For every breeder, it is exciting seeing your goat get pregnant. Yippee, a new kid is about to join the crew, and you can’t wait to hear its tender bleat when it is born! Admittedly, for new breeders, they would be curious, “how long will the goat be pregnant?”
Commonly, a goat’s pregnancy can last anywhere from 145 days to 155 days, with 150 days being the average. For some goat breeds, it is way longer, as an Alpine goat’s pregnancy could last 197 days, while a Toggenburg goat can be pregnant for up to 179 days. Aside from the breed, the litter weight, its environment and litter size could influence the length of your goat’s pregnancy.
Managing a pregnant goat requires you to have detailed knowledge not only of how long they are pregnant but also how to identify a pregnant goat, the befitting age to breed your female goat, and what time of the year they give birth.
What Time of Year Do Goats Give Birth?
Let us start by pointing out that goats are (most of the time) fall breeders. This means you can expect them to enter their heat cycles anywhere between after August to February.
Give or take by March, if your goat has taken in, you should see some early signs of pregnancy.
At What Age Can Female Goats Get Pregnant?
It is dangerous to breed underage goats. A female goat will attain sexual maturity between 6-9 months. She would be ripe for breeding by the time she enters her first estrus cycle and consequently ovulates.
How Long After Giving Birth Can Goats Get Pregnant?
The truth is, there is no definitive time for a goat to get pregnant after delivering her kids. For the goat to take in again, she fundamentally has to enter her estrus cycle.
Yes, this would not take long after kidding, but it is generally recommended to allow your goat a reasonable break (between pregnancies) to relax and recuperate.
What you may not know is that gestation, delivery, and lactation are physically and emotionally exerting for your goat. This explains why she should be adequately rested after birth before getting pregnant again.
How Often Do Goats Go into Heat?
Goats are fall breeders. This is when they enter heat. Within this fall period (spanning September to February), every 18-24 days, your female goat will enter its estrus cycle.
A typical heat period will span a half-day or even as long as two days. This is generally known as the goat’s standing heat. Within 12-36 hours after the standing heat period starts, your goat starts ovulating.
How Do You Tell if a Goat is Pregnant?
Here, we will identify the four most prominent signs of a pregnant goat.
You Would Notice Belly Protrusions
Unquestionably, this is the most obvious way of telling a pregnant goat. A goat whose pregnancy has substantially developed experiences body changes, with its right side swelling out compared to its left side.
Normally, if your goat’s left side is swollen, it is most likely because its rumen is filled. But a swelling right is more associated with pregnancy.
Yes, your goat’s left and right sides could simultaneously swell. In such a scenario, it is probably carrying at least two kids. At this point, your goat’s belly looks more like a loaded boat.
Now, if this is not the first time your goat is conceiving, it wouldn’t necessarily swell on the side but instead, swell at the base of its belly. This gives its belly a sagged appearance.
Belly protrusion is a sign of late-term pregnancies. In some cases – typically in older goats – their bellies would barely swell until about six weeks to labor.
Your Doe Will Not Return to Heat
Suppose your goat has not taken in, it should experience her heat when her next estrus cycle comes around. Remember, we nailed a goat’s heat cycle between 18-24 days (within the breeding season).
So if you have been fervently calculating your doe’s estrus cycle and 18-24 days after the last cycle, it doesn’t return to heat, chances are high that your goat was successfully bred and pregnant.
You Could Notice Shifts in Your Goat’s Temperament
Just as it is obtainable in humans, pregnancy in goats comes with changes in demeanor. Yes, it is the hormones talking again. A pregnant goat experiences spikes in its progesterone levels.
This leads to changes in the goat’s typical personality. Your pregnant woman – whom before pregnancy used to be very lively, social, and the jump-all-over-your-body type – could suddenly withdraw from you.
Such a pregnant goat could unusually become aggressive when you make friendly overtures at it, even scratching you. Investigate her more keenly, she could be pregnant.
Your Goat’s Udders Get Fuller
Significantly round swellings in your doe’s udders are most suggestive of pregnancy. If it is your goat’s first time getting pregnant, you should notice her udders getting rounder by six weeks after settling.
By the third month of gestation, her udders would have fully rounded. In cases of older goats that have lactated before, it may take about four weeks (even just days) before labor, before their udders start filling up.
What Should Pregnant Goats Eat?
Given the significant nourishment needs of a pregnant goat, she should be fed an adequately balanced diet. Their diet should comprise premium pasture, medium-quality hay, and befitting goat minerals.
Do Goats Lay Down to Give Birth?
Not all goats lay down when giving birth. Some stand, and some even deliver their kids while working around.
Can a Sheep Impregnate a Goat?
It is rare – but not impossible – for a sheep to impregnate a goat. In most cases, what results from a mating of a goat and sheep is stillborn. This can be best explained by the gulf of genetic disparity between goats and sheep.
That said, in 2000, an unprecedented successful mating of a sheep and a goat occurred in the Botswana Ministry of Agriculture. A ram impregnated a doe. This unique hybrid mixed the chromosomal makeup of a sheep and a goat, ending with 57 chromosomes.
Its body was heavy like a sheep, but its legs were long like a goat’s. Its inner coat was wooly, but its outer coat was noticeably coarse. However, the hybrid was infertile.
Is Ivermectin Safe for Pregnant Goats?
It is safe to administer ivermectin to a pregnant goat moderately.
Are la-200 and Cydectin Safe for Pregnant Goats?
Cydentic – being an anthelmintic – is not totally safe for your pregnant goat. While most farmers have proclaimed not noticing any side effects when they administer cydectin to their pregnant does, it is best to seek the approval of a veterinarian before giving your pregnant goat such anthelmintic. The same applies to la-200.
Is Corid Safe for Pregnant Goats?
Corid is not recommended for pregnant goats.
Is Valbazen Safe for Pregnant Goats?
While valbazen’s efficacy against tapeworms is beyond doubt, Benzimidazoles (a category to which valbazen belongs) should not be administered to a pregnant goat or a kidding goat.
What Shots Do Pregnant Goats Need?
Vaccination is most critical for your pregnant goat during the last weeks of gestation. It is recommended to give your doe the CD (Clostridium Perfringens type C and D) and Clostridium tetani vaccine.
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