Graded mature stock are selected and bred for their
(genetic) height and the breed characteristics. We
are carefully selecting animals, pairing them to breed
the characteristics that are needed to produce animals
meeting the Breed Standard of Excellence. It is our aim to produce animals that are genetically
small, very good type and have great body conformation.
Our breeding program has been evolving and strengthening
over many years. It is a long-term process and commitment.
We now have mature does at 53.5 -58.5 centimeters
(21 -23 inches) in height.
am now concentrating on body confirmation and ear type,
continually striving to strengthen the characteristics
and establishing the genetics of the breed type in the
animals at our stud. In the next few years I anticipate
our breeding program will be very rewarding and exciting.
Potential purebred stock has been born on our stud and
we are now awaiting the three and four-year height verification
and required vet inspection to gain pure bred status.
doe will reach an appropriate breeding age usually at the
age of one year to eighteen months. By this age the body
has matured and grown to a size that makes it possible to
safely maintain a pregnancy. Rather than focusing on age
I prefer instead to look at the doe's weight, her health
and her build. It is important that the doe is in peak health,
not too fat or too thin.
Does are purposely fed well the month prior to the planned
introduction to the buck, They are de-wormed and orally
given a liquid mineral supplement which is continued throughout
I reduce the green feed content at the time of mating, as
I do believe, as I have read in several articles that this
change in diet is known and has been proven to increase
the number of doe kids being born. I have been practicing
this for the last five years with good results.
A large number of buck kids born, can mean too much lucerne
or goitragenic feeds at conception and a possible deficiency
of iodine. Seaweed meal will correct any short fall of this
in their diet.
the doe is properly in season she will stand and allow the
buck to mount her, if she is not ready she will have nothing
to do with him.
are seasonal breeders although; some of my does do
breed all year round. During the breeding season the
females come into oestrus (season) approximately every
twenty-one days, and will usually stay in season for
twelve to forty eight hours. Behavior changes that
are commonly associated with the season include vocalizations,
bleating very loudly, constant tail wagging from side
to side. The vulva will appear slightly swollen and
reddened, and the area around the tail may look wet
due to a slight vaginal discharge. Other signs of
heat are frequency of urination, mounting other goats
and a definite interest in the male goat.
A doe in season will pace along the fence line, standing
or sitting close to the fence, as near to the buck
as they are able to position themselves.
In the breeding season the behavior of the buck and
seasonal doe that is ready to mate is easily recognized.
buck in the breeding season can be very determined
to get to the does. Our buck paddock is very secure
with three electricified wires on the fence and also
one wire at the top of the fence line. We do not house
bucks on their own, they have a companion, either
one of the same sex or a wether (de-sexed male).
During the season I can cast my eye over the paddocks
and the behavior of the bucks and does will soon tell
me who is in season.
Ideally when the buck and doe are ready to be joined
and a pairing is planned, they are individually brought
into a long run and introduced to one another, this
enables the dates to be recorded and the exact date
of kidding is then known.
at times we do run a selected buck with the does together
in the paddock and due to experience and daily attention,
and observing the behavior in the paddock between
the buck and doe, one is able to be aware of who has
mated and able to record when the doe is expected
A doe carries her kid/s for 150 days, most does kid
am a great convert to adding apple cider vinegar in
my herd's feed each day. Apple cider vinegar contains
natural potassium in a safe way. It is able to maintain
the correct PH in the body and because of the potassium
content the apple cider vinegar helps prevent problems
with birthing. Potassium deficiencies cause blood
vessel restriction affecting the cervix and uterus
in the final stages of pregnancy; dystokia is the
result. When the blood vessels to the uterus and cervix
are operating correctly this assists the foetus moving
along the birth canal and into the correct position
for the birthing. Apple cider vinegar given regularly
to bucks will help to prevent Urinary Calculi.
The nutrition and care of the pregnant doe is very
important. The doe must receive adequate levels of
protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals during
her pregnancy and needs supplementary feeding in the
final six weeks of the pregnancy with the addition
of maize, barley or goat pellets in the diet.
Unborn kids put on up to 80% of their growth in the
last few weeks of pregnancy.
If the doe lacks nutrients, then the kid in utero
will suffer and not grow properly and will have a
low birth weight.
