Goat Health Information  

Goat Information


What to expect during your goats pregnancy
and Onset of Labor

11-12 weeks - About this time if you put your hand under their belly on the right side (head on your right and rear on your left) just in front of their udder (or where their udder will be <G>) you should start to be able to feel the kids moving around inside her.  You may not feel them every time you try, but with in a few weeks you'll feel them moving most of the time.
(It feels the same as the movement of a human baby when you put your hand on it's mothers belly.)

13-14 weeks - Around this time the vulva will start to get bigger and longer and the skin around this area will become smoother.

15 weeks - If this is a first kidding you may start seeing the udder starting to develop.  (In other words you don't just have two teats attached to the belly, but can now start to feel an udder starting to grow.)  Now to show you that every goat is different.  Two of my does that are first timers this year had their udder start to develop at this time and now at 18 and 19 weeks they have nice beginnings for an udder (the udder won't start to really fill out until 2 or 3 weeks before kidding).  I have another doe who has just the 16th week and is also a first timer.  I am still just feeling two teats, but no udder development as of yet.  I
do know that she is pregnant as I have felt her kids and started feeling them in the 11 and 12 week range.

18-20 weeks - Somewhere in this time frame the udder will start to fill out some, but usually won't get tight until it's close to kidding time.

Sometime towards the end of pregnancy (I haven't discovered a week to label it yet) the tail bone will start to rise above the rump and will be more pronounce as they get closer to their kidding date.  I currently have a couple who's tail bones are starting to rise and some that are at the same week who's tail bones are still flesh with their rumps.

12-24 hours before kidding - The ligaments between the tail bone and rump will disappear (just skin and very thin).  Once they have reached that point they should kid within 12 to 24 hours.  This has been a pretty good indicator for me and I haven't missed a delivery.  There has been times that I thought the ligaments were gone, but when they truly disappear
it's unmistakable!!! Information donated by Jessica Howard of Washington

Definite signs that labor has begun

* WHITE mucus discharge with strings of blood
* A cloudy brown discharge (kind of the color of the placenta, if you have seen a placenta)
* Some goats will start to get very affectionate towards you (very likely)
* Will do a lot of pawing the ground (making their bed) and getting up and down

What time of day to expect the delivery

I have found temperature is a factor, in the winter, Kids will normally be born later in the day, at the days highest temperature, as close to 60- 70 degrees as possible. So if the high of day is 30 at 3 o'clock  and has been like that all week, (sometime the weather is not that predictable!!), she will have the babies on her due date, at about 1:00 or 2:00 in the after noon so kids will be there when it is the warmest. In the summer time,  the opposite will happen. Kids will be born morning and evening. I have also found, low pressure in atmosphere has a factor. So you can expect babies towards the end of a storm.  If you think about this you can see why God would have them do this in nature.  It is usually  warmer if it is snowing.  Donated by Renee Perkins Royal Ransom Ranch, RRR

Guessing Birthing Dates by Moon Phases

I had someone e-mail me personally and ask if  they could watch the  moon phases and maybe kidding would happen around those times as they said it was pretty reliable with humans.  I told them I didn't know much about that stuff.  But tonight I was curious and started looking at  some kidding dates and birthdays of my goats and noticed something interesting.  So, I thought I'd share it with you all. Donated by Jessica D Howard of Washington

4-05-97                      New Moon the 7th
2-18-98                    Last Qtr Moon the 19th
3-23-98                    Last Qtr Moon the 21st
4-7-98                      1st Qtr Moon the 3rd &
Full Moon the 11th
4-12-98                    Full Moon the 11th
5-4-98                      1st Qtr Moon the 3rd
6-11-98                    Full Moon the 10th
5-8-99                      Last Qtr Moon the 8th
5-14-99                    New Moon the 15th
6-12-99                    New Moon the 13th

What to do if you have to go in Manually, and Pull the kids

First, before going in, do a HYMLECK type maneuver on the doe. Stand over her shoulders,  with your head facing her rump. Put your hands under her belly, right in front of her udder. Clasp your hands together, and bump up hard and back, then let go fast. You should feels some bounces inside the does. If it is  kids, the bouncing will be heavy, but if it is just the placenta, the bouncing will be light, unless the placenta has also come out.  Babies should be born within 15 minutes after the doe starts to push.  The doe should start to push, within 6-12 hours of heavy labor. If not, go in and check.
I would go in soon with clean, closed, trimmed fingernails, and a closed fist. Go in five or 6 inches, then head slightly down. When you get in about 8 in then slowly open fingers. If you feel nothing but flower shaped bumps ( codiledients don't know spelling) and no masses, move in small circles till you are sure you have covered all areas of the uterus. If you can't get in more than 5 or 6 inches, then slowly investigate to see if she is  closed or if it is a kid stuck. If it is a kid, it  will be slimmey, you might not be able to feel the cervix either.. pray al ot don't rush!!


Diseases Affecting Humans thru Drinking Milk of Infected Animal

                   Many diseases can be spread from goats to humans through the milk. A few
                   of the more serious diseases are tuberculosis, brucellosis, leptospirosis,
                   listeriosis, and staphylococcus food poisoning.

                   TUBERCULOSIS is a chronic infectious disease of mammals rarely found
                   goats. It can be carried to humans, but may be prevented by pasteurizing the
                   milk. Refer the problem of diagnosis to the local or state veterinarian.

