Goat 101: How to Tell When Your Goat is in Labor (Or Getting Close!)

goat labor signs

So. We all know that a goat usually kids about 150 days after being bred. That’s the easy part. The hard part is knowing WHEN you need to start staying close to the barn, and when it’s ok to head to town for a leisurely afternoon of running errands.

I am not a goat expert. However, this being my third year kidding, I feel like am I finally getting a wee bit more comfortable at being a goat midwife.

Our very first kidding season occurred when I was just a few days postpartum with Prairie Baby. It was…. mildly stressful to say the least…

Being sleep deprived and overwhelmed as a first time mama myself, I had a hard time keeping track of who was getting colostrum, whose milk had come in (including mine!), and which baby belonged where…

However, each season has been a learning experience and I know there are many first-time goat mamas out there who are anxiously awaiting their first kids this spring.

I’ve put together a list of signs that will give you a little bit of a hint as to when those much anticipated babies will arrive.

Of course, each goat is very, very different, but these signs are fairly common among most goats (notice I say *most*).

8 Signs a Goat is Getting Close to Kidding (in no particular order)

1.Their ligaments will soften

This is the sign that I monitor the most. Goats have two cord-like ligaments that run along either side of the very rear portion of their spine towards their tail. Most of the time, these ligaments are firm and feel just a bit smaller than the diameter of your little finger.

As kidding time becomes closer, these ligaments start to become soft and squishy and usually in the day or so before birth, they will disappear altogether.

When we are about a month out from the projected kidding date, I try to check these ligaments daily when I’m in the barn doing chores. It’s very helpful to know what “normal” ligaments feel like, so you can tell when they begin to change.

You can check the ligaments by slowly running your thumb and forefinger along either side of the goat’s spine towards the tail.

goat ligaments

In addition to the ligaments getting soft, the whole top portion of the goat’s hindquarters will start to soften as well. As you can see from the photo, I can pinch my fingers together and almost reach completely around the goat’s tail. When things get this squishy, kidding time is getting closer!

2. Discharge will appear

As the kidding date gets closer, I also check under their tails several times per day. When I see a thick discharge, I usually know that kidding is very close for my goats. However, I’ve heard that some goats show discharge for several weeks before going into labor, so I’m not sure how helpful this sign will be. If you see a long string of mucus, then you’ll be having goat babies very soon, so stay close to home for a while. ;)

3. Things will get a little “puffy”

When you check under their tail for discharge, check their vulva as well. As kidding time nears, it will become more loose and relaxed looking.

4. Sunken sides

For most of the pregnancy, your goat will look like she is carrying her babies up high in her abdomen. However, right before birth, they kids will drop and the top of her sides will appear “hollowed out” instead of full like before.

5. Bagging up

Several weeks from kidding

It often seems like checking the udder is the first thing people want to do to watch for kidding, but I’ve found it can be fairly unreliable. My goats do “bag up” a little as their pregnancy progresses, but their udders (usually) don’t get full and tight until after they’ve kidded and their milk comes in. I’ve heard some people say that the udder will become big and shiny right before kidding, but I personally haven’t experienced this with my goats. (It just so happened that Cinnamon when into labor 12 hours after I published this post… And her bag was very tight and shiny this time around… Go figure.)

6. Watch for restlessness

As a goat begins to go into labor, she’ll just act “different.” She might act restless and repeatedly try laying down, only to get right back up. If you know your goat’s personality, you might notice that she just isn’t acting like herself. Perhaps she’s friendlier than normal, or even more offstandish. Usually I can just tell that “something” is going on, even if I can’t fully explain it. Sometimes their eyes seem to almost “glaze over” and they get sort of a faraway look.

7. Pawing

I’ve seen my goats paw a lot during the first stages of labor, and sometimes even between babies.

8. Pushing head against the wall or fence

Occasionally during her labors, my goat Cinnamon will walk over to a fence or wall and press her forehead into it for a second or two. Strange, but true!

To be quite honest, I really had a hard time writing this post. It’s quite difficult to give you a list of definitive signs, since each goat is so very different! Your goats might show all of these signs– or NONE of them!

You’ll also notice that I didn’t really specify a time frame on any of the signs. Again, goat labor is a diverse thing. For example, my goats only show discharge in the immediate hours before birth, but I know other goats have mucus for weeks before the big event. The signs and their time frame are very, very different, depending on the goat.

So, my best advice would be just to go with the flow. Keep an eye on your girls to the best of your ability, but even then, you still might miss it! One other thing that I’ve found invaluable is to keep a notebook with “labor notes” from each year’s kidding. Trust me, you WILL NOT remember from year to year, and it’s incredibly helpful to be able to look back and recall the signs that each goat gave the previous year.

*Note* Due to time constraints, I am not able to respond to requests for advice in goat labor and/or birthing. Thank you for your understanding. 

Some other posts in the Goat 101 Series:

 

 


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Comments

  1. Well, I just bred my Kinder goat for the first time. Still waiting to be sure it took, but if it did, I’m going to be coming back to this post a LOT! Thanks for some excellent advice, Jill.

    • How exciting Amy! I hope they took, too! :)

    • Me and my Cousin Elizabeth W. just noticed yesterday Afternoon that are Girl Goat Crystal we think that she is pregnet and we don’t know when the baby will arrive some day probally in a month or two or in 2 weeks i don’t know but hopefully it will ba Girl or a Boy and she will get a least 1 or 2 Baby Goats and we are so Excited about it!!! So that is it so Princess Peach &Princess Daisy over and out!

  2. These are all great tips! I have had goats since I was 15. The only tip I might add is if your barn/shed is somewhat close to your house you can use a baby monitor to help with knowing when they are in labor. You can pick them up cheap at garage sales.:) The sounds to listen for are grunting or strange goats vocal sounds(some yell a bit when they push, others are silent), but sometimes the first sound you hear is a high pitched(baby)bleat! If you have roosters I wouldn’t leave it on at night though- unless you normally wake up at 4 am!

  3. Generally all those signs hold true, but in the case of preemies, none do. We’ve had 3 sets of preemies in the last week. (why is still a mystery) None of the moms seemed ready to have babies. The one we had deliver yesterday was acting normal all day. I was at the barn at 4pm nothing seemed amiss, My husband was down there at 5:30 pm and she had delivered and gone to eat hay. It is very frustrating some times. We are watching 82 mama goats get ready for this and each one has their own personality.

  4. You do such a great job with your explanatory posts! It’s looking like we’ll not be getting our goats this year (sniffle,) but when we DO get them, you can bet I’ll be referencing your Goat 101 posts, man! Thanks for being completely awesome.

  5. Great list! We don’t have goats, but our sheep are pretty similar–although it can be harder to see/feel minute changes through all that wool! Our sheep don’t bag up big, but there’s usually a noticeable different around the last week or so before labor. Sort of a “now you can actually see their udders” kind of change. (Again, lots of wool down there!) We mostly rely on the “drop” which is usually within a day or two of labor, and the “strange” behavior patterns. I’ve noticed that they often go off-feed within 24 hours of labor and start hanging out by themselves away from everyone else. We’ve also noticed that they’re all bred around the same time and that they tend to go in groups, so if one starts, we’re probably good to expect a couple more within the next day or two.

