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15 Common Goat Kid Problems: A Comprehensive Guide

Goats are delightful animals to raise, but like any living beings, they can encounter health issues that require attention and care. If not carefully watched over, goat kid problems will cause you a lot of sorrow. 

As a goat owner, it’s crucial to be aware of potential problems that may arise, ensuring the well-being and longevity of your goat kids. In this article, we will discuss 15 common goat kid problems that you should be watchful for.

Before we begin, it’s important to note that this article serves as a summary, and for more detailed information, it is highly recommended to refer to the corresponding timestamps in the video provided. Learning about your goats directly from reputable sources is invaluable to ensure the best care for your animals.

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goat kid problems

The video is on this page, so don’t miss watching it!

15 Goat Kid Problems to Avoid

Not enough colostrum

At 3 minutes and 38 seconds into the video, we learn about the significance of colostrum, the first milk produced by a mother goat. Inadequate colostrum intake can lead to weakened immune systems in newborn kids, making them more susceptible to illnesses.

That first day, and especially the first hours after they are born are crucial, so be aware of what’s going on with each newborn. 

Not enough milk (shivering and cold)

Around the 4-minute and 22-second mark, the video emphasizes the importance of providing sufficient milk to newborn goats. Inadequate milk supply can result in shivering and coldness, which can lead to severe health complications if not addressed promptly.

After they’ve had their colostrum, the milk they get is their strength and only source of nutrition. When a doe has multiple kids, sometimes one is pushed off, and if you’re not paying attention, that kid can go downhill quickly. 

Birth defects

Approximately 9 minutes and 4 seconds into the video, birth defects are discussed. Unfortunately, like any other species, goats can be born with abnormalities or genetic disorders. These defects may vary in severity and can pose challenges to the kid’s health and overall well-being.

Several years ago, I had a doe who had three kids and one of them was failing to thrive. He did pass away and when we took it to the vet to get a necropsy, we found out the kid wasn’t passing the milk properly through its rumen and was all blocked up. Without a properly functioning digestive system, the goat can’t survive. But there are other defects that can happen as well. 

Poop – Constipation

At 11 minutes and 35 seconds, the video highlights the issue of constipation in baby goats. Constipation can occur due to various reasons, such as inadequate hydration or dietary issues. It is important to monitor their bowel movements and ensure they are regular and healthy.

Poop – Diarrhea

Moving on to 12 minutes and 37 seconds, the video addresses the problem of diarrhea in goat kids. Diarrhea can be caused by factors like sudden dietary changes, bacterial or parasitic infections, or even stress. Diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration, so it’s vital to address it promptly.

Poop is important. You’ll be looking at poop a lot as a goat owner. Pay attention to it!


Around the 14-minute mark, the video sheds light on coccidiosis, a common parasitic disease that affects young goats. Coccidiosis can cause diarrhea, weight loss, and general weakness in kids. Preventive measures and appropriate treatment are necessary to combat this disease.

This can cause serious problems, but is fairly easy to take care of!


At 17 minutes and 6 seconds, the video emphasizes the issue of dehydration in baby goats. Dehydration can occur due to various reasons, including illnesses, diarrhea, inadequate water intake, or extreme weather conditions. Ensuring a steady supply of clean, fresh water is crucial to prevent dehydration.

Goat kids grow so quickly. Milk is their main source of food for the first couple of weeks, but very quickly they will start to nibble and then eat on the grass and hay available to them. They will start to drink from the water provided as well. It’s very important that you always provide fresh water for your goats, no matter their size and age. 

Weak Kid Syndrome

Moving on to 18 minutes and 28 seconds, the video discusses Weak Kid Syndrome. This condition can affect premature or underdeveloped kids, making them weaker and more susceptible to infections and health complications but it can affect any kid. It’s basically a starving kid and this can happen from any number of reasons. The doe may have mastitis, or they didn’t bond properly, or there are too many kids vying for the milk. Proper nutrition and veterinary care are essential to manage this syndrome.

