Archive | 6:06 pm

Stages of Goat Pregnancy

1 Apr

I like to look at search engine terms that get people to my blog.  Occasionally a term keeps popping up over and over again that I haven’t really covered, so I feel like I should.  “Stages of goat pregnancy” is one of those phrases.  I’m guessing people want to know what changes take place in their doe that would help them know if she’s bred and how much longer until she’s due.

Dolly about a day before delivery

That’s tough.  You can look at a pregnant human and come up with a decent guess of how far along she is once it becomes visible.  Goats aren’t so easy.  My beautiful Stormy didn’t hardly show at all.  The picture below was taken just a day before she gave birth…

Stormy day before having triplets

to triplets.  Yep, they just kept coming out and I have no idea where she had all that kid.  They weren’t little kids either.  All four goats below were also within a week of their due dates (you can click on a picture to enlarge).

Bambi carrying one kid

Pam with twins

Joe and Millie both with twins

If you’re looking for signs of how to tell when your goat is close to kidding, you can check my post on those SIGNS.  This post is about the stages of pregnancy and how the kid(s) develop(s) during the five  month gestation period.

Like humans, the pregnancy can be divided into trimesters.  In goats, each trimester consists of about fifty days, with an overall gestation period of 150 (145-152) days.  The third trimester is the most critical in nutritional needs for the doe.  If she is not provided adequate nutrients the developing kids will rob her and become little parasites.  This can lead to a frequently fatal condition known as ketosis.

Kid Development

Day 1 2 cells
Day 1 ½ 8 cells (morula stage)
Day 3 – 4 Enters uterus
Day 6 – 7 Blastula stage
Day 12 Attaches to wall of the uterus; beginning of embryonic period
Day 20 Heart begins to beat
Day 28 – 35 Limb buds become visible
Day 42 1 ½ inches (37.5 mm) long; major tissue, organ, and systems are defined; end of embryonic period; it is now a fetus
Day 42 – 49 Mammary buds/empty scrotal sac appear
Day 49 – 56 Ear canal opens
Day 56 – 63 Nostrils open
Day 60 Fetus is 4 inches (100 mm); eyes, eyelids and nostrils are identifiable
Day 77 – 84 Horn pits appear
Day 90 10 inches (250 mm) long; after this size varies greatly according to breed
Day 98 – 105 Hair around eyes and muzzle; tooth eruption
Day 119 – 126 Hair covering the body
Day 141 Fetus is viable (can survive outside the mother)
Day 145 – 152 Born


Maggie giving birth to Winnie

Linking to Homestead Barn Hop.

Sources:  [Edit:  I have removed links to sources that no longer work.]

Goat Dairy Library

Alabama Cooperative Extension System

The Biology of the Goat

The Boer and Meat Goat Information Center