    Ah–I love spring!

  6. After raising Registured Nigerian Dwarf goats & doing all the above you suggested, plus having the vet to the farm 3 times prior to delivery, we lost a set of triplets(3) babies. The vet did a c-section on the nanny as she developed a vaginal prolapse. The babies(at birth, they came out kicking but never took a breath on their own). We did CPR, oxygen, slapped them upside down for fluid, and even mouth to mouth. Two days later the nanny died. Vet said her kidneys failed. She was only 1 1/2 yrs. old. I watched her very closely but it broke our hearts to loose the triplets & the nanny. Not all deliveries are positive.

  7. Hi,
    I’m just wondering if goats tend to deliver normally in the morning hours, than in the afternoon. We have raised Alpacas and much of what you mentioned is true with Alpacas too. As a rule, most female Alpacas will deliver in the morning hours, though we’ve had a couple who delivered early afternoons and everything was just fine. We’ve had one female that had problems twice and thought we’d have to do a C-section with the vet there prepared to do it, but when he gave her something to relax her, she started both times to progress with delivery then immediately. The first time this happened with her would have been her second cria that she had. She had not been bred to a large male, though the cria she tried to deliver was a large one, close to twenty-two pounds. The second delivery a few years later was a big 21 pound female cria! She lived and is healthy as can be and is a beautiful young female herself now. The scalpel never touched her mother either time! She was just very tired and with the help of the vet, she proceeded with both births, however the first one had breathing problems and only lived a few minutes even with all the help we could give to this baby. We always watch too for any problems such as if the dam doesn’t progress within the hour that she started to labor, call the vet. We always kept a small oxygen tank on hand with a full sized mask (you can rent these) that we could use if the birth was difficult and always have plenty of warm blankets, towels and hair dryer ready to dry them off quickly and get them coated if the weather is cooler, a solution to dip the navel in right away to keep infection out (we do this twice the first 24 hours after birth) , rubber gloves, vaginal lube, large heavy duty plastic bag for clean up, paper towels, thermometer and we always would make sure that the mother’s teats were cleaned and made sure there were no wax plugs so therefore the cria had all teats available for nursing. We always watch too for them to latch on and nurse and to also defecate. The latter is important. Making sure the Mom and baby can be together without any interference is also important. They need to bond and so we made sure we did what we needed to do and then let them be together as quickly as possible to do that. Fresh water, clean bedding (often) and a good supplement feed and mineral and hay for Mom is a must. We also bought barn cameras some years ago that were inexpensive and have used them through the years just to keep an eye out while we were indoors and they are wonderful. They are remote and have sound too. We just have a small TV inside of our home dedicated to that and we can watch and listen whenever we’re indoors. I will say though, do not completely count on that. Being there in the barn is best for checking on these girls and babies and doing it often. I want to also mention to everyone out there who has ruminant animals, please always keep a bottle of Thiamine on hand, which is very inexpensive and you can get it from your vet and a probiotic paste that you can get in a large tube from TSC or PBS Animal Supply catalog or other vet supply companies. A good high energy drench made for goats is also good to have on hand. As a side note, I do not know anything about goats, but I can tell you that having Thiamine on hand can save your goat, horse, Alpaca, etc. Thiamine is very safe to give as an injectable (give Sub-Q) and you should consult your vet on how much to give. Whenever I’ve had any of my Alpacas, which is rare, come up ill, I’ll usually hit them with that first and then call the vet out. I do this when they’re not eating and also give them a good dose of the probiotic paste. I also give Maalox first before I give the Probiotic paste which I would give the latter maybe an hour or so later. The Maalox helps to keep the acid down in the gut. Alpacas have a tendency towards ulcers. The probiotic paste keeps the good stuff active in the gut. Thiamine is very important for the gut and if it’s not available in there, problems can get real bad quick. Their whole systems get out of whack. I am suggesting that you CONSULT YOUR OWN PERSONAL VET ABOUT USING THIAMINE and do as they would direct you too. I’m NOT a vet, so you should listen to someone who you know personally who has been a good flock keeper and has healthy goats and has some experience. I remember the day when I first started out and it was scary! I was alone by myself at every birth, but through the years we only lost one baby at birth, the rest have done excellent. Common sense, studying and finding a good mentor and having two vets on your team will help tremendously! Before I got my Alpacas I took a day course on “birthing” and believe me, it was extremely helpful with some of the births that I had to deal with as well as helping a few other Alpaca breeders who were in a situation and didn’t know what to do. Once you are at it for a while and doing well with birthing, you’ll be having others calling on you for advice and help with delivering their babies! A vet is the best option, but isn’t always possible. Birthing season can be exhausting, but so rewarding at the same time. Good luck to all of you who have your little goats. They are truly darling and maybe one day I’ll think of maybe getting a few myself so we can have our own wonderful milk and milk to make soap with . God Bless and may spring come soon! I love this blog and thanks for all the wonderful, fun and informative information.

  8. you did a great job! We have nigerian dwarfs and the biggest signs were the tail ligaments and pawing at the ground! http://srkindredspirits.blogspot.com/2011/09/nigerian-dwarf-baby-goats.html

  9. Cynthia says:

    Really enjoyed this post! We just had our first kidding last week (very exciting!). The week before she delivered (Nigerians), we were up a couple times a night, checking on her every couple of hours. She had a few signs here and there. That night at about 6pm, we checked on her and knew she was in labor (what we thought early stages based on all the pictures and all we read!), we left the house, left my husband in charge who went to check on her at 7pm and she had delivered 2 sweet little kids during that time, had them all cleaned looking really good! We were all sorry we missed the actual event, but realized animals having being doing this forever by themselves and most cases all go well!! SO…..maybe next time we will relax a little more during that kidding time……well probably not….. :-)

  10. Justine Gabriel says:

    Hello Jill, Thank god i found your site. Having a bit of a crisis at the moment as my 2 goats Nelly & Sally are due anytime now and my hubby is at work and im all on my own. But having read your site it is clear that they are due at anytime now,. I live in Bulgaria and i only bought the gaots on September 26th. Nelly is having her 3rd pregnancy and Sally is on her 2nd . I had my 6th baby last May but this is more terrifying. Thanks so much for the advise, and i will keep you posted x

  11. Great list! This is also fairly close to what we looked for in our dairy cow as we waited for her to deliver.

    My boyfriends family likes to say the goats wait for everyone to leave the house EXCEPT the one person least capable (usually a new boy/girl friend) and then they deliver

  12. Hello everyone! My family and i are first time pygmy goat owners. “Molly” is only a year old and is a twin. She is supposed to be having twins herself. This is her first delivery obviously and we have been waiting for 8 days now for the kids to join our family. I was really starting to be worried until i read all your comments. I have noticed all the signs so i believe by morning we will be having new family members! Thank you for all your help! I was totally clueless on all this!

  13. Marilyn Wallace says:

    Great post. I also look for their back legs to be straight. Sounds weird, but most of them will do this. The back legs will become straight in the last few hours.

