There are many signs that your goat is coming into labor. However, just like in women, every goat and every labor is different. I have had three children and have never spoken to another women who has had an experience just like any of mine. I said that to say this: These are the signs that your doe is coming close to kidding. Not every goat will show every sign, and you have to be watching pretty closely to see any of them. So use them as mile markers, and don’t worry if you never see her do some of them.
- Your doe will bag up. Starting as much as weeks before the birth, her bag will begin to fill. The last few hours before she gives birth, the doe’s bag will suddenly get very full and tight.
- The doe will ‘loosen up’ before she kids. This term refers to the condition of the vulva. A goat’s vulva is normally kind of puckered as though it has a draw string in the middle. When they are in heat, or especially when they are getting ready to kid, the vulva will get loose and open.
- She will walk around and try to stand with her front feet on a little higher level than her back feet. She will not sleep, act uncomfortable and be generally unhappy.
- The doe will look at her belly as though it belongs to someone else. She may kick at it or rub it with her head.
- One of the most obvious signs is that there will be a long string of clear yellowish mucus hanging almost to the floor. Some goats have a discharge for several days before they give birth, but if you have been watching, you will see that this is different.
- Eventually she will lay down and give a big push. Then jump up and walk around. Then lay down and give another push. Many does become very vocal about this time. Eventually she will get serious.
- If all goes well (which, by the way, it usually does with healthy goats) you will soon see a bag of water protruding from the vulva. Soon the water will break or be expelled and another bag will appear. This one has a kid in it. If you are watching you will soon see two little hooves and a nose.
Plate 3: Once the shoulders are born the kid will usually just slide
out in one slurp.
Plate 4: Then, pull the newspaper with the kid on it around to the mother’s
head and let her lick the kid