How Long are Goats Pregnant: Gestation Period and Litter Size

How Long are Goats Pregnant
How Long are Goats Pregnant

Goats, especially baby goats, are among the cutest animals on the planet. People adore baby goats, and honestly, what’s not to adore? Goats are one of the most popular farm animals, thanks to their bouncy movements, heart-melting expressions, and ability to be soft and affectionate – some even compare them to dogs! This post will look at how long goats can be pregnant and how to tell if a goat is pregnant.

How Long are Goats Pregnant 

The majority of goat species have a gestation period of about 150 days. However, some goats are pregnant for a longer period of time. The Toggenburg goat, for example, has a gestation period of up to 179 days. Before you begin breeding goats, you should wait until they are of breeding age.

Age of Goat Breeding

The recommended goat breeding age is roughly the same whether you’re talking about does or bucks.


Doelings, or female goats aged 12 months or less, are physically capable of breeding as early as four months old, when they achieve puberty and begin ovulating. When a doe reaches puberty, she has her first heat (estrus) and ovulation.

However, because they only weigh about 80 pounds, they are still quite young, and pregnancy at this stage could inflict stress on their bodies. Goats typically have twins or triplets. The weight of the pregnancy may be too much for a doeling’s legs, necessitating the need of splints later in life.

As a result, it’s best to keep any bucks you have separate from young does until they’re about a year old or weigh around 100 pounds. At 100 pounds, you’d think their bodies would be mature enough to breed and bring twins or triplets to term. It is critical to discover what goats consume before breeding to guarantee correct feeding.


A buckling, or buck less than 12 months old, can weigh anything from 100 to 350 pounds. They can enter puberty as early as four months old, and many people assume they are completely developed by five months.

In terms of goat reproduction, a six-month-old buckling can impregnate about ten does in a month and can breed 30 does by 12 months. Again, just because they can begin reproducing at four months old does not imply that they should.

Most experts recommend that you wait until a buckling is about a year old before breeding it. Because a buck has the largest genetic influence on a herd, it’s preferable to wait until they’re at their fittest stage to ensure you get children with strong qualities.

However, even when your buck has reached full maturity, you should minimize breeding. A buck should serve no more than 10 does every month after a year. After two years, you can increase it to 25 does, and after three years, he can breed up to 40 does at once.

As a result, the number of does a buck should breed depends on his age, but you should also consider his health. You must also guarantee that all of his dietary demands are addressed at all times, particularly during the breeding season and throughout the mating period.

What is the Goats Gestation Period?

Gestation is the period of time during which an animal develops in the mother’s body, from conception through birth. The length of time varies widely between animals. Other agricultural animals have different gestation durations than goats, which is 150 days.

Sheep are likewise pregnant for 150 days, pigs for 113 days, and cows for far longer, on average for 283 days. The 150-day average is for domestic goats of normal size. Is there a difference between the popular pygmy and Nigerian dwarf varieties?

Pygmy and Nigerian Dwarf Goat Gestation Period

Both the pygmy goat and the Nigerian dwarf goat are small, yet they are distinct breeds. According to the American Goat Society, miniature goats have a somewhat shorter gestation period than full-sized goats. Instead of 150 days, tiny goats are pregnant for an average of 145 days.

These are insignificant timing discrepancies. Small goat gestation durations are frequently given at 150 days as well.

What Influences a Goat’s Pregnancy Time?

Depending on the circumstances, goats can become pregnant multiple times. The breed can have a minor impact, but there are other things to consider, such as:

  • Litter weight
  • Breeding season
  • Parity (number of times the mother has been pregnant)

What isn’t a consideration? The number and gender of children (baby goats) in a litter have no effect on gestation period. Summer-bred goats have slightly longer gestation durations than fall-bred goats. A longer gestation period results in heavier children.

Mothers who have had multiple litters have shorter gestational duration. They also have larger litters after multiple pregnancies. Longer gestation times in goats are beneficial because they result in bigger (and healthier) kids than shorter gestation spans.

How to Tell If a Goat is Pregnant

If you must know whether or not your bred goats are pregnant, you can always pay for blood tests, X-rays, or ultrasounds. However, all pregnant goats exhibit some observable indicators. It takes time and practice to figure out how to tell if a goat is pregnant.

#1. Failing to return to the heat.

A goat that has not been successfully bred will usually go into heat again on her next cycle. Any individual doe’s heat cycle can last anywhere from 17 to 25 days, thus knowing the length of each doe’s heat cycle can tell you when to look for her next estrus.

A doe who settles (becomes pregnant) will not return to her normal heat. She may exhibit some signs of estrus in the next cycle or two, but they will be weaker than usual. If she pays a visit to a buck, she will show little interest in him. Another interesting truth about goats is that once the breeding season has come to an end, a doe that has not been properly bred may fail to reappear in heat.

#2. Appetite goes up, milk production goes down.

A pregnant doe’s appetite progressively increases. If she is being milked, her milk output may decrease gradually as her udder recedes. If a milker does not stop producing on her own, discontinue milking her two months before the children are due to give her body a rest. Because the gestation cycle for goats is approximately 150 days, milking should be discontinued no later than 120 days after the doe was bred.

#3. The doe’s stomach tightens.

Two weeks following a successful breeding, a doe’s belly will tighten, which you may feel by pressing your fingers firmly against her tummy right in front of her udder. The belly of a settled doe will be stiff and tight. The belly of an unbred, or open, doe will be soft. It’s important to remember that a doe who isn’t used to being handled may stiffen her tummy out of nervousness, even if she isn’t pregnant.