  14. This is our second kidding season. I was looking for a little refresher on labor signs when I found your page. It has been very helpful! Last year all our does gave birth in the afternoon or evening. That was so nice because we could watch them through the day and make sure they were comfortable. I just walked out and checked our girls after reading your article and I have two who are swollen and starting to have some discharge. I am expecting them to deliver in the next couple of days but only time will tell.

  15. Well, Aran fooled me. Her tendons “disappeared” about 2 weeks before she gave birth. I saw no discharge or any other sign of labor on the 17th when I moved her to the barn because of threatening weather. Overnight, she gave birth to twins! We had some trouble with the little girl (hypoglycemic, dehydration) but the Vet fixed her up and she’s fine now. Darnit, that goat just refuses to follow instructions!

  16. Hi! Im expecting 2 or more kids any day now! I spent all last week watching for signs of labor but none have been really accurate! Its killing me I dont want to miss it. Last week she her utters sermed to get more baggy , she was laying down some pressing her head agianst things one morning her tale area got really loose but I could still feel ligaments I now can put my fingers around her tail but still ligaments there! Now there isnt much change at all her vulva seems red,puffy , and kind getting a small opening! She seems more affectionate to Me. She also rubs her stomach along the fence alot idk if that has to do with anything! She is huge and thats with a low belly! I have found in the past two kiddings I have been presant to . My does would lay down most of the day and would be verry noisy and wouldnt eat. The ligaments would be completely gone then couple hours latter kids where coming! but this is my first time kidding with this doe and she is huge but there still are no kids! Hopfully they will be here verry soon!

  17. Robbie Bradberry says:

    We had most of the listed symptoms with our for, but she had her triplets within 20 minutes of active labor. Surprisingly fast from a lot of stories I’ve heard. She did very well but my husband had to assist with the last one because the sac was too thick for the kid to tear open. It was an awesome 1st experience for us! Now we’re waiting on our 2nd doe of 4 to give birth anytime:)

    • Congrats on your triplets! Definitely a fast labor– Glad your husband was there to help with that last sac. ;)

  18. I really enjoyed reading your signs. I agree with all of them. I’m waiting on mine as I type… I thought I give you some more tips that I have found.

    Our goats are all together, male & female. I noticed before anything else that the bucks want to mate the Mama’s to-be. My thought is, she’s putting off the smell as her hormones change and get stronger. That’s when I’ll separate them if I haven’t already.

    Mine will also get picky with eating. She won’t eat hardly any treat. She’s getting a lot closer to birth at this time.
    I also read that it you feel the baby move or kick around its not real close. I read that if you don’t feel movement it should be within 24 hrs.

    Mine will defiantly get irritable. Stomping, pawing, up then down. You can tell she is hurting.

    I think my goats don’t like to birth when I’m there. I have tried and camped out many times. I have only seen one birth. One goat (the one I’m waiting on now) I waited and waited. So I thought I’d run get me a snack and just check in at the house. I wasn’t gone long at all. When I walked back in, I had a new little kid! I was so fusterated….so this time I’m not camping out, but I have her very close & checking in very often.

    I really liked your site. I’ll go through more of it later…when I’m not expecting! ? Good luck with your farm family and best wishes to you!

  19. Roseann Curtis says:

    I have Nubians and due to Tx. drought sold all but three older does with each having a specific problem. Lomg teats, great mom w/help. And two inseperable sisters. I recently bought a youg buck and , of course one of the sisiters is expecting now! Any time. She stayed apart for a few days and hen the buck, Tomball mounted her. I have her all set up in our small barn. She has kidded three times. My concern is her age and his insane attention to her now. Do you think he could have compromised the internal stage she was in? She is exhibiting the early signs of kidding and eating and drinking well. We have been friends a long time and she trusts me , . I have never had this situation and he has copulated w/the other two as well. Of course I have him apart yet he is obsessed w/her. Is it the change in her hormones or just a sex crazed very LARGE Nubian buck? Thanks so much, Roseann

  20. Rebekah Mosel says:

    I have a goat that i am assuming is getting pretty close to her due date. Im not exactly sure when she was “bred” but i noticed today that when i fed the herd she was hollering at the near by goats to get them away from her, and she was sorda hunching her lower back into an arch like shape, and breathing heavily. Also she’s kind of walking slower then the rest of the herd. And something else is very strange…her bag is completely empty, when it was very full a couple of weeks ago. Is this unheard of?

  21. hiii hi i am soon going to be a grandma i guess u can say i have 2 nubian goats Coco and Sugar and this is going to be the first time EVER!!:) that they have kids. AND its going to be my first expirense too. 2 first timers!! so thank for sharing your wisdom with me and everyone. you really helped now i have an idea what to do. the kids will be born around march( i have the billy right now ) im trying to get this right and you defintly helped THANX x 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000 :D:)

    • How exciting Micki! You’ll have a blast. :)

    • hi again my goat Sugar is going to have her baby about march 11 she is already starting to bag up and is looking a little “puffy” right now i am not sure if Coco will have kids and if she does she won’t give birth until at least april sadly i do not know when she was bred or if she was bred because the billy did not seem interested in her but oh well i guess i’ll wait and see thanks again for the tips and advice

  22. More questions! Our bucks and does are housed together. We have 3 does and 2 bucks all housed with our miniture donkey. When should I start separating? Should I separate the does from each other too? Or can they all hang out together delivering together??? All are due around the same give or take.

    • Hi Karrie,
      I had my buck in with my does during my last kidding season and had no problem. However, I’m not sure if other bucks would be prone to harming the babies or not? I keep all my pregnant does together until after they kid. Then I take the new mama and baby to a separate, quiet, clean stall so they can bond for a few days alone.

  23. One important thing I learned was not to over feed during pregnancy. The babies can grow too large. My first kidding season, checked in the early morning hours and my doe had a monster large dead baby head showing. Second thing I learned is that you have to pull it out. HARD. I tugged and freaked. Wasted too much time hauling to the vet. The next two were saved. Luckily. But now that I’ve seen calves pulled with a come-along, I will pull harder next time. Familiarize yourself with the positioning of the baby, because you pull down toward the ground, not up. Her babies were the same size as the other doe’s TWO week old babies! fiasco Farms is an awesome site for natural goat care with lots of pictures!

    • Thanks for sharing Kim- yes, it’s a very good idea to aware with the positioning. Fias Co Farms is a great resource!

  24. My Nigerian dwarf Doe just had babies two days ago. She eats normal and is a very attentive mother. But at night in the barn she breaths really fast. It is worring me. Almost like she is panting. What could be wrong? I havens heat lamp in there for Kidd but vent open.

  25. Thank you so much for this! I took on 2 nannies and a boy this summer for my cousin who lost his house to foreclosure. My only prior personal animal experience was dogs, cats, fish, and a turtle. And never babies! So as my 2 girls began trasforming into barrels FEAR set in! Oh jeeze. I’ve noticed Joan has been running a bit differently this week. And since I read your post I think the weight is dropping lower. River still looks evenly rounded. So nervous. They were all young goats when my cousin got them so this will be their first time, as well as mine. Wish us luck.

