Predicting Goat Kidding; or, Why My Goats Think I'm Nuts


Belle and HeidiI think trying to predict when kids are going to be born is part guesswork, part science, and part voodoo. I’ve been checking the prospective mothers to be and have been stymied. I generally know when they will give birth (I keep my does in with the buck several days to ensure that it took), but honestly, it all becomes guess and by golly. So I’ve resorted to “tried and true” methods for trying to guess when the little ones are coming out.


By the book: All the books and all the other goat owners have assured me that if the ligaments on the flank that lie either side of the tail have disappeared, kidding will commence in 24 hours. It’s even considered a “sure-fire method” of figuring out when the kid is coming out.

Reality: The ligaments in the tail and along the sides of the tail disappear and reappear all the time leading up to kidding. By this method, one of my does has been kidding the past three weeks.


By the book: Discharge is supposed to go from cloudy to clear. Kidding is then imminent

Reality: My goats are fleeing from me because I keep looking at their backsides. They’re yelling “pervert!” with each bleat. Most of them don’t have any discharge at all up until birthing. Then pop! There comes a kid.

Developing Udders

By the book: The udder will maybe start to fill, but could fill any time in the last month.

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