Keep the kids well fed and they won’t have to deal with weak kid syndrome!

Floppy Kid Syndrome

Around the 20-minute and 16-second mark, the video addresses Floppy Kid Syndrome. This condition causes weakness, lack of coordination, and floppy limbs in newborn kids. It is caused by the kid overfeeding on milk. 

Floppy Kid Syndrome can happen to a dam raised kid or a bottle fed one. When they are taking in too much milk, either from overconsumption or too frequent consumption, they can’t digest it fast enough before more milk is added and this leads to enterotoxemia. The undigested milk is literally turning toxic inside of them and will kill them. 

Joint Ill

At 21 minutes and 24 seconds, the video highlights Joint Ill, a condition characterized by swollen, painful joints in goat kids. It is typically caused by bacterial infections and can severely impact the mobility and well-being of the affected kid. Prompt diagnosis and antibiotic treatment are essential to prevent permanent joint damage.

But to prevent joint ill, which is also called navel ill, a goat kid absolutely needs adequate colostrum right after they are born. This is what helps give them immunity to all the bacterial, and viral issues that can try to affect them in their young life. Join ill happens when bacteria enters the navel cord, so dipping their navel after birth in a strong iodine can help them avoid this. 


At 22 minutes and 30 seconds, the video sheds light on Enterotoxemia, commonly known as “overeating disease.” This condition is caused by the bacterium Clostridium perfringens and can lead to sudden death in young goats. It occurs when kids consume large amounts of grain or milk, leading to the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the gut. Careful feeding practices are crucial preventive measures.

Making sure that all grain is locked away and always changing feed routines carefully, will help protect your entire herd from this problem.


Moving on to 23 minutes and 49 seconds, the video discusses pneumonia in baby goats. Pneumonia can be caused by various factors, including viral or bacterial infections and environmental stressors. It results in respiratory distress and can be life-threatening if not promptly treated.

Pneumonia can kill a goat in as little as 4 hours. Goats who are healthy through proper nutrition and have a worm load that is under control will be much better at avoiding sicknesses like pneumonia. You can find more information about pneumonia here

Selenium Deficiency

At 24 minutes and 36 seconds, the video emphasizes the importance of selenium in a goat’s diet. Selenium is an essential trace mineral that plays a crucial role in the goat’s immune system and overall health. Deficiency can lead to white muscle disease and other health issues.

It’s important to note that selenium is easy to overdose. It’s imperative to know if your goat is truly deficient before giving Bo-Se. 

Urinary Calculi

Around 25 minutes and 53 seconds, the video highlights Urinary Calculi, a condition where stones form in the urinary tract of goats. It is more common in castrated male goats and can cause painful urination and blockages, leading to severe health problems. Proper diet management and access to fresh water are vital preventive measures.

Improper feeding and an imbalanced diet, can really wreck havoc on the goat which can cause problems even in their urinary tract. 

Mineral Deficiencies

Lastly, at 26 minutes and 57 seconds, the video addresses general mineral deficiencies that can impact the overall health and development of baby goats. Goats require a well-balanced diet, including essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc, to thrive. Lack of these minerals can lead to a range of health issues, affecting bone development, immune function, and reproduction.

You can read more about essential minerals here.

As a goat owner, you can get these goat kid problems under control!

As a responsible goat owner, it is crucial to closely monitor your baby goats for any signs of these problems. Early detection and timely intervention can make a significant difference in the kid’s recovery and long-term health. Regular check-ups, proper nutrition, clean living conditions, and a good management program are essential components of goat care that will help you avoid these common goat kid problems.

In conclusion, raising baby goats can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with the responsibility of ensuring their well-being and health. By being vigilant and proactive in monitoring for these common goat kid problems, you can provide the best care possible for your adorable and playful goat kids. Remember, always seek advice and guidance from experienced goat farmers and veterinarians to enhance your knowledge and expertise in goat husbandry. Here’s to successful goat-raising and a healthy, thriving herd!

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