  26. Thanks for all the information on this page. We have only had wethers before (Nubian), but a lady not far from here was arrested for hoarding and we told Animal Control we had an empty stall if they needed us to foster anything. We got four pregnant pygmy does. They arrived already obviously pregnant in mid-October and an ultrasound on each confirmed that. It is now the end of December and I’m about to put a roller skate under one, she has dropped so low. We are simply praying all four don’t deliver at once — becaue they now look so close. Ligaments on the biggest pregnancy are softening a bit but on one where the ligaments are still strong the vulva is quite puffy. We’ve done dogs and horses for years but this is our first time with goats. It’s getting interesting and, again, we really appreciate all the information on this page (and others). Thanks.

  27. I bought two goats back in september. A buck and a doe. When we got them home he mounted her imediatly. I did the calculations and figured for her to kid inearly feb. I thoight we still had a month to go but this morning i got a big suprize. Went out to feed at 6 am and i could hear a baby goat. We had not moved her out of the big pen yet so she was still with all the other goats. When i got to her i realized there were two babies, just bion stll wet and getting cold. We quickly moved them into the barn, got them dry and under a heat lamp. I also put sweaters on tgem since it was only 25 degrees. I will not make this mistake again. If she had had them earlier in the morning or i over slept i would have lost them. I love your page and will refer to it from now on. Im just wandering if she had them early because there were two or maybe she was already pregnant when i biought her.

    • Wow– what a fun surprise! I’m glad you found them in time. I’m betting that she might have been preggo when you bought her. ;)

  28. Great info! This is my first official kidding season, we own 8 does, 2 bucks. (All dairy goats) One down and 7 to go! The next one any day now. I’m off to type my first “labor notes” lol. Thanks

  29. We are close to kidding and we have a doe who has a prolapsed uterus. The vet has sewn her closed and we are all on edge waiting for the first sign of labor so we can be sure to untie her in time. We do not know how far along she is because of a buck break a few times before we learned to build proper fencing. This is our first kidding and I hope they get better than this. :-)

    • Ah yes, I’ve helped to sew up many prolapsed uterus cows when I worked at the vet clinic… Yes, hopefully your future kidding will be a little less stressful for you– best of luck!

  30. Love your web site. I have 6 does ready to give birth anyday now and wanted to refresh on signs of labor. I had 3 does last year who needed my help in delivery. Boo boo baby had a really large kid, Charlie girl delivered early and didn’t dilate very much. Abby her water busted but she wouldn’t dilate. We had to cut her alittle and pull the kid out. But all did very well. Now I’m ready for this year of new kids.

  31. Howdy! I have a pygmy doe, Peggy Sue, who is due any moment. It’s her first kidding and mine, too. I’m not sure of an exact due date because she was raised as a housepet and did NOT like our stinky pee-covered buck, so after two cycles worth of trying and her rejecting him we eventually just left them together in the hopes she would get used to him. I didn’t notice her cycle in October, so we’re thinking she got covered in September sometime.

    For the last three weeks she has definitely been “bagged up” and she’s been leaking milk for 48 hrs, but still no babies! She does have a LITTLE bit of white and clear mucous in her lady bits, but not even enough to run. I’m worried about mastitis since she is producing, but their are no babies to relieve the pressure. I am raising her for dairy, but didn’t intend to milk her until the babies were around a month old. I haven’t been able to find out if it’s normal for her to be actively producing colostrum, but still not be in labor. Is this normal? Should I try to get a vet to induce? The vets in our area don’t really deal with pygmies…or goats in general for the most part.

    She lives in the house just like a dog, and her “birthing stall” is the master bathroom so I can be around if anything goes wrong. I haven’t left home in 2 weeks! Any advice would be appreciated, thanks so much!

    • Hi Axy,
      I personally wouldn’t worry too much about the colustrum– I think that is fairly normal. (Even people do that sometimes too!) But I’m betting you’ll have some babies soon. :) Best of luck!

  32. Hi …. I am a first time gma i guess you would say .. Ive delivered hundreds of puppies and rabbits but never any goats i currently have a pygmy a nubian boar cross and a fainting goat all three are preggers .. Buttercup my pyg lost her tail lig yesterday and my fainting goat oreo today im worried because the lady i bought the goats from said they were bred in july well if thats true they were due 3 weeks ago ? And my nubian cross patsey has had a clear/milky stringy discharge for 4 days now but shes not due for another 2 weeks all are first time moms all from tripplets its really cold and i fear for if they have the kids at night at this point i have so many other baby chicks ducklings chickens gueneas and rabbits in my barn i cant fit the 3 moms and ny other barn is houseing my horse and buck so my only other options are to bring them inside …. Ive been.up every day and night for 2 days only sleeping 30 min at a time ………. I think im more nervous then my girls

    • You’ll do just fine Anna– I know that it can be hard to sleep, though. :) I’m betting they’ll kid soon– best of luck!

  33. Well an update i just went out to check my girls oreo and butter cup were both streched out not their normal curled up way to sleep but this could be because of how fat they are … Guess ill just keep checking

  34. This is great information! We have been raising boer goats for over 5 years now and every year I question what I know! Lol. We have a doe that is ready to kid any day now and have been watching her closely. Last year she didn’t bag up until after her kids were born but this year she bagged up Christmas day. For the last 2 days she’s had mucas discharge and today she actually had a stringer. Every year she has different signs. For the last 2 weeks she’s hummed when she’s laying down and she dropped about 2 weeks ago. This girl never goes off her feed and because she never shows the same signs twice I’m always second guessing myself! She always has more than 2 and this year she is so massive it looks like quads. I just wish she’d hurry up. I’m scared to leave the house!

    • Isn’t it crazy how each goat seems to change from year to year? It can definitely wear a person out trying to predict when it’s going to happen. :)

  35. First of all, love your blog! Stumbled on it by accident while looking for “frugal” food-grade buckets (thanks for the idea btw – I’ll be checking out the local grocers and donut shop the next time I’m in town). It is so refreshing to find other like-minded folks of my generation out there, but especially in the same state I live in! I’m due any day now with my 3rd child, and my Toggenburg dairy goat is due at the end of March, early April for her 2nd year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she kids as smoothly this year as she did last year for the original owners, who I got her from last summer. I feel like I have read so much about the birthing process that my eyes will pop out! I’m looking forward to it though, and so are my daughters. It is going to be very exciting and interesting. Love the blog and can’t wait to read more exciting tips and tricks about the homestead life (we also didn’t plan on it, but dived in with chickens and goats last year – this Fall we will be adding a pair of breeding hogs!).

    • Best wishes on your upcoming births– boths yours and the goats! :) So glad you are enjoying the blog– and happy to meet another WY-dweller too!

  36. Hi, This is so great.
    My Nubian goat is due very soon. However, I think she might be in labor.
    -This morning she was waiting at the fence for me and would not stop crying/talking to me.
    -I gave her her breakfast and she just stared at me and wouldnt eat until I coaxed her to and then she cried the whole 2 minutes that she ate. ( she is a chow hound and loves food and normally has great appetite.)
    – She had a yellowish discharge hanging from her vulva. Strecty mucousy looked like.
    – Her Side are sunken in.
    – She was walking over to the fence and rubbing her head and belly on it.
    -She keep nipping her sides. Maybe contractions????
    -Laying down and talking alot
    -She didnt want to leave my side.
    – She does have a super full udder and her teats are getting swollen.

