QUESTION: This is only my second year having goats, and last year my doe had to be induced because she was over a week overdue. She has a 2-3 inch stringy mucus hanging out of her vulva and when she crouches to urinate she will stay there longer than normal, as if waiting for more that is not coming.

Is this a sign she's about to kid? IF so, how soon is she likely to kid? She's almost two weeks out from the earliest she should kid. She has a three week exposure to the buck, from Sep 3, I witnessed her being mounted on the 15th, and the buck went back to his owner on the twentieth.

I am worried that she might be going into labor early, I know that multiple kids can result in earlier labor, and last year she had triplets, but I am still worried. Her earliest due date, as I calculate, would be the 29th.

Thank you for being patient with a worried, relative newbie.

ANSWER: The mucus sounds like her mucous plug. This can come out from 2 days to 2 weeks before kidding. Has she lost her pelvic ligaments? Have her sides dropped? Can you feel the kids moving? Is she pushing? Let me know. Donna

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Her ligaments are pretty much gone, and her tail has that little arch in it, but her sides haven't dropped much yet, which is why I'm a bit confused.

She seems to be holding steady for the moment, last year she bagged out almost a month before she kidded, but the birth was hard for her, her first born (an adorble little white doe with a lot of attitude) had to be repositioned. She was but first with her legs tucked up under her sides. I was very glad I checked on her every couple of hours. She was born at 3 am, and if I hadn't been there to help, I am fairly sure there would have been a lot of problems.

I don't even have to feel her to know the kids are moving, all I have to do is watch her for about ten minutes. She looks like she swollowed a couple of large beach balls, I am thinking she's going to have triplets agian this year.

My only previous experiance with farm animals is my granmothers cows when i was a child, and my rabbits. I know goats are a big jump from rabbits, but they are my first step in building my farm that I want for my children and myself, and I want to make sure I am taking proper care of them and know what I am looking at.

Sorry for my late response to your question. I have been dealing with an injured leg on my other doe along with a 6 year old, a five year old, and a two year old, and some possums that have been pestering my chickens. It gets pretty crazy around here some days.

Thank you.

ANSWER: No worries - thanks for the update.  I hear you about craziness, we have 10 kids on the ground and we bottle raise everyone so they are in the house currently, soon to go to the barn after disbudding and/or banding.  Sounds like you have a good idea of what to look for and that is certainly excellent.  Keeping her in her kidding stall now is what I would suggest. You may see her pawing the ground and making nests as well as talking to her kids in the early hours of labor, and then up and down and stargazing are usually the next steps and then the long clear mucous begins and then labor.  I generally advise helping out after 20 minutes of good hard labor.  Also, many does stop eating within a few hours of kidding, even their grain.  

As an aside, we use something called Niteguard around our chickens and pheasants especially as well as around the perimeters of our goat pens - these are solar powered red lights that can be pointed to the direction and height of your nonwanted critter visitors - drives them crazy and keeps them away from the ones you want to protect.  

Hope this helps - let me know if I can help out with any other questions.  Also, if you ever need emergency help please feel free to call me at 360-742-8310.  Donna

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: On the subject of banding, how exactly is that done? I had wanted to keep one of the little bucks born this year, but I don't want a full buck around my milking does, changes the taste of the milk.

Does a neutered buck have the same effect? I sell my milk, and my customers have told me over and over again that I have the sweetest goat milk they have ever purchased, and I know that part of that is their diet, and the other part is that I do not keep my own buck. I purchase the services of one in the autumn. Does a nurtured male have the same effect on the milk?

Thanks so much for all your time and advice.

Hi there - We have two bucks on our farm/always have kept bucks, and it has never changed the flavor of the milk - our Oberhasli milk has no goaty flavor at all (tastes like sweet cow milk).  With that said though if you don't need a buck and have one available to you then keeping a buck might not be worth any possible issues.  Re a wether or castrated male, they do not have any smell so if you want to keep one for a pet or to help you know when a doe is in heat that works well.  Re neutering, we band - use of a very small rubber elastrator band and an elastrator (the piece of equipment that opens the band and then closes onto the testicles) works well.  This is easy to do, minimal discomfort, and no open wound.  I generally band at 10 days to 2 weeks of age or when you can feel both testicles in the sac.  I generally give 1/2 of a 325 mg aspirin tablet (crushed and dissolved in a little hot water) orally to help with the pain, and this can be repeated at 4 hours later, to help with the discomfort.  

Hope that helps - Donna


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres


All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.


27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.