Goat Info

Gestation Table for Goats

Bred Birth Wean
January June (-1) September
February July (-0) October
March August (-3) November
April September(-3) December
May October (-3) January
June November (-3) February
July December (-3) March
August January (-3) April
September February (-3) May
October March (-1) June
November April (-1) July
December May (-1) August

Goats have a 150 day gestation period.  To use the chart, you must know when a doe is bred.  Then use the chart to determine a due date.  For example, if she is bred on May 5th, find May in the bred column.  Follow across to see she would be due in the month of October.  It says to subtract three days, so her due date would be October 2.  Using this table, I have been 90% with a two day before or after window when I know the date she was bred.  Use the third column to see when they would be weaned.  In this example, the kid would be weaned about January 2nd.

Keep in mind that even though the chart shows due dates for the entire year, goats are naturally cool weather breeders.  It is difficult to get them to breed during the summer months.  A general rule is that they only breed in months with an “r”.

Hoof Care

Goat must have proper hoof trimming to maintain their health.  If their feet are painful, it makes it hard to walk and find food.  It makes them susceptible to being picked on by others.  It can lead to problems with other joints.  Notice below the dirt that gets packed and the long, dead growth that forms flaps.

The idea behind trimming hooves is to remove only what is necessary. If too much is removed, it will cause bleeding.  The look of a newborn kid’s hooves is what we are trying for.   Hoegger Goat Supply has an excellent booklet that gives more details on how to properly trim hooves.

Goat Vital Data

Temperature 101.5 – 104 (rectal)
Heart Rate 70 – 80 per minute (adult)
Respirations 12 – 15 per minute (adult)
20 – 40 per minute (kid)
Rumination 1 – 1.5 per minute
Gestation average 150 days (146 – 156)
Heat Cycle average 21 days (18 – 23)
Length of Heat about 1 day

Bottle Kid Feeding Schedule

Colostrum should be given the first two to three days.  This can be nursing their mother or colostrum that was frozen for just such an occasion.
Milk should be heated to 102 degrees.  Make sure commercial milk replacer is specifically for goats.  Goat milk can be frozen and thawed for kids.
Below is a guideline for bottling feeding amounts and times.  In reality, I let my kids drink as much as they want for the first three weeks, but the table is pretty close.
Week 1 1/2 – 1 Cup 8,11,2,5,8,bedtime
Week 2 – 3 1 – 2 Cups 8,12,4,8,bedtime
Week 4 2 – 2 1/2 Cups 8,2,8,bedtime
Week 5 – 7 2 – 2 1/2 Cups 8,2,8
Week 8 to weaning 2 – 2 1/2 Cups 8,8
Goats are ruminants.  They need access to pasture or hay for good health.  They will begin eating grass or hay with their moms when just a few days old.  This should be available for bottle kids also.
Make sure goats have access to clean, fresh water.
I don’t let a mom raise their baby if they have been ill and can’t raise them.  Even then, I try to leave mom and baby together for the emotional support and care.  The only other time I separate mom and kid is if there are triplets and I know the mom won’t be able to keep up with all three.
The earlier a kid is started on the bottle, the easier it is for everyone.  If a kid has been nursing their mom and for some reason has to be taken later, it can be hard to impossible to get them to take the bottle.

This ‘n That

*Goats are very social and do not like to be without other goat company.
*Goats are browsers, not grazers.  They like to flit about and eat this and that.  Goats who are made to graze are more susceptible to parasites.
*Make sure you have a method for parasite control; they are very susceptible to parasites.  I use herbal wormer from Hoegger Goat Supply weekly.  I do keep chemical wormer on hand in case someone is sick and not eating well. It’s best to have the vet do a fecal exam to determine what type of worm they have, so they can be treated with the proper wormer.  Also, overusing chemical wormers can cause the parasites to become drug resistant.

