Goat Birth

10 Jun

Warning:  You will see explicit pictures of Muffin giving birth.  If you are squeamish, do not continue.

I have tried for years to get some good pictures illustrating the birth of a kid.  For some reason, it never seems to work out.  It’s an atypical birth where I have to help; it’s in the middle of the night when I don’t care; I’m at work.  Well, Muffin went into labor yesterday, and I finally got my opportunity.

I knew fairly early in the afternoon that she was getting ready to give birth.  Instead of going to pasture or coming out for their grain, she stayed in the shed.  She was doing a lot of standing.

Then she would lay down.

Up and down.  Up and down.  Turn around.  This can go on for hours.  Sometimes they paw the ground or turn around and look at their back end (maybe hoping the kid actually fell out and they were done).  Eventually, the contractions get harder and they visibly strain.  Usually, they stick the back leg out straight.

Eventually, fluids will come out and then the bag containing the baby will appear.

This is a fairly slow process.  It can take several contractions to keep moving the baby out.  As long as the bag is intact, the baby is fairly protected.  The umbilical cord still provides for the baby and they won’t be breathing in the fluids.  If you look closely, you can see the white of the baby’s hoof inside the bag.

The contractions will continue to get harder, and she will push more.  Goats are quite vocal, so it’s likely to be noisy.  As she makes progress, you can now see the baby’s face along with the hoof.

You can already see what color the baby will be and even see the tongue stuck out.  She kept pushing and slowly making progress.  Finally she stood up and with one more contraction, the baby appeared.

The bag was still around the baby, and the umbilical cord breaks when the baby falls to the ground.

Mom immediately turned around to clean the baby up.

She spends all her time licking and cleaning the baby off.  Soon, she stops because contractions are starting again.  Usually it is within five or ten minutes when they start having contractions again.  Sometimes, they will start pawing the ground again, and might even get the baby if they are not careful.

She lays down again to start pushing.  This time, the bag breaks and you can see the feet and head coming out first.

She has a couple more contractions, and the baby is pushed farther and farther out.

Once she gets the shoulders pushed out, the baby slides the rest of the way out without more effort.

I confess, I moved the second baby for her.  After spending hours in labor and giving birth to two babies, I thought I could at least move the baby so she could wash them up without having to get up.

There they are.  Muffin has two beautiful little girls.


28 Responses to “Goat Birth”

  1. Kimberly March 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    I was wondering about the cord as it was broken without anyone doing anything to it. I forgot to ask. God is good in His design. Having given birth just a few months ago myself, I am always amazed at how strong the cord is. Goats don’t usually have someone there to cut the cord like we do.

    • Teresa March 5, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

      If they stand, the cord will break. If they lay down, the mom’s will take care of it. They do a great job of chewing and cleaning the cord to the right length. I do have one Princess that I tend to have to cut it because she is a princess.

  2. Audrey March 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    Thank you for this, This makes me feel so much better. My husband kept saying not to worry,its natural she will be fine but I was worried anyway. This made me feel better though. Thank you Thank you:) I’m going to move Daisey to the porch today so I won’t have to worry about Jack when I’m at work. I’m more excited not then worried, thank you again.

    • Teresa March 28, 2011 at 2:53 pm #

      Glad I can help. Good luck!

  3. Audrey April 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Hey Teresa, Daisy went into labor yesterday about 3:30. things didn’t go well I called the Vet and he told me what to do, The front legs were coming out but the head was bent back instead of forward like it should so I went in and tried to turn it with no luck. I got to the Vet and he also tried. but by then the baby had passed and Daisy was exhausted. I helped Dr. Tharp to get the baby out,thats all I will say about that. Daisy is doing better today.She’s been eating and I got her to drink some water.and the Vet gave her a bunch of shots. I just can’t help thinking what she’s feeling and if she knows. I’m sure she does.Thank you for your blog it really did help, I just wish things would have gone more naturally like my husband thought they would. Thankfully the Vet says Dasiy will be ok♥

    • Teresa April 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm #

      We lost a baby once because of the head being back. It’s such a horrible situation that it’s hard to do anything about. It sounds like you did everything you could. It’s good you were there to help her. I’m glad she’ll be okay.

