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If you breed goats then you may find your self wondering “How to tell if my goat is pregnant“. After all you can not care for the doe properly if you don’t know what state she is in. The gestation period for a female goat or doe is about five months or 150 days on average, give or take five days.
For those who are breeding goats, it is important to know when they become pregnant because they will require additional nutrition.
Without additional food, especially during the third trimester they may suffer from serious health conditions and in some cases, they may die from ketosis. It’s also important to know when they are pregnant because you will need to stop milking them about two months before they give birth to their kids.
Tips To Identify a pregnant goat.
Here are a few tips that will help you spot a pregnant doe so that you will know when to stop milking and provide more nutrition for their diet.
The good news is that goats are hearty creatures and if you simply provide what they need, they will do the rest in taking care of themselves. Remember, goats have been giving birth on farms and ranches for many thousands of years, so they only require a little assistance from you.
Call a Veterinarian
Your local vet can do a blood test to determine if the doe is pregnant. This is usually the most reliable way to know if the goat has become pregnant, although there are false positives that may result thanks to the larger belly and other factors.
If you want to be sure, an ultrasound is the way to go. However, ultrasounds are expensive and may not be worth the cost depending on your finances.
Unlike humans where pregnancy is often easily spotted, especially in the later months, a doe may not grow much in size at all even in the latter stages of pregnancy. In fact, you may mistake a goat for being pregnant when it has simply gained a little weight.
You will probably not see any changes in the size of the abdomen until about three months into the pregnancy. Keep in mind that there are other signs that your goat is pregnant, so you will want to combine all the information first before you concluded that doe is pregnant.
This may not be the most pleasant test, but it is an accurate indication of whether the doe is pregnant. When you know that the goat is not pregnant, check to see the shape of their vulva which is located near their anus.
You can take a smartphone picture if you like, particularly if you have several goats and want to keep track. Once you suspect the goat is in the second or third month of the pregnancy, check the area again for any changes.
If the doe is pregnant, the anus will be further away from the tail and the vulva will be tear-shaped. This is pooching or the pooch test and is a far more accurate way to tell if the goat is pregnant compared to the overall size of the goat.
However, keep in mind that you need a “before” picture to tell the difference otherwise it is possible that the doe is not pregnant.
Caring For a Pregnant Goat.
Taking care of the doe during this stage means making sure they have good shelter and reducing their stress levels so that they do not accidentally abort the kids.
You’ll want to increase their food supply towards the final two months of their term, and as the vet for additional energy if the doe is pregnant during cold or cooler weather.
The early indications of pregnancy are not always apparent and vary depending on the doe. You simply need to be observant and combine different observations that include the pooch test, increase in abdominal size, and a visit from the vet to be sure.
Once you are sure, the next step is to look for the signs of the doe about to give birth. The good news here is that the signs become increasingly obvious so you stand a better chance of seeing what is about to happen.
Signs of Mucus
If you have missed the other signs, stringy mucus that comes from the back of the doe is a definite indication that labor is on the way. The goat may give birth in a few days to just a few hours.
However, not all does will release stringy mucus before they give birth. But if you see it, then it’s a sure indication that the goat is ready to have a kid.
The udder tends to increase in size as they are about to give birth. This usually occurs several hours before the birthing process depending on the goat. However, the udder will also seem quite solid and will shine which are other indications that the birth is quite close.
One unusual indication which often occurs with does about to give birth is that they will start searching for their young even before they are born.
This is an instinctive reaction which occurs in the mother-to-be which is often accompanies by bleating. If it looks like the doe is looking for their kids, then get ready for the birthing process to begin.
Other indications include the doe experiencing mood swings which is not unlike what women who are pregnant go through before the birth of a child. A doe that seems extra cranky or in a bad mood that goes beyond their normal behavior may be an indication of something about to happen.
Swings in mood are more of an indication of when a goat is about to give birth rather than just a sign of pregnancy. After all, goats are not always even tempered whether they are pregnant or not.
How To Tell If my Goat is Pregnant?
Basically, taking care of a pregnant doe is much like taking care of a goat that is not pregnant, you just need to be a little more observant and feed them more during the latter part of their term.
By taking a few extra precautions, especially during the winter which is a hard time for goats, they can birth healthy kids which will contribute to your farm or ranch.