    The will be her 3rd time being a mom, but first time goat birth for my husband and I. She has had triplets both times so I really want to keep a close eye on her.

  37. THANKS!!! Well, No babies yet. I think shes holding out on us..Haha
    However, A friend of mine just gave me a 1 week old Boer/Nubian Baby. Her mom had triplets and rejected her. She is doing great on the bottle tho.

  38. thanx for the tips im waiting for my boer goats to have their first babies im super excited

  39. We have a Saanen named Gertie. When we bought her we were told she was due at the end of December. She didn’t have any kids so we thought that maybe she just wasn’t pregnant. Last week her udder started growing and what we thought was just fat dropped lower. She is now oozing out clear mucus – just a little bit. She hasn’t had any contractions but she is trying to eat the wood on her stall, is rubbing her head against things, pawing, and licking her belly. How long does this go on before she has her kids? It is cold outside and won’t warm up until Tuesday (30 during day and 7 at night) and Wednesday which would be better (34 for the day and 28 at night). How often do you check on them? We don’t have a baby monitor and her pen is too far away for one to work. Any suggestions? Thank you. I appreciate it because I am a newbie to this.

  40. Hi,
    Last Oct. I bought a 6 yr old doe and a little wether. I was told she “might” be pregnant, but not likely. Last year she was exposed to a buck, but didn’t take. Sometime during Sept 2012, she was exposed all day to a buck. The last couple of weeks she has blown up like a balloon. Not always even on either side. I began to suspect they were baby bumps. This morning when I went out to feed her, when she stood up a white discharge squirted out. She was not too interested in her feed, although she did eat some. I went back to check an hour later and again the white discharge happened. Do you think she is pregnant and or in labor?
    Of course after weeks of lovely weather it’s cold and rainy today.

  41. Jim Grayson says:

    Currently we have five does who are close to kidding, howeve our eleven year old is the most worrysome. We seperated her from the others hoping to prevent her from being bred but our billy escaped and well, now we are up a creek. Shilo is eleven years old and pretty frail. She has trouble getting up and down, now she won’t touch her feed. Two weeks ago she seemed to be in labor for about an hour but it just stopped. I know the kid is still alive, it moves and kicks but we cannot get her to get up. Do you have any suggestions or advice for us, we are really attached to this sweet old goat. :'(

  42. Stephanie says:

    HI! I’m so glad I ran across your site. I’ve glanced over all the comments, but haven’t noticed anyone with the Tennessee Fainting goats! So I guess I’ll be ther first LOL! I have 5 of the cute little guys. All are registered fainters. I only have 1 buck at the time and 4 does (2 of which are bred). My mama doe, and the oldest is due to kid around next weekend. This is the first time I’ve raised any goats, but I’m very excited about it. My mama’s belly is hanging very low now, but she doesn’t seem to have any milk in her sac. So I’m hoping that happens soon. The woman I bought her from said she normally always has 3! So I’m hoping for at least 2 and hopefully a keeper since the father of these isn’t from my buck. I’m planning to go check her tomorrow with the tips you mention and try to see about how far away we are! Thanks so much for your help and I’ll post updates soon!

  43. Hi! I recently was given 2 Nigerian goats, which I was told were both baby girls. Turned out one was a boy and the girl was pregnant. We had no idea when she was due and not positive she was pregnant. When we got to the barn in the morning, it was evident something had occurred during the night. I then found a stillborn baby still in its sac laying in the straw. I was so upset! If I had been there for the birthing, would she have been ok? Then I noticed that the doe was acting strange and thought there might be a second baby. I called the vet and he couldn’t come out for several hours. The baby never came on its own and since I didn’t know what time the first baby was born, it could have been more than 12 hours between birthing. The vet delivered the second baby, a boy. He was very weak and couldn’t stand or nurse on his own. I helped him and decided to bring him home out of the cold for the night. I bottle fed him and he slept on my chest all night. I was in love! The next day he was still weak but I brought him back to his mom during the day to nurse with assistance and home at night. He was beginning to walk on his own but still sleeping almost all the time and had to be woken up to eat. I called the vet on the fourth day since he was losing progress. Not walking again and seeming too weak to hold his head up. I had an appointment as soon as the vet came in at 5 pm. I brought his to be with his mom during the day but he just slept the whole day. When I woke him to feed him, he wouldn’t wake up and his temp dropped to 95. I had him on a heating pad. I gave him nutridrench and got him in a warm car. He gasped for air and I knew I was losing him. I drove as fast as I could to the vet but it was too late. I am devastated! I really fell in love with this little guy. Since this was my first time, what should I have done differently?

    • Kaitlyn N.M. says:

      I had a similar thing happen to me. If the mother didn’t have enough nutrients during her pregnancy that could easily be it. It also might have wanted the comfort of it’s mom, if the mother didn’t lick it and seem to care for it, he would have sensed that also it would have been best to use his own mothers milk. Also they have to have stimulation to relieve themselves. I am sooo sorry! Almost the same thing happened to me!

  44. Tammi VanDyke says:

    For my Nubians the signs are sitting, laying down and standing up.. repeat. Yellow stringy mucus from the vulva. Pacing and resting the head, arching the back. I’ve seen both…bagging up before and after, so I never use that as a for sure sign. Their eyes will be very wide and glaced over. Each doe is different, the hardest ones are the ones that are shuttle. I have a doe like that, I watch her like a hawk. Thanks for you blog, great info!

  45. I bought 4 pygmy does a month ago.was told the one was due 1/29.he saw her bred.Well almost a month later no babies.Her udder has been huge an leaking for a week.Hay was stuck to her but this am so I think she must be having some stringing.Her tail is limp.Wish I hav known her longer so I could gage this better.I appreciate everyone’s advice.I also don’t feel like a nut anymore for worrying.Thanks for the sanity check.Janice

    • Oh no– you aren’t crazy– all goat mamas are inclined to worry. :) Sounds like your doe will kid soon.

  46. Thanks for the info and the photos. I had figured my doe to deliver on Feb 23 but she didn’t. I spent the 24th reviewing your site and was able to determine that she was in the early stages of labor. On the following morning I started checking on her every hour. At 11:00 a.m. I saw her walk away from the rest of the herd. She pawed the ground twice lay down and I could see her bare her teeth. She stood up and I saw a solid black spot on the ground where she had been. She looked at it momentarily and took a few steps away and lay down again. I was watching from the house with binoculars and believed she had delivered a still born kid. I rushed outside to try and rescue the kid only to find that I was looking at the shadow of a fence post. But arrived in time to see the actual delivery of her kids. Because I had just viewed your photos I was able to determine that the kid was in a normal dive position and it was delivered 18 minutes after I first started watching from the house. The second kid was delivered ten minutes later with such ease that momma never stopped licking the first kid until the second one was on the ground. Because we had such a chilly breeze I assisted in getting the kids dry and moved them inside one of the shelters. Two beautiful Kiko bucklings we named Zeus and Perzeus. These are the first bucklings bone on our farm from our does. And this is the first time in the three years that we have had goats that I actually witnessed a birth (I usually missed it by minutes). Your site was instrumental in making this birthing experience a joy. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  47. First time goat mama here! Luckily it’s not “Mama’s” first time. I am so greatful for your site and everybody’s stories. It looks like Mama is about ready, but not sure. She was already preg. when we got her and there was a lot of confusion about when the buck broke out of his pen…the first time. LOL We are nervously waiting, but your tips on when to stay close to home have been helpful in relieving stress. Thanks we’ll let you know how it turns out.

