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.

Hoof 1
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.Hoof 2

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

36 Responses to “Goat Info”

  1. Mary Ann February 12, 2011 at 12:18 am #

    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 February 12, 2011 at 10:46 am #

      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.

  2. Tamara Miller March 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

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

    • Teresa March 12, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

      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.

  3. Elizabeth Stucker June 13, 2011 at 9:05 am #

    you have a very nice blog page
    Well Done!!

  4. Mindy Young (@FueledByAg) February 7, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    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!

    • Teresa February 7, 2012 at 11:28 am #

      How kind of Suzanne to tell you about me.

  5. Goat Momma July 28, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    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 July 28, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

      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.

  6. flicka January 12, 2013 at 8:39 pm #

    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

    • Teresa January 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

      I would recommend calling a vet. I have no idea.

  7. Cydney October 14, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    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 October 14, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

      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.

  8. Cydney October 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

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


  9. April October 23, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    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?

  10. April October 23, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    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 October 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

      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.

  11. Cindy February 12, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    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 February 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

      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.

  12. Erikah June 8, 2014 at 9:28 pm #

    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?

    • Teresa June 8, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

      I’ve never heard of mosquito bites being an issue. Sorry.

  13. Scotty October 23, 2014 at 11:51 am #

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

    • Teresa October 23, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

      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).

  14. Emily Adolph June 30, 2015 at 10:49 pm #

    I have a nigarian darwf and she is the head honcho of the kids. When I got my goats they were all nice. But recently my all white goat named Lilly has turned aggressive towards who ever comes in that pen. And she get really mad when you try to rub her belly near the teats. Could I have a pregnant goat or is this all a behavioral issue. Not I have all female kids and when I got her she was in with a buck. But she was 12 weeks old at that time now she is a month or 2 old.

    • Teresa June 30, 2015 at 10:51 pm #

      It could be either.

  15. missyjeanjohnson February 4, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

    Hello Teresa! What a pleasure to stumble upon this blog. I am have a herd of 7 goats including two first-time mamas with babies on the way. This page specifically provides a lot of valuable info and will help us navigate the days to come with new baby goats!

    Thanks for the post.

    Melissa in the Pacific Northwest

    • Teresa February 4, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

      I’m glad you find it useful. Good luck with the coming babies!

  16. Maddie October 18, 2016 at 5:02 pm #

    Hi I have a question. I am currently feeding 2 flakes of grass hay a day to 5 does 2 of which are now pregnant. Is that to little? 3 of my does are nice and chunky but 2 are rather skinny.

    • Teresa October 18, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

      I would guess it’s way too little.

  17. heartpetz January 30, 2017 at 12:39 am #

    Hello Theresa,
    I just found your website and have been avidly reading. I purchased 3 Nigerian Dwarf goats – 2 pregnant females and 1 wether. All very sweet and seemingly healthy. The does are both springing, one more than the other so I think she will deliver first. I’m trying to get as much info as I can since this is my first time. I’m already completely in love with my goats. They are pets and will live with me all their lives. One of my goats, and I don’t know which one, is pooping compacted balls of droppings rather than typical goat pellets. I don’t know if this is something to be concerned about or not. But I’m wondering if diet might be a factor.
    I live in the AZ central highlands and we don’t have fields of clover or green grass. I feed them largely dried orchard grass along with smaller portions of alfalfa and 2 cups each of Purina Goat Chow which is supposed to ensure the right amount of vitamins and minerals. They free feed on the Orchard grass and alfalfa and they eat free range on the wild grass that grows on the property. It’s the same grass that the antelope eat. I also have plenty of fresh, clean water available for them and salt and mineral blocks. Would you suggest I change any of this? Do the pregnant does need more grain than provided in the Purina Goat Chow?
    There are many places in the world were goats have been raised in desert, prairie or mountain conditions so I thought goats were fairly hardy. I guess I’m in what you would call high desert with mild four season climate. I’m anxious to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks.

    • Teresa January 30, 2017 at 8:08 am #

      Springing is not reliable to let you know how close they are. Some goats spring for a month while others never spring. Using ligaments and udder are probably a better indicator. That said, if you don’t have a firm due date, it can be very difficult to know when they are due.

      As far as nutrition, a pregnant doe does need more to support herself and kids. Wethers need very little if any grain, and it can help promote bladder stones. I highly recommend finding someone local to ask about diet needs because it is so completely different from one area to the next.

      Good luck!

      • heartpetz January 30, 2017 at 2:22 pm #

        Thanks very much. I’ve learned so much from this website. Very well done!

  18. Kennedy January 15, 2019 at 11:33 am #

    I was wondering if you could send me the Microsoft version of your goat record sheet?

  19. David March 12, 2022 at 3:05 pm #

    i would like your goat record program pls. ty. i really enjoy your blog.


  1. Bucks, Does and Kids « Eden Hills's Blog - January 4, 2011

    […] Goat Information […]

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