Goats/Late babies


QUESTION: I have a doe that is 157 days and no babies. I would like to check her but not sure how and what to look for.
She has white discharge coming from her.

ANSWER: Hi Lacey

If you are seeing a white discharge, parturition is  right around the corner- this could be  from 48 hours to just a few hours away. Watch for  the udder getting tight ad full  - possibly  shiny -
look for her laying down and getting up a lot, scratching at the ground (nesting) and maybe even a small  unusual talking to her side or belly -

This is an excerpt from my kidding  article -

Typical Signs of Early Labor (Not necessarily in order):
Appears restless, shys away from herd
Eyes glossy or luminous
Paying much attention to her sides and smelling the ground
Pawing at bedding or dirt
Looking behind her and talking to her sides (typically in a voice you have never heard="mama talk")
Talks to you alot as if she is telling you she is getting ready (she is, so listen)
Gets dreamy eyed or star-gazy (euphoric)
Looks less pregnant than she did before-sides have hollowed out, under-belly is full
Lifts tail frequently and urinates frequently, usually not much urine at a time
Lays down and gets up more than usual-figidty
Udder begins to fill more-looks tight and shiny-teats get full
Vulva becomes flabby then looks flat and opening looks longer
White discharge (this may or may not happen) changing to an egg-white looking discharge, sometimes may have some blood streaking in it.

Kids Are Coming:
Let me say one thing that is very important first: If the doe’s water has broken or she has a bag of fluids showing and has not produced a baby within 20 minutes or less-you must go in to find out why-This is not normal.. she could have a mal-positioned baby or a dead baby blocking the way for a live baby behind it... I have seen many people not know this and lose the baby or the doe or both because they saw her water had broke that morning and by that evening wondered if they should do something.. 20 minutes or less maximum!
Ok.. Now you have your doe who is pawing the ground and has a discharge, her tail ligaments are soft and you know it’s time. If she isn’t already in her special kidding place then guide her there Before her water breaks. Make sure you have all of your supplies with you. A plastic bag is great for carrying these things and you can use the handles to hang them on or tie them to the fencing to keep it off the ground.
Most of the time goats have their babies with no problems but being there as a rule is the best way I have found.. Because If they do have a problem, they will need help quick. Better to be there and not have to help than not.
The first thing you will see is the bag of fluids before the baby is born-usually.

Read More here- http://goat-link.com/content/view/36/33/1/1/

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

QUESTION: A friend of mine that raises goats told me to get a glove and lubricate and check to see if she was dilated and to see if anything is stuck. I checked my doe and when I was in I could only go as far as my wrist. Something bumped my hand a couple times. so I know there is at lest one live one in there. And I felt like a circle thing, would that be the cervixs? ( not sure if I spelled that right)

Hi Lacey

Quite honestly - going in before the doe  is actively in labor sometimes is worse than not at all - (you take a chance of introducing bacteria - tearing the uterine wall, accidentally breaking the amniotic sac ..  etc )  should be left up to the very experienced and veterinarians.. (in all my 23+ years and  hundreds of goats -  I have gone in less than half dozen times  before the doe was in active labor and at that was under sterile conditions and with great caution)   Now after she is in active labor and water has broke..  this is another story..

She is Not That far off date wise.. give her time.. if she is NOT pushing or in any sort of distress  then  leave her alone and keep an eye on her.. If she  has a discharge that smells bad, is pushing and producing no baby.. has broke her water.. or acting in any sort of distress;  being you are new to this.. call your vet..

Interfering now could stall things or cause  other issues with her pending labor - be aware but be patient  - it is not unusual for a doe to go 160 days. esp a first time  kidder.  


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Specializing in New Goat Owner understanding of goat physiology, goat anatomy, goat care and herd management. *I am not a veterinarian, any advice and information should be verified by your veterinarian before administering to your goats. (! During times of severe weather in the Midwest, I may experience a delay in internet service due to the interference of the satellite reception - but will answer your questions as soon as service is restored. !) Note: Keep in mind, the goat expert is volunteering her time to help other goat owners, she also runs her farm with her own herd of 100 goats and may not be at her computer at all hours. Questions are answered as soon as she can possibly read and answer them, usually within 24 hours.


23 years experience of raising goats and herd management. Active hands on experience with goat herd and research with various Caprine University Research and Extension Centers nationwide. 15 years dedicated to helping other goat breeders/owners with goat anatomy, goat disease and goat health care issues via phone, published goat care articles and internet interaction. The information I have to offer is not only from personal experience and years of research updated often as new information is made available to me, but supported by many Veterinary Research colleges and all medications and information I have to offer on how the medications work and what dosages "I" use, is information I have acquired by discussing directly with the company's veterinarians and staff research experts.

12 year active member of International Veterinary Information Service

United Caprine News, Homesteaders Magazine, Columnist for Goat Magazine, Owner and Author of GoatPedia™

Graduate Programs in Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University

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