  48. I had a pygmy goat that did not show any of these signs the vet said but i had to put her down the b
    kid had got stuck and i did not know she was in laber.till it wss to late i had to learn to watch the rest of my babys and yes some of the do show some signs. But she gave me no sign till it was to late

  49. Thanks so much for the info . Our Miss Jessie had twins the black one died but Annie Oakley lived and she is just full of it. Now were waiting on Grace she is due within the month so were watching very closley because it could be triplets. Even like you say the signs might be there or not. thank you so much for the onfo because it might help in a small way Thanks again.

  50. tiffany says:

    We just got our first girl today and she is pregnant. The guy we got get from said she is 2 months pregnant and we should expect kids in about 2 and half months. I’m starting to wonder after reading this post if mabey she is father along then they said. She is very large and has already dropped.I’m not sure how to tell. Is there any way you can help? Thankyou

    Concerned mommy

    • It’s hard to say Tiffany– I know that some of my girls would look pretty big for quite a while before they actually kidded. I’m afraid you’ll probably just have to wait!

  51. Magnificent website. Plenty of helpful info here. I am sending it to several
    friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thank you for your sweat!

  52. Trishanna Jones says:

    We have 4 boer does that are showing a lot of these signs. Two have never kidded before and two have. This, however, is our first time owning, breeding, and kidding. We are excited but nervous at the same time. I have a medical background so that part doesn’t bug me or make me nervous. My kids are excited but when it comes down to it they’ll probably be sleeping, in school or grossed out when kidding time is here. I am just hoping that I did everything that I was supposed to to give these little babies the best chance of survival.

  53. Brandy McClary says:

    I am starting to get nervous! Thelma our goat started to bag up about 3 days ago! At around 9 this morning noticed her tail was very wet, and she also had a stringy discharge! She is constantly up and down! It has been over 12 hours since I found her with the tail wet this morning and still no babies! How long should I wait till I should be alarmed? Also this will be Me and Thelma’s first time for all this!

  54. My goat Maggie is my first goat. Ijust got her a little over a month ago.She is very pregnant, I just font know how far. Since yesterday she’s been acting funny. She’s peeing alot, biting her side, her sides have been hollow since i got her and her vagina seems poofier then ever. Also she started bunching over today , really weird. No vaginal discharge. I’m so anxious and don’t want her to kid alone but I’m not sure when it will be, I’m wondering if she’s going into labor soon. Can anyone give me advice? Thanks in advance; A worried momma.

  55. How will i know if the baby goat inside the mother’s belly is alive?

  56. I believe my nubian doe is in labor as we speak. I am glad I found your list because she had discharge 2 days ago. Now she is groaning and laying down and standing up. Hope everything turns out ok! I just wish I knew when to call the vet. I don’t want to call him too soon but I don’t want anything bad to happen either.

  57. galina strelkoff says:

    hi i have a pycashmere goat that is in labor but she dose not have discharge and she is panting and laying down a lot and then i have a pygmy goat that is close too but i want to know how to tell if she is going to have the kids or if they are going to breach in the pycashmere or the pygmy but the pygmy keeps rubbing her butt on the fence and wiping off the discharge so how do i know she is going to give birth she is also laying down and painting a lot but she trying to push but no luck yet what do i do if the kids head gets stuck in the birth cannal i know to call a vet but what if the vet cant come then what do i do i’m new to the whole goat birthing i’ve only done it once so i’m worried please give me advice and thanks a lot

  58. Thanks so much for your wealth of information! I too needed a refresher on signs if labor! We have been through this several times however those silly goats keep us guessing! One of ours (our black one)we knew she was pregnant when we bought her however the other (our light brown one) didn’t show any signs of being pregnant at all! April 3 she delivered a healthy (black and white) billy! No assistance from us! We thought it was the one we knew was pregnant (the black one) and the billy looked so much like her however it wasn’t hers, she is still pregnant and due any day! In the past we have camped out, waited nearby, and well been nervous, anxious, and excited as well as worried! I have found, for us, we have had some amazing nannies! We have only been present at one birth to witness. Most times they just do great on their own without our assistance! In the beginning I think we just may have annoyed the nannies to the point that they waited until we were gone lol. So far we haven’t lost any, so I just like to know when to expect them and leave the rest up to the nanny! The kids bond well with their moms and the nannies seem to allow us to bond as well without bottle feeding. We did have to bottle feed some kids we had purchased and while they bonded with us, they did have some complications. They have since gotten over the complications and are doing great. We do prefer kids to be with their nannies much more though!

  59. Sharon Hatfield says:

    A friend gave us a couple of kiko does and said they were 5 or 6 years old. We didn’t really think about it before putting them with the buck, but this is their first time pregnacies. The first one is showing many of these signs – will it be more difficult for an older doe having her first kid? thanks!

  60. Lorri Davis says:

    Your site is very informative! I had my first kidding last year with my 3 yo Pygmy doe bred with a Nigerian Dwarf. It was both of our first times. :) it was our coldest day in GA, (in Feb) when my daughter went out to check on them and came in screaming that there was a baby in the pen! It was hilarious watching our family to see who could get shoes and coats on the fastest! Momma ended up with triplets and I only had to help with the last one. He ended up breech and I had to turn him. It was one of the scariest moments of my life! Mom and babies came through with flying colors! Now I have 3 Agouti does and my only Pygmy daughter born that day. I’m so excited for them. All of my kids watched and were amazed. It’s great being able to teach them things about animals, life and the world that they would not get any where else! Thanks for all your work on this site!,

  61. Penny Braun says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and experience on what to look for when kidding is about to begin. I have been looking at every goat related web site and watching every YouTube video relating to goat births that I can. Still…… I have been so nervous and excited. You have been a wealth of information, so I feel much better about things. I have 4 pregnant Nigerian Dwarf does and this will be their first kidding experience…. and mine too! One of my gals has a definite red, puffy… loose vulva. Her babies have dropped and she has been pawing at the ground and can’t make up her mind if she wants to stand or lie down. I have been checking her several times a day. The other 3 girls are also showing signs…. but not as much. So it has definitely been a waiting game for us. I do have my kidding box ready to go, w/ supplies: towels, paper towels, kid puller, navel clamps, iodine, lubricant, gloves, scissors, heat lamp, bulb nasal syringe, notebook/pen, vet phone number, etc. But the main concern I have right now is the fact that winter just won’t release her grip. We are due for bad storms, more snow and just real iffy weather over the next couple of days. My biggest worry is that we will not be home and the babies will come during bad weather. How resilient are the kids when they are born? Do first time mamas do a good job of cleaning up and taking care of their babies? We plan to hopefully be present for the births and pull the kids and bottle feed from the beginning. I was told that the sooner we remove the babies after birth, the easier it is for the mama. Could you please share your thoughts on this? My goats came from CAE free herds but b/c I have not tested the goats yet myself, I do want to be safe by removing the babies from the mamas and bottle feeding. Thank you again for this wonderful wealth of information!