                   BRUCELLOSIS is a contagious disease of cattle and swine, rarely found in
                   goats. It can be transmitted to humans and causes undulant fever or Malta
                   fever. The disease can be carried through contaminated food, milk, and water
                   or from vaginal discharge. It gains entrance through skin wounds, mucous
                   membranes, and mammary glands. The disease can be prevented by proper
                   sanitation and good management. Take precautions when introducing a new
                   goat to the herd. A blood test by a veterinarian will show whether the disease
                   is present. This test should be given to all animals that are producing milk.

                   LEPTOSPIROSIS is transmitted from goat to goat or from goats to humans
                   through milk. This disease causes high fever in humans for 3 to 8 days. Other
                   signs are headaches, vomiting, and pains in muscles and joints, followed by
                   jaundice and kidney complications. It is very serious to both goats and

                   LISTERIOSIS causes abortions and circling disease in goat. This disease
                   can be transmitted from goats to humans as meningitis and glandular fever.

Foot Rot

Foot rot is caused by a specific bacteria which is transmitted from the feet of  infected sheep or goats to susceptible goats by contamination of the soil of pens and pastures. Lameness in one or more feet is the first indication of foot rot. Trimming the affected feet reveals a dark moist area of dead tissue between the wall of the hoof or sole and the sensitive tissues beneath.

Frequent trimming of normal feet, followed by occasional medicated foot baths, and isolation of affected goats until cured are sound preventative measures. Infected pens will become free of the organisms three weeks after removal of infected goats.

Treatment: Trim all infected areas of the foot down to clean tissue, even though bleeding may result. Severely trimmed and exposed feet can be wrapped in protective bandages for a few days to control bleeding and ease the pain.


Pink eye is an infectious disease caused by one or more organisms that spreads from goat to goat. Its transmission is increased by dust and flies. First  signs are tearing and drooping eyelids. Foxtails and other foreign bodies in the eye can give similar signs and therefore affected eyes should be carefully                  examined. True pink eye causes an ulcer or cloudy area in the center of the clear part of the eye (cornea).

Treatment: Treatment consists of using antibiotic ointment in the eye and isolating affected animals in a darkened area. Chamomile tea, washed on the eye three times daily. Neosporin salve, put OUTSIDE the eye, all around the eye, will dissolve slowly into the eye, and give a nice all day treatment. Vitamin A may hasten healing


This is a chronic bacterial infection spread from contaminated feed and watering areas by the feces of infected animals. Signs usually do not appear until animals are 2 years old or older and begin with severe diarrhea and weight loss, generally initiated by the stress of kidding. Although affected  animals improve if they are placed on excellent nutrition and their lactation terminated, this HAS been thought to be an incurable disease of a chronic wasting nature and known infected animals are many times culled. Johne's is frequently confused with internal parasitism or acute dietary upsets. A diagnosis should be confirmed by a veterinary laboratory. There are some who are having wonderful luck in treating this disease thru herbs and nutrition.  Contact 7mFarm & Herbals for their formula for this disease


Young kids from birth to a few months of age may be affected by this selenium deficiency disease which may take one of two forms: (1) sudden unexplained death, or (2) muscular paralysis, particularly of the hind limbs, or stiffness and inability to rise.

Treatment: Early injection of Vitamin E- selenium compounds may cure. If treatment is delayed, muscle damage may be permanent. Selenium  vitamin E compounds are most effective if injected as a preventative into susceptible, normal appearing animals, once a diagnosis is made in the flock. the best treatment is preventative. Feeding the Does before kidding time. Selinium is best found in grains, if you are in a High Selenium area. If not, you will need to supplement with such items as, sunflower seeds,  wheat bran, flax seed, yeast, etc.


The major portion of a doe's udder is comprised of the cistern areas where  milk is stored. The amount of glandular or milk secreting tissue is relatively small and is positioned high in the udder against the body wall. Bacteria, which gain entrance to the gland through the teat opening, multiply and migrate to the
glandular tissue where they cause inflammation. Most mastitis seen in dairy goats is the result of staphylococcal infection spread from the infected glands of other goats by the milking process. Streptococcal and mycoplasma  infections, though less frequent, are spread in the same manner. Boils of the gland can also be spread from goat to goat and may be precipitated by butting or bruising of the udder or injuries causing breaks in the skin. Other forms of  mastitis are occasionally seen.

Signs of acute mastitis are severe and include swelling, heat, and pain of the affected side with a characteristic change from a normal milk secretion to a watery, yellow, or gargety secretion. The other form, chronic mastitis, may not be easily recognized. A little garget in the first stream of milk, reduced
production on one side, an unbalanced udder, reduced solids on test or a salty flavor all are signs of a low-grade mastitis infection. Suspicions of a chronic mastitis infection can be confirmed by examination of the cell content of the milk, using the California Mastitis Test (CMT), and from a bacterial culture of
a milk sample submitted to the laboratory.

Sanitation at milking time is the single most important step in preventing  mastitis. Before milking, the teats and milker's hands should be disinfected in a 25 ppm iodine solution or 200 ppm chlorine solution and dried well with toweling. Teats should be dipped immediately after milking. Leaving one good squirt of milk in each teat also helps reduce mastitis.

Treatment: The treatment of mastitis in goats may not always be satisfactory, because the organisms causing mastitis in goats are among the most difficult to kill with medication.  the best Natural treatment, is to give 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar, twice daily. Add the following herbs to the animals diet. Mix any or all of the following, and give one handful of the mix, twice daily, for 7 days.  Thyme, Garlic, Rosemary, Oregano, Sage, Mustard seeds.

Public health significance: Questions always arise as to the safety of  mastitis milk for human consumption. Milk which does not appear normal or which has drug residues should never be used for human consumption.