Posts of Note for Goat Health

How Do You Tell Your Goat Is Bred–There’s no sure fire way, but here are some signs to watch for.
Goat Birth–Detailed pictures as Muffin gives birth to twins.
Pistol Gives Birth–another doe as she kids.
Parasites–More information on herbal wormer.
Entropion Eyelid–Birth defect in many animals.
Too Hot to Be Pregnant–Signs your doe is close to kidding.
A Couple of Goat Pregnancy Notes–udders, springing and mucus plugs
Probiotics–probiotics and rumen health
Anemic Goats–anemia and bottle jaw, causes and treatment
Pam’s Prognosis–blood transfusion for severe anemia
Doing Your Own Goat Fecal Exam–step by step instructions
Goat Physical Therapy–How to help a goat regain strength to stand and walk.
Record Keeping for Goats–with links to a printable form.
Kid Positions for Birth–diagrams of common positions and how to help.
Stages of Goat Pregnancy–about pregnancy and the development of the kid(s).
Size Matters–the effects of weather on your kidding season.
Cache Valley Fever–causes fatal birth defects in kids.
Scours in Kids–causes and when to use antibiotics
What a Goat Kid Eats–kids, nutrition and weaning
Anemia in Goats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment–one stop for all you need to know about anemia in goats
Hay for Happy Healthy Goats–a little bit on the feeding needs of goats (with a link to more detailed information)
CAE: Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis Virus–about the virus, its symptoms and how to prevent it.
Living with CAE in the Goat Herd–My plan to survive this virus.
Uterine Problems in Goats–hydrometra, pyometra and mummification
To Wether or Not To Wether–Castration by banding
Drug Resistant Parasites Part I:  My situation, Famacha Charts, Causes
Drug Resistant Parasites Part II:  Rotating Chemical Wormers, Testing, Herbal Wormers
Drug Resistant Parasites Part III:  My Vet’s Advice and My Advice
A Horntastrophy:  All about goat horns and why I don’t de-horn
Rain Scald:  What it is and how to treat it
The Sick Kids:  Signs and symptoms of listeria
A Basic Design Flaw:  Urinary blockage in goats
100% Calcium Carbonate:  What caused Bud’s bladder stones
Bud the Next Round:  Urethral Stricture after surgery for bladder stones
Bladder Marsupialization:  Surgical remedy to urinary blockage in goats

25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Bucks, Does and Kids « Eden Hills's Blog
  2. Mary Ann
    Feb 12, 2011 @ 00:18:39

    Theresa, I just found your blog through Farm Friend Friday, and I have to tell you you are the first one to mention herbal remedies for parasites in goats. I have been studying them… we have llamas, but we would like to have a few goats at my retirement (18 months) if we have the barn up to keep them warm. I was worried about parasites, and now I see there may be an herbal remedy. Thanks for the info!


    • Teresa
      Feb 12, 2011 @ 10:46:29

      I live by my herbal wormer in the goats! Even when Millie was really anemic and run down from raising twins, she was parasite free.


  3. Tamara Miller
    Mar 12, 2011 @ 17:04:36

    I am using Molly’s herbal dewormer from Fias Co Farm. Do you know of this one? What do you recommend??


    • Teresa
      Mar 12, 2011 @ 17:06:23

      I personally use Hoegger’s herbal wormer and have had great luck with it. I’ve never tried any others to know what they are like.


  4. Elizabeth Stucker
    Jun 13, 2011 @ 09:05:44

    you have a very nice blog page
    Well Done!!


  5. Mindy Young (@FueledByAg)
    Feb 07, 2012 @ 10:22:25

    Hi Theresa! My friend Window On The Prairie told me about your wonderful blog! I just started blogging and thought I’d stop by. My husband and I have Boer Goats and Cattle and right now, we are kidding! Please follow me at: http://fueledbyagriculture.blogspot.com/. Thanks for helping to tell Agriculture’s story!


  6. Goat Momma
    Jul 28, 2012 @ 21:19:28

    I am new to your blog and I LOVE it!!!!! I have raised goats for sometime, dairy cross does, nubians, and a few pets!!! lol! I recently bought 2 saanan babies, 9 weeks old, from a friend. They were extremely anemic!!!! Dewormed with Safeguard and Ivemectin, started on b complex and red cell. Had a fecal done and also had to treat for coccidia. I have had them 3 weeks, Bonnie is starting to get very pink in the lower eyelid and gums are starting to get color, she still looks rough but eating and grazing, stool is normal. Clyde, has had bottle jaw for 2 weeks and has diarhea again. He has some signs of pinkness in the lower eye lid. He eats and grazes. I do have them seperated from the others and I feed them and medicate them last. I have done two rounds of dewormer on the Iv and SG. I keep up the red cell and the b complex!!!! This is the first time I have dealt with bottle jaw and I am worried because it does not seem to be any better!! I would appreciate if you have anymore ideas on what to do! Thank You!