  62. Thank you for all this wonderful information and help our Alpine is ready any time to have her kids..today she wasnt acting herself and utter bag is huge..no mucus yet but stools are sticking together not sure if thats normal or not and she is hanging out near the barn usually she runs to the pasture for free range..so today i kept her in the pen with fresh water grain and alfalfa..i have to leave for work in a bit and i hate i have to go feel she is going to have them today and my guy has to be away as well ..but she has fresh straw for bedding and all set i hope…nervous as all heck here our first birth on the farm…

  63. Alex Power says:

    Hi, I am sitting on a chair in the stables as we speak. It is nearly midnight. We live in the middle of the bush in Queensland, Australia. The nearest vet is hours away. My doe, Ginger, is expecting any day now. It was an accidental pregnancy as I didn’t get my baby George castrated early enough. So we don’t actually know when her due date is. Your site has been wonderful though. Her ligaments are completely softened, she is bagged right up, her back is nicely arched and she had stringing this evening when she called me out of the house. She’s always been my sooky girl that lives cuddles but she is worse than ever. I’m not sure anything is going to happen tonight but I will keep checking. She’s not a young goat, I rescued her from becoming someone’s pet food as they didn’t want her anymore. I took in Ginger and a whether called Fred. Since then my brood has grown as word got around that I take in rescue animals. You name it and I’ve probably got it. Lucky we have a rather large farm.
    Thank you for your excellent site that is making this nervous first time goaty grandma a little bit more relaxed.

  64. Thanks for your page, Im awaiting my first kidding as well and getting a little tired as it has been 6 days with my 2 does showing signs of nearly delivery time!! yesterday i put the doe who showed thr most signs in the birthing pen thinking she will go last night, but oh no she wasnt ready!! This morn i came out and she was so vocal i thought right its time but again siting in my chair and ni babies lol. Its been nearly 2 hours since she was loud her valva is puffy she has goop and if off with the pixies so i hope its soon, today is nice and warm for her so fingers crossed as for the other doe she has got all the other goats around her and she is making the bleeping sound she has a good size udder and showed goop a few days ago.
    Im also from queensland Australia!!
    Anything you can tell me would help thanks.

  65. Angeline says:

    Hi. I just got into goats ( and love them) I just send my nannie to a buck and we are getting her back at the end of the month but anyway . I am afraid we might lose the nannie or kids . Please awnser this question I am afraid

    • Of course, you can’t predict the future, but most goat pregnancies and labors end with happy results– so don’t worry too much! If you are really concerned, I’d try to find a knowledgable goat person in your area that can be close by when your goat goes into labor. :)

  66. Velva Leaman says:

    My Nigerian dwarf, Weeza, is pregnant and was bred Feb. 7. Here we are July 14th and she still hasn’t had her babies. She lays down in her nest for hours then gets up and goes outside for hours only to come back and lie down again. This is well over the 150 days. any help would be appreciated.

  67. Rachelle DeCamp says:

    My pygmy goat Tilly is due anytime now. She doesn’t have a big udder or discharge. Lately I did notice while she eats her hay, she paws her bowl and waste her food! She also paws the gate to her pen. She seems to be pawing a lot! My other pregnant goat Lilly is due to kid soon also. She was uninterested in her grain and she layed in her shed all the time. Now she is interested in her grain. She also doesn’t have a big udder or discharge though!

    Any help?

  68. heather smith says:

    hi my name is heather and i have a female fainting goat and she has had a little bit of a white discharge for the past two days and i just checked on her a few minutes ago and she has a little bit of blood in her urine this is my first kidding season and her second pregnancy how long after you the discharge and a little bit of blood in the urine does the goat usually give birth

  69. heather smith says:

    im just woundering its been 3 almost four weeks since my fainting goat had that white discharge when does the labor normally start for the momma goat

  70. I have 12 goats, all pregnant, 5 have delivered so far. Have had these goats a few years now, and never any major problems w/ deliveries. This time I’ve had 2 babies born dead in the sac, another weak and only lasted about 4 hours. Never had a mortality rate like this. I am thinking it has to do with the smaller area I confined the mama goats to this time around, and I’ve remedied that; however, my question has to do with the 2 dead in sacs. One I found too late, it was cold and long gone. The other I caught fairly quickly, and I removed his sac, cleared his airway, rubbed him dry with a towel, and did mouth to mouth and chest compressions. I was sure I was going to be able to save him, but didn’t. Any ideas on why babies are born still in the sac, and what I could have done differently to save him? I have more kidding to go, and I don’t want any more deaths, obviously. Anyone have any ideas?

  71. Carol, my great grandfather kept a small bottle of whiskey handy at lambing season. If he had one that was docile or would not take a breath, he did all the things you mentioned and as a last resort put 1/2 teaspoon or less on its tongue. He saved about half that way.

  72. Kaitlyn N.M. says:

    This has been very helpful! I’ve been taking care of about 10 goats (they come and go!)for 3 years and still forget everything that happens during kidding! Keeping notes is a very good idea! My doe(whom I have only seen kid once) is acting very strange, she keeps on laying down and getting up, then kinda propping her self up on her knees while she is laying down.(Hope you got that! lol) and I’m a little worried. Last time she kidded it was freezing November!
    A little early! Took me by surprise! I think she is trying to surprise me again! But I’m tired of her little surprises! I like being prepared to help her.
    Her belly is raised so HIGH! She looks swollen too! But you see, I can’t tell by her udders…because she’s shooting to be super goat and hasn’t dried up since last year, and she is still producing. But I think she is giving a little more. She is my favorite goat and I know her very well and she is acting just a wee bit odd! Lou Ann always greets me with a kind word or two…but today she seems very quiet. Also last month she surprised me with some mucus…it was quite a lot. I don’t know if that could mean anything.

    Thanks for the help~Kaitlyn~

  73. Cheryl Gusbeth says:

    This our first year at having fresheners. We got our first milking goats last year as first yr fresheners. and also got 3 girls and a fixed buck at 5 days. I milk twice a day now and don’t like it, I do want to try the once in the morning thing now and in March when the first kids are born ( after they get the colostrum ) but I’m not sure if that will work with our space. Right now we have the 2 2yr olds together and we breed them at the same time , our other 3 girls are with their brother ( who is fixed) in the top barn and will be breeding them in January. Can they stay with him? They were all bottle feed and I don’t really want to do that again, but he has always been with them. So did I understand right that each heard can stay together after the kids are born? I don’t think my husband is going to keep any of the kids .I do hope this works out .My husband turned our home into a small farm last year after going blind a few years ago and starting with rabbits. I home school from age 5 to 16 try to teach milking that I have just learned the past 6 or so months, do a lot of driving , milk twice a day, and make as much home made food as I can with our fruit trees and 3 gardens and I have my own engraving business that takes a back seat to it all. But its all good. All of your posts here have helped me soooo much and I thank you .

