body), whilst the umbilical vein leads, via the liver, to the vena cava (the major vein of the body). Thus there is a potential route for infection to gain entry via the umbilical vessels into the general circulation, and then to lodge anywhere in the body.
Prevention of navel infection: It depends on three aspects of good management: first, keep the kidding environment as clean as possible – plentiful new bedding is essential; secondly, dress navels promptly after birth; thirdly, ensure lambs receive adequate colostrum in the first hour of life. This last point is crucial to the prevention of all disease in newborn lambs.
Practical tip: When kidding is ready keep following first aid material at the site of the kidding which will aid you to have normal disease free kids. (1) New shaving of surgical blade (2) Solution of lugol’s iodine (betadene) (3) hair clip (4) Cotton thread for tying (5) Cotton towel
After kidding if kids shows some symptoms of infection than use injectable antibiotics and NSAIDs.
Health and weight of kids depends in size of placenta in goats