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Breeding Goats and Kidding: A Complete Guide

all about breeding goats and kidding

When you are raising goats, it’s inevitable to start breeding them. If you are new to goat kidding, here are basic things you need to know all about breeding goats and kidding.

Goat kidding is not an easy task, and you may need the help of experts. There are many things to consider that require more in-depth knowledge and experience.

For instance, you should know when to breed goats or how long are goats pregnant. What should you prepare before goat birth?

Breeding goats and kidding is a big responsibility. You have both the lives of the doe and kid in your hand, and not to mention your source of profit and consumption. 

The best thing about goats kidding is that you’ll have an additional set of hoofs running around.

Your doe will produce goat milk, and you can start breeding the kid as soon as it reaches the right goat breeding age. 

Through goat breeding, you can acquire as many goats as you want and make the most profit out of them.

However, to be successful in goat kidding, you must first know all about breeding goats and kidding in this article!

ALSO READ: All You Need To Know About Goat Farming

goat kidding showing live goat birth

All About Breeding Goats and Kidding

You probably got one of those pregnant goats for sale, or you may have bred two of your goats. What’s next?

Better expect to have kids soon! And no, these are not little human kids, but it’s what baby goats are called (just in case you didn’t know).

The process of goats giving birth is called ‘kidding.’ So, you shouldn’t be surprised or confused reading this term throughout the blog. 

Goats are sensitive mothers, and you should well take care of them.

Knowing the basics of goat breeding is the essential first step to make sure goat birth becomes successful and that both doe and kid are healthy.

Breeding Age of Goats

When is a goat ready to breed? This is what most goat farmers ask when they plan to breed their goats to expand the herd. 

The ideal goat breeding age would depend on their health and weight. Farmers would breed theirs as early as 7 months for most cases.

On average, the goat breeding age is from 10 to 12 months old. However, a better practice requires breeding adults who have achieved 70% to 75% of their mature weight

If you’re still doubtful about breeding goats, you don’t need to worry much about the specific goat breeding age.

As long as your does are well fed and sufficiently large, they can be mated with an equally healthy male.

Still, it’s highly discouraged to breed a doe in her first heat as young as 5 months. She may stop growing and never reach her mature weight if you do.

Early goat pregnancy will also decrease their life span and a high risk of abortion. The doe may also experience low milk production and the kid’s death upon giving birth.

If you want to skip worrying about this aspect in goat breeding, you can directly get pregnant goats for sale.

This way, they are already in the right goat breeding age, and you can start watching out for goat kidding signs onwards.

Goat Breeding Preparation

Once your does are already in the proper goat breeding age, you should make sure they are ready for the season. You will have additional needs to sustain their health and the kids’.

Vaccinate 4 to 6 weeks before goat breeding. Vaccination boosts your goat’s immunity which can later be passed to the newborn kid.

Deworming your goats is a must before goat kidding. Nannies with a high worm count may not reach the ideal mature weight for breeding goats and kids.

Flushing your nanny refers to feeding her sufficiently a few weeks before breeding. Some farmers even give more medicine to their doe to ensure successful mating and multiple births.

One thing to remember in goat breeding is that does should not be bred while lactating.

If she is past her goat lactation period after three months since kidding, then you can set her up for another breeding session. 

Before goat kidding, you should be able to identify the heat signs among nannies.

This period lasts from 12 to 48 hours, and the doe should be mated within 24 hours since the onset of the heat signs.

Ovulation among nannies starts from 12 to 36 hours since the first sight of heat signs, which are:

  • Clear to white discharge on doe’s vulva
  • Frequent bleating
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent urination
  • Mounts other goats or gets mounted on

Goat Pregnancy Management

If your doe hasn’t been mated or has failed conception while she was in heat, the cycle begins every three weeks again.

However, if your doe got pregnant, you need to ensure your goat is consistently in good health for goat kidding. 

Pregnant goats should not be exposed to stress, so it’s best to avoid transporting or moving them around. Make sure to provide them with constant access to clean water.

If you wonder how long goats are pregnant, the gestation period is approximately five months or ranges from 146 to 155 days.

You should see goat pregnancy signs a day or two before kidding.

But before that happens, give your goat about 500 grams of concentrates and proper shelter at least two months prior.

Preparation Kidding Season

When goat birth finally comes, it could be a stressful moment for both farmer and doe. However, some farmers see goat kidding as a joyous and exciting moment. 

Either way, you should be looking for goat kidding signs at this point if it’s only a few days away from goat birth.

You may need to find a separate space that is dry, well-ventilated, draft-free, and full of clean straw.

One of the distinct goat labor signs is their udders. They appear glossy than dull and tend to tighten.

