Reflections from Our First Goat Kidding Season, Part 2


Ginger Chilling

We left off Part One with some pretty high expectations and excitement over the upcoming arrival of our first baby goat(s). Sometimes in life things truly don’t go the way you build them up in your head. We had our go tote all prepared and even added a few more items along the way. As Ginger’s due date neared our anticipation grew. We watched over her hoping to catch any signs that the time was near. As her due date came and went, it was as if my emotional balloon had a slow leak. When is this baby coming? Is everything ok? The weekend brought more questions than answer with it. When no signs of labor were seen I made a call to our Veterinarian, sadly he was not taking after hour calls. Therefore, we waited impatiently through the weekend.  

The Usual Signs of goat labor:

Some become aggressive 
The doe begins to paw and build a nest
Vaginal discharge
Loose tail ligaments
Appears restless
Stares off into space
Curls upper lip
Licks and bites her sides
Sides hollow out
Bottom of the belly gets lower
Udders begin to fill
Vulva becomes flabby
Bleats and wines
Grinds Teeth
Breathes Faster
Goes off by herself
Acts uncomfortable
Loss of appetite

Such a mixed bag of symptoms. With each passing hour, I became more confused and worried. I began to think of other possible resources I could count on for guidance. 

The Internet Experts

I began to read the goat forums and converse with other goat owners who had much more knowledge than me. They all began to chime in with amazing advice and questions. The problem lied with their advice was way over my head. I was told check her ligaments. Check for what? Well after watching a bunch of YouTube videos, the ligaments feel different as they get close to labor I learned. They make it seem easy but the truth of the matter is, I had no idea what they felt like before. So, how would I know they were different? So, that theory was out the door, it just made me more confused. The next piece of advice was see if she dilated. Um No! I have no clue what a cervix is supposed to feel like dilated or not. I started thinking am I supposed to just know this stuff? Then I was asked has she bagged up? This one I could answer no, her teats seemed fuller but no bag. Is she acting different? Other than her being seemingly annoyed with me, not really. Can you feel the baby? I followed the instructions and placed my hands upon her stomach just up from her teats. I felt nothing. Did she lose the baby at some point? Did she absorb the baby? I didn’t even know that was a thing.

3/21/2018 8:35:53 AM

Thank you so much for the comment. I can’t tell you how nice it feels to have someone know what you’re going through.

3/21/2018 8:35:51 AM

I can’t not tell you how much this comment mean to me. Thank you, you are so kind.

3/16/2018 1:41:18 PM

I was right where you are! I don't have a "goat mentor"; I dove into goats all by myself - and my husband is more-or-less a "if it's in the barn, you're on your own" type of person. So, I had no mentor, no goat experience, and no extra hands or thoughts; it's been a wild ride, but you do learn a thing or two along the way. It's taken me lost kids, absorbed pregnancies, aborted sets, and more than my share of researching. What helped me through all of it was that goats are unique creatures, understanding your INTENT rather than your SUCCESS. No matter how badly I felt I failed my "babies", they always came to me with the same devotion, somehow internally knowing that I'd done my best, even if it was far below exceptional. Keep your chin up!

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