Recognize the signs that your pregnant goat is about to give birth so you can be as prepared as possible. A goat's gestation period is between 145 and 155 days. If you have a pregnant goat, you should prepare a kidding stall for it to give birth in. Place the goat in the kidding stall at around 140 days of pregnancy. Fias Co Farm recommends staying with your goat while it gives birth, as you may need to assist if there are any problems. Have the phone number of a veterinarian you can call in case the goat requires medical assistance.
Ligaments and Raised Tail
The goat's body will undergo physical changes in the run-up to the birth. This can give the goat a hollowed appearance along the sides of its body. The ligaments around the tail also loosen completely when labor is imminent. Run your thumb and fingers down the sides of the goat's spine to the tail to feel for ligaments. These are usually hard and feel similar to pencils, running out from the spine. If you cannot feel the ligaments around the base of the tail, the goat is about to give birth. During labor the goat will also lift and curl its tail inward during contractions.
Restlessness and Discomfort
During labor your goat will exhibit a number of signs that it is feeling uncomfortable and restless. This can include scratching at the ground, constantly changing from a standing position to lying down and turning to lick the sides of its body. The goat may also have a pained facial expression with its lip curling and its eyes looking distant. During labor the whites of the eyes can become bloodshot.
Up to a month before the birth the doe will sometimes have small amounts of white discharge coming from her vagina. When the color of the discharge becomes copper in color this is a sign that the birth is going to take place within the next few hours. This darker discharge is amniotic fluid.
Just before the birth the goat's udders will usually become extremely full, making the teats point outward slightly rather than hanging straight down. Some does' udders will also appear shiny just before the birth; this is due to the skin stretching. Fias Co Farm recommends looking out for other signs besides this because goats will occasionally not appear to have full udders until after the kid is born.