You are here:

Goats/Question about birthing time.


The 25th of Feb Udder pic
The 25th of Feb Udder  
Feb 29th pic
Feb 29th pic  
QUESTION: My pregnant Oberhasli goat is not due until April 14th. Her udder is super full now. One side is huge the other is not, but both have tight skin. That is her way. She was lopsided last year too. (She was a maiden milker.) Because I am a new to goat breeding, and read too much on the internet, I milked her a bit on both sides about a quarter cup and tested for mastitis. It was negative. So, I just cut out her grain and am not letting her near the green grass. Today, she was gigantic. He udder is so tight. I milked about a cup out today and tested it for mastitis and again it was negative. Just massaging her udder makes her milk drip. So,now I understand I have made matters worse and she will produce more milk. Now I am reading the internet and it talks about colostrum. The milk was white and just like it was last year. It was not yellow. So if I do not touch her again, and she doesn't pop, will there be enough colostrum in 6 weeks for the kids. Is there colostrum in there now, just mixed with lots of milk. Is there a book you could recommend that discusses Alpine Goats who make milk when they aren't suppose to, as well as all the other really rare occurrences in goats. Because I am 100% certain, my goat is breaking all the rules. She was giving a half gallon a day last year, yet had never been bred.


First of all let me tell you.. the milk in the udder days weeks before kidding is milk.. this makes a change to colostrum with hormones shortly before or as she goes into labor - no need to worry there.

You can milk that side out daily -  since she is so far from her  kidding due date - (you are Absolutely SURE on this date right?)  to alleviate the  chance of mastitis setting in or  discomfort. This may be one of those situations a vet may be invited to check her out and  give you  his opinions as well  since she is so far from her due date.  I have seen  very full udders such as this a wee or so before kidding but not 3 months - I am assuming you  had been milking her daily  beforehand? Since she was a maiden milker?  YOU may want to continue milking her as usual and then  hold off only a week or so before kidding. Be careful abruptly changing her diet.. this is never good.. I would go ahead and allow her grain, maybe cut it back a bit.

I think a vet's opinion on this with hands on may be a good idea.. but I bet he will suggest to milk her out  every day as you had been - and maybe have him do a check for mastitis as well..  make sure you  have very clean hands and use teat dip after handling her udder all the times you  milk her out any to avoid infection.

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

QUESTION: I have been milking her just a wee bit til she doesn't feel so tight. I am back to giving her grain once a day. Today, she was napping in the sun and her bag was just dripping in the dirt. I clean her well and she is so happy to have me wash and massage her udder. I milked about two cups out. I'm super clean at all this. I use fight bac after each milking. So we are about 5+ weeks away from kidding. Do you think I should milk her COMPLETELY out each day? Then when I see her start to loose her plug stop or only as needed?

Hi Cheryl:
Yes I think  this is what I would do - I believe there is less chance of mastitis when you milk completely - and good to use the fight back  too. If she were mine I would try to stop  completely  at least 5 days prior to her kidding date - unless she really starts to look  uncomfortable - then perhaps milk her enough to relieve the pressure.  


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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

©2017 All rights reserved.