    • Teresa
      Jul 28, 2012 @ 21:31:58

      If you haven’t had a fecal done since the initial one, it wouldn’t hurt to have it rechecked. Worms have a life cycle of about two weeks, so it’s not uncommon for them to be full of worms/coccidia in two week cycles. Otherwise, you might talk to the vet about other options, such as a blood transfusion. It seems like some goats take forever to recover. My wether Casey spent an entire summer going from horribly anemic to a little better and then worse and then wormy and then better and then… Good luck.


  7. flicka
    Jan 12, 2013 @ 20:39:04

    i have have a goat that will not eat or drink water what is the matter with her we looked at her mouth and nothing is there but here is the thing she is eating her hay
    we touched her back and rump and she would not stand still


  8. Cydney
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 18:37:24

    Hi, I have a goat that just had twins, but they only nurse from one side of her udder. Now that they are four days old, the side they won’t drink from is huge and slightly swollen. I tried to milk her but nothing would come out, I’m afraid it will get infected and I don’t know what to do. I figured that one of the twins would eventually go to the other side, but they just fight over the one. What should I do? any suggestions?.


    • Teresa
      Oct 14, 2013 @ 18:50:26

      Try washing the teat with warm water and start with milking just the tip. You should be able to get it started. If you can milk it out, they will probably start nursing it. As long as it isn’t hot or rock hard, she probably doesn’t have mastitis. Sometimes it’s hard to get those kids to start nursing that second side.


  9. Cydney
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 19:07:48

    Ok, it isn’t really hard, just swollen. I’ll try that and see if it works.



  10. April
    Oct 23, 2013 @ 16:12:57

    Hi, I have a young bill, he is two weeks old and his belly button started to swell. I just noticed it today, but its kind of worrying me. At first, I thought it might be a hernia, but I thought animals were born with hernia’s instead of developing them. It appears to be hurting the goat, but I’m not sure. Anything you can tell me?


  11. April
    Oct 23, 2013 @ 16:19:01

    Also, he is limping has been since he was born, he has never walked very well and really hasn’t ever run, I found on another site that could be a sign of “Joint ill” or “Navel ill” which I have no clue what is. I would really love some input. Maybe this is nothing serious.


    • Teresa
      Oct 23, 2013 @ 16:23:24

      If possible, I would consult a vet immediately. They can get an infection in the navel, and it would require antibiotics. I’m not sure what kind though. Good luck.


  12. Cindy
    Feb 12, 2014 @ 15:07:10

    Hi, I am relatively new to goats. I got 2 La Mancha does and 1 Nubian buck as a Christmas gift. The does were bred and both were 4 yrs. old and not first time kidders. I sold the bucklings and kept the one doeling. After she was weaned and reintroduced at about 6 months old I bought another young doeling that also was about 6 months old. After about 3 weeks one of the does killed her. She pinned her against a wall and butted her to (near)death before I could get in and stop it. Is this common?


    • Teresa
      Feb 12, 2014 @ 18:30:23

      Spats are common, especially when you introduce new animals. Usually they do not result in injuries. Some are more aggressive and some more passive, and it can happen.


  13. Erikah
    Jun 08, 2014 @ 21:28:26

    Hi, I have a 7 month old Nigerian Dwarf got and I think she may have been bitten by mosquitoes….do you possibly know how to treat the bites/ prevent them?


  14. Scotty
    Oct 23, 2014 @ 11:51:21

    How long do you keep a buck…at what age does he need to be changed out?


    • Teresa
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 18:19:45

      You can keep a buck as long as he is able to breed. There is no age requirement. Some things I would consider is health of kids, ease of birth (size, etc.), or genetic defects. Those are bucks to get rid of. The other thing to consider is relationships. If you are not keeping your does or if you have another buck to breed them, then that isn’t an issue. However, if you are keeping does, you will need to consider the possible negative impact with line breeding (breeding a doe back to her sire).


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The information on this web site is supplied for general reference and educational purposes only. This information does not represent the management practices or thinking of other goat breeders or the veterinary community. I am not a veterinarian, and the information on this site is not intended to replace professional veterinary advice. This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your veterinarian. I disclaim all liability in connection with the use of this information.
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