Irvine Mesa Charros 4-H Club
Irvine, California

The expected due date is 150 days after breeding. A few weeks before delivery, the goat's udder will usually become enlarged. A day or two before birth, the udder often fills up and the pelvic ligaments at the base of the tail relax so that the tail feels loose. Frequent urination and low pitched bleating are also signs that labor will begin within a day or two.

The first sign we usually notice that indicates that labor is imminent is the discharge of the mucous plug, followed by small amounts of mucous. In our experience, this usually occurs an hour or two before birth.

In the uterus, the kid is enclosed in an amniotic sac which is surrounded by a water sac. Usually the water sac bursts 30 minutes to 2 hours before the delivery of the first kid. The amniotic sac might burst a few minutes before delivery. Usually, a kid will be born front legs and head first, and no assistance is needed. In multiple births, each kid is usually delivery 5-30 minutes after the previous sibling, and the placenta is expelled a few hours later.

If the kids haven't arrived within two hours after the water sac breaks, or if the kid is not positioned properly, an experienced goat breeder or a veterinarian might be required to assist in the delivery by repositioning the kid or "pulling" the kid out. For more info on kidding, see the Checklist and Pre/post kidding preparations for dairy goat does and kids by Dick & Anne Pigman: Wooden Bridge Ranch.

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