  74. Bernadette says:

    Hello! I have a milking/birthing question- my girls are due march 18 and both are being milked 1x per day. Since they are our milk source I would like to milk as long as possible- but not compromise the babies nutrition. At what point do we new to stop milking? And should they get some kind of supplements while preggo and milking? They get hay, kelp, minerals and carrots (as milking stand bait ) and baking soda. Do they need grain? Also- do you have a post with a “birthing box” type theme? Thanks for all your info! I love the blog!!!
    Bernadette

    • You’ll need to dry them up about 2 months before they are due to kid again to give their bodies a rest. Make sure they are getting a good goat mineral with an adequate amount of copper in it. Kelp is great also. As far as the grain, it depends on who you talk too. I prefer to just give my goats hay/grass, but many folks do give grain. You’ll need to reduce the amount of grain they are getting when you are trying to dry them up however–so their body will stop producing milk. There is a lot more info on pregnant does on this page too: http://fiascofarm.com/goats/milking.htm

  75. I have 2 first time pregnant nanny goats, Cinnamon and Sugar. They aren’t a year old yet (March 9th is they 1yr bday) and I am somewhat worried about them kidding safely. Do any of you have suggestions for me on this issue? They were bred in September and October and are very healthy and happy goatie goats :) I really enjoyed all the comments and “tips” to check for as they progress. I have a lot of experience with calving and pulling calves but these are my first experience with goats! I hand raised them from 2 days old as their momma died while birthing their triplet brother at the farm in Texas where they came from (a friend of my husbands who didn’t have time to bottle feed the babies and gave the girls to us) Again thanks for all the great info and I look forward to hearing what yall suggest!
    Thanks Thea

  76. stephanie Jarnol says:

    We just bought a house that came with 3 female goat and 2 male. Back in May we where told we needed to get rid of the boys cause of inbreeding. It was not until late July that we finally did. Anyways, we now (dec) we think two of the female could be pregnant. They are all of a sudden super huge in the belly and acting different. Their hips are also sunk in and they almost look anorexic.They keep hoofing at stuff. From what your Blog post says and also the advise of a new friend it sounds like we could be expecting any day now.
    I do have a question.. again being new to the goat and esp birthing kidding what are some of the must have supplies I should have on hand?

  77. Very impressed with the information on this website. I will become a goat mama this summer… 2 pregnant nanny. Sure looking forward to it. Thank you for all this info.

  78. This is my first time around with my goat. she is young too. she is showing signs of labor. She is urinating often, her stomach tenses up for a little bit then relaxes, she buts her head against the wall, her ligaments are softening, she made a weird noise I never heard before{ not the typical baah sound},she is more clingy to us right now. I am just wondering if she is actually in labor or just getting ready to go in labor? If she is in labor what sort of time frame could we be looking at before she gets ready to give birth? Anything you could say would be helpful. Thanks

  79. Brandy Lewis says:

    My doe is expecting triplets for the second year. LAst year her ligaments did not completely disappear until an hour before birth. I took a quick lunch and came back to triplets. I read goats yawn and I have noticed all my goats yawning before birthing. I have pictures its so funny!

  80. Kimberly White says:

    I’ve just come from my LaMancha doe giving birth and thought I’d share her birthing signs. She is a pacer, pawer, and an up and downer, another words she’s restless! Aprox an hour or so prior to birthing, she spends a lot of time voiding both her bladder and bowels. Her vulva puckers aprox 24 to 36 hours prior to labor beginning and she has the glassy eye look when a contraction hits. Her ligaments thin out about 24 hours prior to labor setting in, she hollows out and drops and bags up to. One thing I’ve noticed that I’ve not seen mentioned is aprox 15 to 20 minutes before deliver, while voiding her bowels, I have noticed that the lips to her vagina will begin to separate ever so slightly as she poops. Once I see this, I know birthing is eminent!! She delivered a healthy baby boy at 10:30 this morning!! One more thing, once pushing in earnest begins, she is very vocal to. :) Hope my observations help someone with their goats birthing experience. God Bless and Good Luck!

  81. My family are expecting at least three babies and possibly nine, hopefully all healthy and happy. We have three pygmy does and a male two of the does are twin sisters that are just now one and the other one is three years old. All of them are first time mommies and after having my own child almost eleven years ago my husband and I are worried. Our daughter can’t wait to see the babies and play with them when they are old enough, she plays with our other goats. Between my husband and I helping on his parents farm and reading the comments and info on here, and the info on Fioas Co Farm site, we feel more confident about what’s going to start happening soon. Heidi the older doe is due first and has started acting stranger, than normal. We got her from a relative and always has been odd. But she has been more friendlier and has done more laying down and being lazy. Usually she is flighty, hence Heidi Flighty. Our twins we got when they were young, two months old and were very tame. We can pick them up and they climb on our laps. They are very friendly still and are behind Heidi by about two-three weeks. We are guessing Heidi will have her kids this Friday or by next Friday, depending on whether or not the Full Moon effects goats like it does cows and usually humans. We are hoping for no problems and will post on here as progress happens. So far all of their udders have been filling up, Heidi’s has started leaking milk, but not the other two. Their ligaments have started becoming softer in the past month. The male was first with them the 1st of October, and Heidi was on his date list the first day, then Velma, and then Daphney. Heidi’s belly has started to drop and her tail has started to look different the past day or two. Velma and Daphney’s aren’t quite as far along their bellies are still higher and we don’t think they are carrying twins, if they are they are smaller, unless they gain more weight in the last weeks. Does anyone know how big a pygmy baby usually is and if twins and triplets are earlier? Just nervous and anxious to finally see our babies and start our bigger farm. Our cat seems completely amazed by the goats and has always been out with them. The other day I think the goats were trying to get Oscar the cat to knock the box of treats off the roof of the shed so they could hide them while my daughter and I cleaned out their building, so they could eat them later. It looked pretty obvious when they are looking up at the box and the cat Is boxing the box around towards the edge, and they are going “BaaaaaaaaHHHHHHHHH!” All of our animals are so odd, as are everyone’s I’m sure. All I can say is they must have had a craving.

  82. Our goat Jilly Bean is pregnant she is due anytime now. This is her first pregnancy. I have been noticing her body changes her udders have gotten big and the nipples have began to point to the sides which I have heard is a good sign that it wont be too long. But today I have noticed the hay in the barn has been scattered and she is bleating a lot. she also seems to have a bit of discharge not much. She keeps throwing her head back and biting her sides. She is also brushing her sides against the hay bails and she is pushing her bottom against it too. her sides are sunken in and are squishy she wont let me check her tail ligaments but the other day she did and they were loose from what I could tell. Her tail isn’t lifting at all and she keeps squatting to urinate even though she does urinate some of the times she only has a few drops at other times but she is squatting every 5 mins Im not sure if this could be that kidding is going to happen very soon or not since this is her first. What are your thoughts do you think she could kid soon.

  83. This has been very helpful. I like the idea of keeping “labor notes” for the goats. This will be the second time my goats are having babies and I’m sure it won’t be the last. :)

  84. I got a oops baby I bought my goat at the end of November last year to find out I bought her pregnant. This will be my first experiencing kidding but im concerned not sure if this is normal or not but my doe rose udder was full and tight these past weeks and I went to the barn today and its empty idk if that’s means she’s going to Kidd soon or what?? Can some more experience help me or tell me what going on should I be concerned or is she going to have to kid soon or what?? Please help this is my very first time!!