You will also see the doe’s vulva begin to look flabby as one of the common goat kidding signs. If this happens, you better brace yourself for the most awaited moment to come!

goat kidding how many babies do goats have twins

Goat Labor Signs and Stages

How does a goat give birth? Goat kidding occurs after 5 months of successful breeding, where the kid is born through the doe’s vulva.

However, the doe will still undergo three stages of labor along with several goat labor signs.

The first one is seeing your doe restless, looking back at her side, and having white discharge on their vulva.

The first goat kidding signs may last in a few hours or up to 24 hours. The second stage of labor involves your doe pushing and in pain.

You may see the water bag break in the second stage and start seeing a glimpse of the nose or toes of the kid.

If you are still wondering how a goat gives birth, the doe pushes the kid out and may appear in several newborn positions.

A standard delivery involves seeing the nose on top of the toes during goat birth. Otherwise, you might need to assist the doe in her delivery.

Upon aiding in goat kidding, make sure your hands are clean and free from any jewelry. Both doe and kid may die from an infection upon goat birth. 

Once the kid is out, let the doe attend to it by licking out the mucus on the nostrils, or you wipe it yourself.

Make sure the kid gets to suckle the colostrum (first milk released by the doe) within 30 minutes or not beyond 3 hours since goat kidding.

kid drinking milk during goat lactation period

Post-Natal Care of a Newborn Kid

Now that you and your doe have gone through goat kidding, the hard part is probably over, right? Wrong.

There are some post-natal care tasks you need to do for the newborn kid and doe. For instance, make sure clean water is always accessible for both.

You can create a separate kid pen where the little ones can rest, play, and suckle.

When it comes to feeding, let the kids suckle milk as much as they want in the first week, but you can start giving goat feeds in the second week.

The average goat lactation period ranges up to 280 days. Kids are usually weaned in the fourth month or whenever they seem to be well-developed. 

Due to the limited goat lactation period, some kids are fed with milk bottles, but this always poses a health risk.

Nonetheless, most farmers make the most out of the goat lactation period by harvesting milk for cheese and other dairy products.

ALSO READ: How To Milk A Goat

 Breeding Goats and Kidding, Just The Facts

Goat breeding and kidding can be an overwhelming situation for farmers. This is certainly not the task for easily nauseated or faint-hearted people.

If you still have a few questions before breeding your goats, here are a few of them answered. After all, it pays to be extra prepared for goat kidding.

What Is A Doe Goat?

You may have read the term “doe” many times in this article. If you are still confused until now, a female goat is called a “doe” or “nanny.”

Female goats that haven’t reached puberty from 4 to 12 months are often called “doeling.” As for the male goats, they are commonly called “bucks.”

goat breeding when can you breed a goat after kidding

When Can You Breed a Goat After Kidding?

Goat kidding can happen every 7 months, given that there is always successful mating. Your doe will need some time to regain its strength and take care of its kids.

You also can’t breed them during the goat lactation period. It’s usually after 3 months since goat kidding that a doe can be bred again. 

What to Give Goats Before Breeding?

Flushing usually happens before breeding goats and kids. This refers to providing more feed and extra nutrition to your does.

A best practice is to put more concentrates and grains into your doe’s feed.

You can also add supplements after consulting with your vet. Without flushing, your does may end up weak or risk having an abortion before goat kidding.

How Long Does Goat Labor Take?

Goat labor signs can last from 12 to 24 hours, depending on the progress and health of the doe. In typical cases, the average labor time is approximately 12 hours.

The delivery or goat kidding is usually done in 30 minutes. It only takes longer if the kid has a more difficult fetal position or problems with goat birth.

How Often Do Goats Have Babies?

The average gestation period in goats is about 5 months. Still, breeding a goat and kidding once a year is highly encouraged.

Does are at their kidding peak until the 5 to 7 years of goat breeding age. If you want to make the most out of it, you can breed them twice every 18 months.

goat birth to two small cute baby goats

How Many Babies Do Goats Have?

Does can give birth to 1 or 2 kids in their first pregnancy. The number increases as their age does.

Goat kidding can result in twins in almost every second pregnancy. However, the litter could expand to triplets and even quadruplets. 

All About Breeding Goats and Kidding And Our Final Thoughts

Goat kidding is one of the most exciting moments you can have with your does. However, breeding goats and kidding are not as easy as most people think.

That’s why this article is all about breeding goats and kids. That explains how you can prepare yours does before goat breeding.

Before goat birth, you learned what to do and identified the goat kidding signs.

Once you have a good overview about when to breed goats and how many babies do goats usually have, you can start a breeding plan for your does.

This way, you can estimate the additional feeds and costs that breeding and kidding may take.

It may seem a lot to take in for now, but you’d be amazed at the process of goat birth. Also, goats’ kidding could be the best thing for you and your business!

Raising Goats

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