Goat Birthing 101


I love the miracle of birth.  There is something about the way the female body is made that allows for expansion enough to pass that little body out.  Whether it is human or animal, the basic process is the same……and it is all miraculous.

I never get tired of witnessing the birth process.  But for those who have not seen it or are just getting acquainted with raising animals, I made a little video for your enjoyment.

Goats tend to have easy births.  In all the years that I have raised them, I have had to really assist only once.  So I tend to keep it simple.  I allow the goat to do the work and I, as a mother myself, hold my breath and push when the time comes in sympathy and camaraderie.

To know when a doe is ready to kid, I look for the hollow in front of the tail and in the flank area.  That seems to be the signal to tell me that it will be in the next 12 hours.

When she starts pawing, then the fun begins.

It takes about an hour or two for the birthing process after she starts pawing.  So if you are watching your girl, don’t get anxious.  Really……let her do it. Any assistance from us can make a BIG mess if it is not needed.

I will not go into detail on the rest of it so you can watch the video here.

When the baby is born, make sure that the nose is clear so it can start breathing.  The mother will start licking it to clean and dry it and if it is very cold outside, I assist with drying it so it won’t get chilled.

What I tend to forget to film is the birth of the second baby……which is almost like the first, except it doesn’t take as long.  If the second baby is in a separate sack, it will come out head first like the first one.  If it is in the same sack, it will come out back feet first.

And I forget to film the afterbirth.  That should be expelled within a couple of hours.  Under no circumstance should you pull it out.  You could kill the doe by causing her to bleed to death.  Let the contractions of the uterus do its job.  The baby nursing will help.

I love the antics of newborn baby goats and their almost instant interest in the world.  Up on their feet within a few minutes and trying to run and jump soon after.  They will start looking for a nipple and nursing should begin as soon as they can stand.  The colostrum is essential to getting the healthy start that they need.  Here is one place that I tend to help.  Not because they really need it, but I do.  I have to help someplace so it is safe to do it here.  I just point the nose in the right direction, spray a little out of the teat so I know it is not blocked, and help them find their food.

I hope that you enjoy the video and if you have any questions, please post in the comments below.  I would love to hear from you.

About Janolyn

I am a mother of 5 wonderful children, 4 boys and 1 girl. During the years that my children were growing up, we grew most of our own food with a vegetable garden, many fruit trees and berry patches. I grew flowers for joy. We milked goats and raised our own meats and eggs. I learned to make my own cheeses, butter, canned foods, sourdough, and fermented foods. I made our own health products like soap, hand creams, lip balm, and herbal tinctures. We live off the power grid and have learned to do without conveniences that most Americans consider essential. The land clearing and building has been mostly accomplished with hand tools; some of them even the right tool for the job. After a couple of miscarriages between #2 and #3 due to “standard medical procedures”, I consulted a midwife and my last 3 children were born safely at home. That was when I was first alerted to the fact that doctors did not know everything nor would they have the time to share it with their patients if they did. As I learned the basic principles of heath-through-nutrition from my midwife, I learned alternative gardening practices from her husband. That introduction started a lifelong love of learning the practical life of our ancestors. I want to share what I have been learning with you and learn from those who are also living a sustainable life.

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