How Long Are Goats Pregnant?

Last Updated: 18.11.19

 

If you are planning to start an activity involving goats, you might want to know what goat milking machine might be suitable for your purposes. However, before that, you can look for more info here in order to see other details on more pressing matters when it comes to these animals, namely keeping them within a certain space.  

If you already have some goats, you might be wondering what particularities their reproductive cycle has. If that’s the case, here you’ll find all the relevant details you need to know.

Goats usually reach their reproductive maturity before the age of one year. That means that when they are around 7 or 8 months old, you can start thinking about breeding them. In terms of the breeding cycle, this is usually a bit longer and the embryos tend to implant slower than in the case of other farm animals, such as sheep.

 

Pregnancy duration

The average duration of a goat’s pregnancy is of 150 days, meaning around 5 months. In some cases, goats can deliver earlier, at around 142 days, while in others they can take up to 155 days. If, for example, your goat gets pregnant at the beginning of August, she will most probably deliver around January 1st.

It’s hard to determine the exact day in which a goat will deliver, since this process depends on a wide range of factors, including the diet, genes, as well as on the environment or stress levels throughout pregnancy. What you can do is watch her closely and notice the first signs that might appear.

It’s crucial that you keep a close eye on her as the delivery date approaches (namely all the time after day 142) in order to make sure that you are prepared when the time comes. Moreover, if anything goes wrong, you will be able to react in a timely manner and probably ensure both her health and that of the baby goat.

 

 

Early pregnancy

If you want to know how you can tell whether a goat is pregnant, the first step is to keep a heat schedule and have some data previously recorded. This way you will know her particularities in this matter and you will be able to quickly know if anything is changing. You need to keep in mind that, just as women are different, goats as well can have different cycles.

If you’ve already done that and there is no sign of heat although normally the time would be right, then there is a very good chance that she is expecting. If you are still not sure, you can ask for a vet’s opinion.

However, no one will know your goat’s particularities and habits as well as you do, so listening to your instinct is a good idea, of course while also taking the medical advice into account.

Once you’ve established that the goat is indeed pregnant, from that moment on you need to take good care of her and make sure that no stress factors appear in her environment. You also need to adapt the diet in order to make sure that she gets through the first part of this process with everything she needs.

In this case as well, you can talk to a vet and see what aspects you should keep in mind as you feed her. You might also need to add some supplements into her food, but following an expert’s advice is the best way to establish if this is indeed necessary.

For the first 52 days after the conception took place, the embryo is working on properly implanting, which means that this period is critical for a successful pregnancy.

 

During pregnancy

If your goat is past the embryo attaching period and everything is ok, then chances are that everything will be just fine until the delivery day. Just as is the case with any type of babies in general, no matter the breed or the species, baby goats first form their structure and then start growing in size.

According to many researches on this topic, approximately 70% of a baby goat’s growth actually happens in the last 50 days of pregnancy. What this means for you is that during those last months before the due date you need to ensure extra food and comfort.

You might not even be sure for how many babies she is actually eating, since multiple births are not uncommon for goats. If you do ensure the necessary quantity and quality of food, then the kids will be able to grow strong even before birth, while the doe shouldn’t have problems producing enough milk to feed them.

 

 

Labor signs

As the delivery day approaches, you want to keep an eye for signs that announce the imminent moment. Goats usually tend to look for out-of-the-way places and separate themselves from the other ones as they are getting ready to deliver.

You might also notice a certain restlessness during those days. While the signs can start a couple of days earlier than the actual delivery moment, once you notice them, keep her under close watch.

Since goats’ pregnancies are not really very different from human ones, just as a woman’s belly gets bigger and the muscles start loosening in order to make way for the baby to get out, the same happens for goats, as well.

You might even notice the baby goat repositioning within the belly as the delivery day gets very close.

 

Breeding cycles

Just to have a general idea on what the breeding cycles are throughout a year, goats tend to go into heat starting July until December, once every 21 days. While this is fairly often, the window of opportunity for breeding is rather small, since we’re talking about 24 to 36 hours during which the mating can take place.

Moreover, this favorable period usually takes place towards the end of the cycle, meaning that she could get pregnant on the last days. During the entire period there are signs that tell you she is in heat, and the most common ones consist of discharge from the vulva, frequent tail wagging, as well as general agitation and pacing up and down the fence.

 

 

 

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