Tuesday, March 20, 2012

We're expecting!

This week we have another goat due to kid. It is so exciting, not only thinking about having more cute kids running around, I am really looking forward to some fresh milk! Every year I go through the same thing, looking at the pregnant animal and trying to guess when they will have their baby. Almost wishing them into labor!

There are some sure signs to help determine if they are about to give birth, like if they are starting to bag up (udders filling with milk). However an animal who has birthed before will most likely bag up before a first time mom.

Almond who is due any minute started bagging up at least a week ago, and she is a first time mom, so not everyone follows the rules. Another way to tell is if the back end starts relaxing. In order for the doe to push those babies out of her body her muscles around her vulva starts to relax. Another sign is called tail dropping. Before kidding the pelvic bones will start to spread out, again making it easier to push those kids out, there are noticeable groves on either side of her tail.
Maddy, who is not pregnant, for comparison
Almond's back end- you can see the muscles are relaxing

And of course actually knowing the date of heat, and the "date" with the male helps. For a goat the gestation is 145 to 155 days. Almond went in with the buck on October 29th.

 With a few pleasantries and a quick smell, the buck confirmed that Almond was indeed in heat, and he was the man for the job!

So with that Almond's first possible kidding date is tomorrow, as that would be 145 days. Yesterday I noticed her occasionally moaning in discomfort, so we started our checking rounds. Since this is her first time we like to be there just to make sure everything goes smoothly. No kids yet, but soon!

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