Is my goat about to give birth?? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hi, I have two goats, reported to be pregnant. The due date I was given was March first week. Last week I was away and daughter became distraught over goats change of shape.She is 4 years old, saanen/nubian cross and she appears to have dropped. Her fullness was up to her back and now it is lower and she actually looks thin across the back bone. How will I know that she is going to kid? What signs should I look for?

-- faith (, January 22, 2000


faith, I know more about sheep than goats, but have a few ideas. The expanding and dropping is normal as they get further along. When she's closer to giving birth you may see some/all/none of these signs. How do I put this delicately? Raise her tail and if it is swollen, she's close. Her udder will fill and drop. She will go off by herself. She will stop eating. She will eat everything she can get a hold of. She will cry. She will pay more attention to you. She will avoid you even if previously she was super friendly. She will paw the ground. She will make a nest. If outside during the day, she won't come in at night. If inside at night, she won't go outside in the morning. Basically anything she does that is different.

But the very best way of knowing she is about to kid-when you go out to chore in the morning and there they are.

Just keep a closer but quiet watch on her in case she gets into trouble kidding. Good luck to both of you Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, January 22, 2000.

Welcome to the goat world! You will also notice the goats udders will begin to fill up with milk sometimes a month in advance. My goats get pretty wide inthe belly. they look like they will burst. goats generally will not have problems. But you should make sure they have a quiet warm place to kidd with plenty of straw. If you notice your goat down and not wanting to get up she is probably ready to kidd. You can keep an eye on her. If they dont give birth within an hour or so ther might be troubles. especially if shes pushing and nothing seems to be happening. I could keep going but not sure if you want me to. Ive had goats for about 7 years. no expert but a veteran and love to share info. good luck star

-- Star Irvin (, January 22, 2000.

The last two replies were good, but thought I'd put my 2 cents worth in. The best indicator is the udder. It will fill up gradually about a month before she is going to kid. Then,right before she kids, within a day or even a few hours of the kidding, the udder will fill up and get tight and shiny. Don't milk her, because this is the colostrum and the kids will need it. When the udder gets tight and shiny, check on her every few hours, even at night. Our two sets of triplets both needed to be delivered at night. Generally, a doe in labor will not be very interested in eating and will seem preoccupied. Sometimes they stand up,paw the bedding, and lay down again. If they start straining and pushing every few minutes and bellering you know they are in labor. Some does are quieter, yearlings and first timers are noisier. If you aren't sure whether or not she's in labor and might need help, scrub your hands very well, lubricate your working hand with olive oil and insert one or two fingers gently. You may need to tie her up or restrain her. They don't always appreciate help even if they need it. Once you're in there, see if you can feel anything hard or bony.If you do it is the kid. Usually the nose will be there between two front hooves. If this is the case, she just needs a few more minutes. If you feel a head but no hooves or only one hoof and a head, or just the side of the kid, you will probably need to rearrange it. But this doesn't happen too often. A doe that is about to kid will also have much looser ligaments around her tail area where it joins her back.Feel her back every few days in the last 6 inches and pinch gently around the spine there. In the last week or two this area will lift up pretty easily, feels like it can come right off. With experience you can get a pretty good feel for how close she is this way.

-- Rebekah (, January 22, 2000.

Hi, I'm no expert but I thought I'd share some of my wisdom. We raise Alpines and its been our experience that when the does are ready to kid they will begin to bag a few weeks before time. Right before they kid they will be restless, go off feed and blat. Alos, right before kidding, and I mean a few hours, the tailbone will become more pliable. Its a little hard to describe. Hope this helps. Good luck.


-- Bernice Raymond (, January 22, 2000.

Faith, Just wait for the coldest,stormiest,wettest,darkest night.That's when ours give birth!

-- Jason (, January 22, 2000.

Our nubian doe gave birth 2 weeks ago....I had read that they will actually choose their own time to give birth -- on the wettest day possible. Indeed, it was the first time we had had a wet, misty day in quite awhile! I had noticed no changes at all (we're first timers, too!), but my son came in one afternoon and told me that she was moaning. By the time I got outside she was lying down and we had our little doeling within about 15 minutes! Just beautiful, and she didn't need our help at all. She seemed to want us near her though...she did stay affectionate and nuzzling in between moans. We had a very good (daytime) experience and I hope yours is as good! Our problem was knowing whether there was another kid coming.....we just waited and watched, but nothing. Thought we saw another one moving in there, so don't be fooled by what must be muscle movements. A twin should follow within about 10 minutes or so, I've read, and the afterbirth to follow. Hope this helps!

-- Heather Idoni (, January 23, 2000.

Faith, Besides a full udder you will also notice that she will begin to loose her ligiments at her tail head. If you feel of her backbone right at the point it connects with her tail you can tell that she has no meat there anymore and that you can put your fingers around her bone. When you can touch your fingers together kidding is very soon in all but you oldest stock, who may loose their ligiments earlier. Also we have noticed our Nubians have a floppy tail that they can not control and it sort of flops on thier back. If you write down how she acts, what she looks like and how full her udder is it will help you next year. How do you know when your doe is due or shen she will kid? I tell my customers that they will know for sure when you see the kids on the ground. Have fun with your new babies! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, January 25, 2000.

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