Does that are under nourished, under exercised and
those carrying multiple kids and the over weight does
may develop pregnancy toxemia. The demands of the
growing kids can be too much for the does system.
A healthy doe should gain weight steadily, have a
good coat and her eyelids and gums should be a healthy
Plumbago Stud a month prior to kidding the doe is vaccinated
to ensure the kid/s receive adequate protection against
tetanus and enterotoxaemia (pulpy kidney) for the first
weeks of life. The doe is drenched with a safe to use de-wormer
for pregnant does.
Does with the longer hair type, are given a haircut. The
hair around the vulva and legs is trimmed back to skin level
with scissors, to prevent soiling when giving birth, and
the doe's hooves are trimmed.
the does due date is expected; I do change the time
of feeding to suit my schedule and either feed at night
or in the morning. I have found feeding at night the
doe will usually kid early morning, and if fed in the
morning the doe kids in the evening hours. I have found
this practice does seem to work.
The goat shed and pens are cleaned. The floors covered
in clean straw and all feed buckets and especially water
containers are raised off the floor area. The doe is
moved to the kidding paddock near the house, so we are
able to observe any changes in the doe's behavior and
hear any noises of distress, or panic caused by a predator
in the paddock.
If the does due date has not been recorded, one of the first
signs she is due to kid, will be when she begins to isolate
herself from the rest of the herd. Ideally this is when she
is moved to the kidding pen, where she will be able to give
birth in a safe quiet environment with the least interference
discharge is a sure sign that kidding is imminent. This is
the plug and this is usually the first stage of labour and
can last for a number of hours. The doe is usually displaying
signs that she is uncomfortable and restless, she may become
more talkative and want to be near you. Repeatedly lying down
and getting up, pawing at the ground and making nesting hollows.
The second stage of labour begins with severe and frequent
straining which should result in the kid being born after
about twenty minutes, within its covering of membranes.
The membrane bag is usually seen first, with two little hooves
and behind the hooves a little nose, all inside the membrane
after the birth of each kid I do make sure the mouth
and nostrils are clear of fluid and their airways are
clear. If expecting another kid I gently move the kid
towards the doe's face away from the doe's rear end.
Usually there is up to fifteen to twenty minutes interval
between the birth of twins and triplets.
The doe will lick her kids clean and when they manage
to stand, nudge them towards her teats and talk to them
while doing so.
The doe is now given a drink of warm fresh water with
a little molasses in it and some fresh hay. The newborn
kid/s are examined for any defects, and to check the
sex, and the naval cord is dipped in an iodine solution.
Quietly sitting away from the doe and kid/s, I observe
that all is well and that the kid/s do feed. Kids do
need to have their first feed within twelve hours of
their birth to receive their mother's colostrums.
The placenta is expelled up to an hour after the birth.
Some goats will eat the afterbirth, but I do check it
is in tact and dispose of it, so no smell is around
to attract flies and predators. If the placenta is not
expelled you do need to seek veterinary advise. Mother
and kid/s are then penned and left to bond together.
is normal for all freshly kidded does to have a blood
stained discharge that can last up to three weeks,
during this time the tail may need washing. A foul
smelling discharge is not normal and will need veterinary
The following day the doe is wormed and continual
checks to ensure all are well.
This is an ideal labor and birth and 99% of cases
it is what does happen. At times complications can
arise and veterinary assistance is needed. It is also
comforting if inexperienced in birthing, to have a
fellow breeder or acquaintance close by that can give
advice or assistance if needed.
are disbudded at approximately seven days old and
remain in the Goat-shed with their mum until they
are ten days old. Our goat shed is attached to a large
outside fenced area, so the doe and kid/s can be outside
each day in the sunlight and have the freedom to move
back into the goat shed.
After the tenth day the access gate to the paddock
is opened and the doe and kid/s are given the choice
to either be in the shed area or move out with the
rest of the herd in the paddock. At eight weeks old
the kids are given their 5 in1 booster vaccination
and the final vaccination is given in four weeks time.
usually wean their kids at approximately twelve weeks old.
Doe and buck kids play and display mounting games with each
other at a very young age, however both the female and male
are capable and can become sexually active as young as three
months old and need to be separated to prevent an accidental
mating. It does happen!
note I am not a vet. Articles written on this site are for
reference only and are my experience and knowledge of keeping
goats and how I care for my goats at Plumbago Stud.