Are you looking for signs your doe is close to kidding?
You definitely need to know the signs your doe is close to kidding. Kidding is like Christmas with a cute cuddly gift at the end. And watching the experience is even better.
But, meat goat ranchers have a tendency to become overexcited when the expected kidding time is near. For those of you who don’t know the term kidding, it refers to the process of a goat doe giving birth to a baby goat kid.
Often times, the feeling of anxiousness can lead to disappointment as the time passes on. Nothing has changed and there are no kids.
I’ve definitely been in the shoes of someone who THOUGHT their doe was due to have kids. I’ve been wrong many times.
The past ten years of raising goats have taught me to be patient and to watch for the kidding signs that are legit and true. I will admit I have made mistakes over the years when it comes to guessing when doe will go into labor.
In this post, I’m going to help you:
– Know the signs your doe is close to kidding,
– Find places and parts on your doe to check that are better signs of what is close to labor,
– Understand what is NOT a sign of early labor.
After reading this, you’ll have a better understanding of what ‘close to kidding’ means and what it doesn’t. I know you’re excited to learn, so let’s dive right in.
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Here are 5 sure signs your doe is close to kidding.
1. Her Belly and Milk has “dropped”
This can happen days before the babies decide to make their arrival. While it’s not the most ideal “close” sign, it is an indication this doe should be watched more closely.All that is happening here is the babies have dropped to the lower region of the abdomen. The birth canal is opening and preparing for the birth of the new kids.
Some does will never drop their kids as low as other does will. This is where the milk dropping into the udder becomes a better sign of a near labor. The udder will appear to be more full as you examine and compare from the udder of yesterday. A full and tight bag is an excellent sign that kidding is on the way.
2. Two Quarters of the Udder are Full & Tight
A cow’s udder has four quarters, while a goat’s udder only has two. Both quarters, front and back, should be full and tight.
This is the BEST sign that kidding is near. When the bag is full and tight, the doe’s body is proven to be ready to give birth to a healthy, full term baby kid.The nipples should “ping” out to the sides, proving the bag to be tight with milk. You can feel the udder to examine the tightness. If you were to gently squeeze the udder, there should be no loose skin.
It should feel similar to a balloon or ball full of air.
3. Messy Hair
When kids are moving into position for labor, the movements and changes irritates the doe.
She will scratch back behind and messing up her hair.
4. Swelling of the Vulva
The Vulva is the outer, hairless area under the tail. This is where the kid will come out of her body.
Vulva swells when pressure of the kid is there. So, when you see the vulva looking swelled and larger than normal, get ready.I will admit, I have had does with swelled vulvas up to one month prior to kidding! While this isn’t the best sign, it is a great sign your doe is carrying kids and they will be arriving soon.
5. Tail Ligaments are Separating
This process presents a hollow space between the tail head and the top of the hip. You should be able to fit your fingers all the way around feeling the hollow area.
If there is no hollow canal present, the doe isn’t too close yet. This generally happens a couple of days prior to the start of labor.
Study the signs for a successful kidding season.
These five signs have proven time and time again to be useful indicators that kidding time is near. But don’t get carried away yet.
Depending on the doe, sometimes she can show these signs for up to 1 month. Knowing the signs plus knowing your doe and how she carries will prepare you for the estimation of when labor will begin.
The best sure sign to know when your doe will be kidding is to know when she was bred by the buck. If possible, schedule the breedings and document closely.
Finally, putting the approximate breeding date with the signs will give you a great understanding and feeling of relief when anxiously awaiting baby kids to love on.
~ Much Love ~
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