#4. The doe’s individuality develops.

A settled doe’s personality often changes due to the hormone progesterone, usually within two weeks. If the doe is generally kind to you, she may become hostile. A hesitant doe may suddenly become your best buddy, yearning for back scratches. This transformation is just transient, lasting only as long as the goat is pregnant.

#5. The personality of the buck shifts.

If the doe is still kept with the breeder buck, the buck may grow violent toward the bred doe. For example, an otherwise gentlemanly buck may begin to keep the doe away from the grain feeder. You will be able to spot any difference in the buck’s behavior if you observe how he regularly acts toward each doe.

#6. The doe’s barrel expands.

Some pregnant goats begin to plump out almost immediately. Others do not appear until a few months after being bred, and occasionally appear to balloon overnight. You may identify this progressive rise in size by measuring each doe’s girth (barrel diameter immediately between the front legs) at the time of breeding and then every month after that.

#7. The doe’s shape changes.

The doe’s right side may protrude further than her left side as her fetus(es) develops. Swelling on the left side indicates a full rumen, but when a doe is carrying two or more kids, they may press into the rumen and cause her to bulge out on both the left and right sides, giving the doe a boat-like look. Some does, particularly those who have already kidded, may not expand at the side but instead acquire a droopy belly. Other does, particularly older ones, do not show any signs of pregnancy until around six weeks before goat labor begins.

#8. The doe snores.

When resting, all goats snore, especially when taking a siesta on a hot summer afternoon. However, during goat pregnancy, they snore more and loudly than usual. Nothing beats approaching a goat farm and hearing a chorus of snoring pregnant does.

#9. The udder of the doe swells.

A goat’s udder that has previously kidded may not begin to fill out until approximately a month, or even days, before she is due to kid. If this is the doe’s first goat pregnancy, her udder should start to form gradually approximately six weeks after she settles and should be neatly rounded by 12 weeks.

#10. The kids move.

You may be able to detect movement of the kid(s) a doe is carrying three and a half to four months after she has settled. They can be seen kicking against her side at times. You may feel movement if you place your open hands on her right side and tummy, forward of the udder, especially if the doe is carrying more than one youngster.

If you enjoy surprises, you could always try the wait-and-see method to detect goat pregnancy. When offspring arrive in your barn, you’ll know your doe has been successfully bred.

How Many Months Are Goats Pregnant?

Most goat species are pregnant for 145 to 152 days. The 150-day average is five months in months. Does who have a prolonged gestation period can be pregnant for up to six and a half months.

  • Kiko goats are pregnant for a period of 155 days.
  • A Toggenburg goat is pregnant for a longer amount of time than the usual. For 179 days, Toggenburg does are pregnant.
  • Nubian goat does are pregnant for a period of 150 days.

How Many Times a Year Can a Goat Give Birth?

A goat giving birth once a year is healthier and more natural. Goats in the wild would only cycle if they did not become pregnant. If a doe becomes pregnant relatively early in the season, say in September, she will give birth in February at the earliest.

In the rut, she wouldn’t generally start cycling again until later that year. Although we and other specialists do not advise it for health reasons, some goats can give birth again in 18 months.

Goat Gestation Calculators

To predict when a doe (female goat) will give birth, many goat farmers utilize gestation calculators or tables. Online gestation calculators allow you to enter the date your goat was bred and receive an estimated kidding date. Some gestation tables give 6 dates per month, along with the accompanying kidding dates.

How many months is a goat pregnant?

After five months

The average gestation time for a goat is 150 days. A typical goat pregnancy lasts five months.

How many months is a Boer goat pregnant?

The average gestation period is 148.2+/-3.7 days, with multiple births having no influence on gestation length. The uterus of the Boer goat is macroscopically complete by day 28 post-partum, with the Boer goat’s post-partum anoestrous period lasting 55.5+/-24.9 days.

How many times does a goat give birth in a year?

Because the normal goat gestation period is 150 days, a female goat may have two deliveries each year. If you plan on breeding goats, expect an average of two children per pregnancy. While this is the average, having one to three children each birth is totally typical.

Do goats give birth easily?

Goats can successfully birth children in a variety of settings without assistance. However, two of the most dangerous situations are when the head is turned back or when she attempts to deliver two children at the same moment.

Do goats give birth before the due date?

Goats have a gestation period of about 150 days, but a doe can kid up to three days early or five days late.


The simple answer to the question “how long do goats stay pregnant for” is 150 days. While goat owners should be aware that the gestation period of pregnant goats can vary greatly depending on factors such as breed, litter weight, and environment, the average goat gestation length ranges from 145 to 155 days, with most goat breeds averaging around 150 days (or about five months, if you prefer!).

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a goat be pregnant for 6 months?

Most doe species are pregnant between 145 and 152 days. The 150-day average is five months in months. Does who have a prolonged gestation period can be pregnant for up to six and a half months. For 155 days, Kiko goats are pregnant.

Can you touch a baby goat after its born?

Immediately after birth

Don’t touch it, no matter what! Don’t pop it, pull it out, or anything else. Allow it to dangle and release on its own. Sure, it looks disgusting, and you might have to avoid getting whacked with it as she moves around with it dangling from her backside.

What does a goat in labor look like?

Pawing the bedding, nesting, restlessness, glancing back at her sides, white discharge from the vulva, the vulva becoming flabby, the doe hollowing out, lifting her tail, and getting noisy are all signs of first-stage labor. As the muscles relax to accommodate birth, the doe will become mushy around the tail head.

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