Goat / Doe Heat Cycles:
We breed and raise Nigerian Dwarfs, Mini Nubians and Boers. Typically your does heat cycle will be every 21 days. She will remain in heat for 3 days. Day 2 is the most active day for breeding and she will generally conceive in a 124 hour window in the middle of her heat cycle. If the pregnancy settles she still may come back into heat in 3 weeks. If she comes back into heat 6 weeks later I would consider rebreeding.
Sometimes it is nearly impossible to tell when your goat is in heat? If you run a buck with your doe all the time and they are suddenly bff's. I would guess she is in heat. I have a doe that screams and talks when she is in heat. However, most of our herd doesn't show signs. Luckily our herd sire always knows and he is quick to do his job.
Confirming your goat is pregnant:
You can confirm that your Doe is pregnant by blood test or ultrasound. Human pregnancy test do NOT work on a goat. I have never been able to tell by looking at them. I will remind you that lunch is on the left and rugrats are located on the right. As pregnancy progresses you will be able to see the babies move around in her stomach.
Baby Goat Gestation:
Most goats kid around day 150. I will tell you they are very SNEAKY. Sometimes, we don't even know when our does go into heat. We notice the development of an udder at 4 to 6 weeks prior to kidding. I have noticed our Bucks will start trying to breed our pregnant does about 24 to 48 hours prior to kidding. This is always a hint that deliver time is close.
It is reported that if you goat kids more than 10 days early the chances of the baby goat surviving is very slim due to them not being fully developed. If in doubt check to see if the teeth have erupted through the gum. If not they are preemies. You will need to make sure they are eating and staying warm. They may be unable to stand or regulate their body temperature.
How many baby goats can she have:
This is another one of those things that vary greatly. She can have one baby goat or as many as 7.
**7 baby goats is the record at this time!
Most first time Mom's deliver 1 baby goat. After your dams first kidding, twins are common. We have triplets about 10 % of the time. We have had a set of quads born as well. We breed naturally here at Cotton Bean Goat Farms. We find that good nutrition, the right levels of minerals and vitamins and overall good body condition play a part in how many babies our girls kid. Unless you are our Ally goat. She is an overachiever who kids triplets every year. She nurses and raises them all by herself.
Most goat Mom's can successfully nurse triplet baby goats. However, we always offer a supplemental bottle to all of our triplets to ensure that they are growing like we expect them to. Proper nutrition is a vital part of the equation to ensure this is happening. Most does only have 2 teats. We find we always have a baby who is a little hungry if it is born to a set of triplets. If you are raising boers or another meat breed of goat and expect them to gain a pound a day you want to make sure they are getting what they need to support that kind of weight / size gain.