How Long Are Goats Pregnant For? Goat And Kid Facts For Your Kiddies

Deepthi Reddy
Jan 31, 2023 By Deepthi Reddy
Originally Published on Oct 23, 2021
Fact-checked by Nishtha Dixit
A pair of Nubian goats in the forest.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.8 Min

Do you have a goat on your farm and are confused about what to expect when your goat is pregnant?

The gestation period of most animals varies and is longer than humans. Therefore, if you have goats and plan to breed them, it is important you know all about their pregnancy.

The cutest and most cuddly farm animal award would definitely go to a goat. Although they aren't your usual pets like dogs and cats, they are certainly domestic and of immense use to humans.

A lot is surrounding a goat's life, starting from raising and breeding as a branch of animal husbandry to obtaining milk, fiber, meat, and skins.

Goat's milk is very nutritious and is considered one of the best kinds of milk available in the world.

The best part is that the goats can even suffice their needs on low-grazing land, so you can continue keeping the other animals without compromising on their needs. There's a lot about goat breeding covered in this article so continue reading to enhance your knowledge of goats.

Despite being domestic animals, they have minimal needs to be cared for, such as milking them until they are dry if they are not nursing any of their kids. They are also known to be escape artists, so ensure proper safety arrangements.

Lastly, and most importantly, have a good mineral supply, which is essential for their diet.

The reason being is that their sensitive digestive systems, are prone to bloat if their systems are upset, which can be fatal. Another crucial thing to keep in mind is to have a known veterinary on your speed dial since it can be difficult to find specialized vets to take care of these small ruminants.

For first-time breeders deciding whether to breed the doe, includes a list of factors. Factors like physical maturity, have the teats formed?

Is the overall growth finished, and has the weight reached an optimal range for kidding? You should also look at the udder conformation.

Despite most 'bucks' and 'does' reaching their sexual maturity by 5-6 months of age, it's recommended to wait until 8-12 months before breeding them.

A pro tip: if you have a doe that is smaller in size, make sure you choose a buck that is also smaller; otherwise, it will be painful labor for the goat while kidding much larger baby goats.

Are you finding this article informative and enjoying reading it? Then check out our blogs on how long are horses pregnant? And how long do goats live? To learn more about the lifestyle of your domestic animals.

Can goats have twins?

An essential step in figuring out how long goats are pregnant is to identify their breed. Different breeds have different lengths of gestation periods.

For example, the gestation period of an Alpine goat is about 145 days, and for a Toggenburg goat up to 150 days. The average pregnancy period is about 150 days; however, it may take a few more weeks based on the breed.

In general, you could conclude the pregnancy time for goats to be around five months long. The delivery time can again vary 7-8 days early or late.

If your goat is expecting, then it is highly likely that she will bear goat kids rather than just a single kid. While there are breeds of goats that bear a single baby goat, the probability of having kids is always higher.

In fact, does mostly bear twins or even triplets at times. There have also been cases where goats give birth to five kids!

Goat Breeding Age

The breeding season is about to begin, and you are about to start breeding them, well it's highly recommended you wait for the suitable breeding age of your goats. Regardless of a 'buck' or 'doe,' the typical breeding age does not vary much and it is pretty much the same.

The female goats or doelings that are 12 months old or less are capable physically of giving birth to kids. In fact, just four months into the world, the female goat can ovulate and get pregnant. You can also keep track of the puberty of a goat by observing the first time she exhibits her heat and ovulation.

Once goats come of age, they are bred, which four stages of gestation occur, namely ovum period, embryonic period, fetal period, and lastly, the birth. The ovum period is the process from fertilization of the egg to 11-12 days followed.

Cell division and creation of embryo and eventually blastocyte are achieved during these 11 days. The embryonic period goes from day 12 of gestation to day 59.

Significant developments like heartbeat and development of limb buds start. By day 42, the vital organs required by a kid start developing.

The fetal period is from day 60 to day 145, where the hair of the kid develops and continues for several weeks. By day 120, the teeth of the kid are almost fully developed.

Lastly, the birth period is from day 145 to the day of birth of the kid. At times during the birth of the kid, the goat either stands during the labor or sits.

The best part is that goats require no further assistance during the entire gestation period, even while giving birth to their baby! They are quite a self-sufficient breed.

How many times can a goat give birth in a year?

Two little goat babies standing.

There is a limit to which an animal can be pregnant and produce its offspring, and the goat in your backyard also has one. In fact, as a rule, the goat should not be mated until it's at least one year old, although biologically, the buck or doe can be mated once they are ten months old.