  4. Audrey April 2, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    Thank you, I’m having a hard time with it but I know It was a million time worse for her,I slept part of the night with her last night and gave her a nice bathing today. She will be ok and so will I. It’ll just take some time. Thank you again. Funny when it first started I thought of you to call but couldn’t.

    • Teresa April 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

      In that situation, I’m not sure anyone could help. It’s just too hard to reposition. I hope neither one of you gives up on having a baby. It really is a great experience when it works the way it’s supposed to. Blessings~Teresa

  5. Audrey April 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    At this time I’m on the fence about putting her through this again but maybe after she gets stronger and next year rolls around maybe we will both feel diffrently. I wanna thank you for answering my posts, I haven’t talked this out with anyone and I won’t do it here,you said this happened to you once so I’m sure you know but this was my first and I studied and studied and thought I was so ready.but everything went so wrong.

    • Teresa April 2, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

      You know your Daisey; just listen to her this fall and see what she wants. I am also very happy to listen even though I’m not sure I can really help. It’s just unfortunate that your first experience wasn’t the easy wonderful one.

  6. Audrey April 2, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    She is pooping ok but it seems to not be falling out like it should it looks perfect just kidda getting stuck but then I clean it and it gone. Is that ok you think.maybe a little constapated? it is coming out though,

    • Teresa April 2, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

      It’s fine. I would guess she’s swollen and it’s just catching.

  7. Audrey April 2, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    I thought that to, I’ll let you go now. thank you for talking to me. just went out and she’s walking around on the porch and licked my face,LOL so she’s good. I will keep you posted, sorry but she’s like one of my kids.

    • Teresa April 2, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

      I know they are family! Glad she’s starting to feel better. Don’t hesitate to contact me.

  8. Audrey April 2, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    You did help ALOT, Thank you.

  9. Audrey April 2, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    She looks like your pic on her. she’s all white. but she doesn’t have horns.

  10. angie March 30, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    my goat is due pretty soon not sure of exact date. I’ve been feeling the baby move, but past 2 days I haven’t. Could there be something wrong? Or is she just gettin close? This is my first time at this and I’m worried shes my baby don’t want anything to happen to her. thanks

    • Teresa March 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

      There’s always a possibility that something has gone wrong. Most likely, the baby has moved into a birthing position that makes it more difficult for you to feel the movement. Also, any movements you feel on the left side might be the rumen rather than a baby. Just keep watching her. She’ll come into labor in her own sweet time. It is really amazing how much we worry about our goat babies. I hope things go well for her.

  11. Linda Kittmer June 1, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Teresa, this is such a wonderful post. I love goats (and pretty much all animals) and seeing this birthing process has been such a joy. I’m such a softy that it actually brought tears to my eyes. I’ve always said that if I had a home with some land I would have to have some goats! Thanks for sharing this wonderful event!

    • Teresa June 1, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. We are right in the midst of kidding season again!

  12. micki January 27, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

    they are SUPER CUTE what brred are your goats?

    • Teresa January 27, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

      They are cross breeds. There’s Saanen, Boer and I don’t know what all else. 🙂

  13. Anonymous August 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    I have learned soooo much on here, you are great and very much appreciated

  14. Alyssa P. February 6, 2015 at 12:43 pm #

    I bought my first goats at the end of the summer and one is bred. She is getting huge, and I think she will be ready to give birth in the next week or two. I was noticing some mucus yesterday evening and was a little worried, but after reading your posts, I feel much better. Thank you for the wonderful posts and the pictures. They really helped me to know what I was looking at and what to expect! I am very excited to watch Sage bring a new baby goat into the world!

    • Teresa February 6, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

      I’m glad you find it useful! Good luck with your kidding.

  15. Betty June 16, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

    Teresa, Your photos are helpful, thank you. I have 4 nannies who are all pregnant and due any time now. There are no signs of labour yet and I am waiting patiently. I was a DR nurse so I am confident I will be able to deal with things ??? but one never knows. I am hoping that nature takes it’s course and all 4 births are uneventful. Keep your fingers crossed for me. This is my first time birthing goats and these girls are special to me. My sweet girls for sure.

    • Teresa June 19, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

      Good luck! Hoping you have easy deliveries!

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