When Your Goat Is In Labor

| 1/22/2013 2:03:18 PM

For many of us kidding season is getting close. Depending on where you live it may be later in the spring. Here in Texas, I like December kids so they are a month old now. It warms the heart to watch them come into the world and start bouncing around the
barnyard. This was our 18th season and it still gives me tears of joy to watch each kid come in to the world.  

For those of you that are new to goats and this is the first kidding season, please understand how this process works. For the most part everything will be fine. I’ll go over how labor and birth happens so you understand what you’ll see if you are with your doe while she’s in labor.  This is for a single kid only.  Another thing, our beloved doe’s never read what we write about them so this information is “in general”. 

If you have a breeding date for your doe, then you have a due date also. The date varies and can be from 150 to 165 days or more. After so many years of waiting on my girls to kid, it dawned on me that I was spending too many sleepless nights in the barn. I went
back over my records for a few years and saw a pattern. From then on when I wrote the breeding date down, I counted forward 5 months to the date of the breeding, then 3 days back and set that as the due date. Now my girls either have their kids on the date I have or within 3 days either way. This saves me many days and nights of watching and waiting.  

Each doe is different and for a first freshener it’s a guessing game. If you have the due date, then start watching her 7 days before hand. You’ll notice the tail is getting loose. This means the tendons on either side of it are relaxing so things can move for the head to come through the birth canal. You may have also noticed her udder is forming. This can start as much as 6 to 8 weeks before her due date. In time you’ll be able to guess how many kids she will have by the size of her udder. I will be doing a separate article on the developing udder for dairy goats in a few weeks with photos. For now this little part will have to do.

This doe is a Nigerian Dwarf named Ciara. She has a nice full udder and this was her first time to kid.  

 Ciaras udder 

Heather Jackson
1/28/2013 8:10:57 PM

Thank you! I'm emailing you now!

1/24/2013 5:40:29 PM

Glad it was helpful Heather. That's why I did it. If you want to contact me my e-mail is: milkmaid@embarqmail.com if you have any questions.

Heather Jackson
1/23/2013 2:55:14 PM

This article was extremely helpful! We are anxiously awaiting our first kidding around the end of Feb. I think I will print this off and take it to the barn for reference! Thank you!

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