Coming to the main question, how many times can goats be a part of the breeding season? Well, it depends on the goat and its health.

In 18 months, some goats can give birth to kids twice.

The goats can become pregnant up to the age of 5-7 years, whereas in some exceptional cases, goats continue to be available for kidding even at the age of 12-14 years. In fact, were you aware that a doe can continue to be pregnant if the milking process is continued through a month?

The condition of 'bucks' or 'does' during the gestation period, to begin with, will determine the quality of kids at birth. To have healthy baby goats with appropriate weight is important, but that is possible only if you feed the doe properly and adequately, allow it to do specific liberal exercises, and protect it from cold and rain.

Remember to feed the kids with good nutritional foods, along with the adult goat.

Here's a list of nutritious food you can ensure feeding her while the goat is in her gestation period. You must take special care of the diet as the goat breeding stock should neither be thin nor fat.

You should have more energy-giving supplements apart from free-choice minerals and quality forage as well.

Insufficient selenium levels in a goat's diet result in retained placentas, low conception rates, and, more importantly, weak kids, susceptible to issues that are fatal; hence, ensure good levels of selenium because it also has a positive impact on male fertility. Boost copper levels if required before breeding, especially for bucks.

Apart from their diet, there are other checkpoints you need to care for, namely trimming of hooves and checking for anomalies at least three weeks before the breeding period.

At the same time, get your goat checked for external parasites like mites or lice and apply products to eliminate them to be on the safe side. To determine internal parasite loads have fecal exams done or examine the eye membranes.

Lastly, ensure fences are in place and are in good condition as bucks are notorious creatures that are willing to escape just to mate with the ladies, so beware!

Another caution, please do not wait until the eleventh hour to find a buck that is right for your doe, because it will be better for her and should not be compromised upon. Always choose a healthy and strong buck with an easygoing temperament and excellent conformation.

How do you know if a goat is pregnant?

If you are an old-school person who likes to read signs that nature gives rather than spending money on X-rays, blood tests, and ultrasounds, then we have a list of visible signs you can see, to see if your goat is pregnant. Learning about goat pregnancy is a lucrative skill that requires patience and time, so let's get started!

The first sign, a goat that has not bred will have its heat on her next heat cycle. This heat cycle can range from 17-25 days, so if you know the length of each doe's heat cycle, you could also keep track of her subsequent estrus cycle.

On the other hand, a doe that enters pregnancy will not come back into a typical heat; although the goat may show signs of estrus in her next heat cycle or two, they won't be as strong as the usual ones.

The next sign would be to track your goat's appetite. During breeding, a goat would gradually increase its zeal to eat. Her milk production may decrease as her udder decreases if she's being milked.

Thirdly, two weeks after the doe is successfully bred, its belly would tighten especially the area of her belly near her udder.

The change in personality is also common to notice. 'Does' while pregnant with their kid experience change in personality thanks to the hormone progesterone, usually two weeks after the breeding.

An important fact to note, the udder of a goat that has kidded in the past may not begin to fill out until she's due to a kid during her labor or days before her labor.

A few facts about goats before you leave: the animal tamed by humans for the first time 9,000 years ago was a goat! Goats have been around for a long time, evidently.

Male goats can breed as young as seven weeks old!

How fast is that, right?

That is also why you should remove the females from bucks when they are seven weeks old because the chances are high that the buck will make his sister or mother pregnant.

Even if your doe is pregnant, you can still milk her, although it is recommended you let her dry up about two months prior to delivering so that her body can build up nutritional reserves for the babies and get adequate rest.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how long are goats pregnant? Then why not take a look at are goats good pets? Or baby farm animals.

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Written by Deepthi Reddy

Master of Business Administration

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Deepthi ReddyMaster of Business Administration

With an MBA under her belt, Deepthi has discovered her true calling in content writing. Her writing repertoire is diverse, covering travel, movies, pet care, parenting, animals and birds, and more. Her joy of learning and creating has helped her craft well-written and engaging articles. When she isn't writing, Deepthi enjoys exploring new cultures, trying different foods, and spending quality time with her two children aged 7 and 12.

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Fact-checked by Nishtha Dixit

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Nishtha Dixit picture

Nishtha DixitBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Nishtha is an experienced SEO writer and editor, with a passion for writing and self-expression. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate major in Literature and Communication and a minor in Political Science from the University of Delhi. Nishtha has completed a certificate master course in English from the British Council and has been appointed as the editor for the bi-monthly magazine of the University of Delhi.

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