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.
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…
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).
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.
|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|
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