Pregnancy and gestation are crucial periods of time both for goats as well as their owners. Nutrition and diet for the goats must be given extra care, as you would be looking after more than one life at that moment. Besides this, there are various steps involved in keeping a goat happy and healthy throughout her pregnancy and finally leading to a safe delivery. Find out how to care for a pregnant goat here and be prepared for the next breeding season.

Housing a Pregnant Goat

Goats love to have space to move around freely. So, for a pregnant goat, having enough space is all the more important. While preparing for the pregnant goat’s shelter, make sure that you have enough space to keep the mother happy in her place, even if it is a shared area among other goats of the herd. The expecting mother should have enough space to freely move around. You can use straw or wood shaving to create bedding for her, which gives her maximum comfort. The place should be dry and clean, and regular cleaning of the shelter is also required to maintain hygiene and protect the pregnant goat from germs and diseases.

housing a pregnant goat

The place where the goat is housed must be secured properly so as to keep the predators away. Putting up strong and sturdy fences will help you keep dangers away. You can use electric fences for this purpose, as they ensure maximum security. The fences will also prevent the pregnant goat from straying far off to unsupervised areas. Always keep an eye out for them during grazing time.

Nutrition for a Pregnant Goat

Nutrition is an integral part that comes in while caring for pregnant goats. In fact, the role of a balanced diet is crucial even before the goats are bred. A goat that is weak in health can even have problems conceiving. Lack of proper nutrition can also lead to the baby goats being born weak and with illnesses. Hence, overall health plays a vital role even before conception.

The pregnant goat can be fed with 50/50 alfalfa or hay that comes in high quality, to ensure that the mother gets the required nutrients and protein during her pregnancy. This keeps the health of the mother and baby in balance. You can also allow the pregnant goat to have free-choice minerals throughout her pregnancy, to provide her with all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Clean and safe drinking water must be available for the goat all the time. You can also add and increase the amounts of grain in your goat’s diet during the later stages of pregnancy. Though grain is an important food supplement, when it comes to goats being milked, early pregnancy does not call for such a change. With quality hay, pastures, and mineral supplements, as required by the goat, you can ensure a hassle-free and successful pregnancy period.

nutrition for a pregnant goat

Grooming of a Pregnant Goat

Grooming is part of keeping the goat clean and healthy. Regular grooming not only keeps it clean and off dirt, but it also increases blood circulation. So, brush your goat’s coat regularly to remove dirt and loose hair. Care must be given to their hooves, as they should be trimmed at certain intervals to prevent them from growing excessively and causing discomfort to the goats. During pregnancy there will be surges in the production of growth hormones, leading to the hooves growing faster than usual.

It is advised that you trim the pregnant goat’s hooves one month prior to birthing since it would be difficult for them to cooperate with you in the process, as they get heavier with time. You can also shave their udders and trim the long hairs around the tail and the back of their legs, which will help you with cleaning up after the kid is delivered.

Drying Off a Pregnant Goat

A goat can get pregnant while she is lactating, and you can continue milking her till two months before the due date. This is done to enable the goat’s body to focus on the current pregnancy and save all her energy for the young ones to be born. The process of drying a pregnant goat off can be done gradually by lengthening the time between her milking. Farm owners often follow a gradual pattern where they increase the time by one hour every day, increasing to 13 hours from 12, then to 14, and so on. This will lead to the mother having a drop in her milk production, which will keep decreasing until they dry up. Adopting this way also helps to prevent mastitis upon birthing, says experienced goat owners.

Preparing for the Due Date

As you are approaching the due date of your pregnant goat, make sure that you have everything you might need at the time of delivery. Check for all the essential supplies you will require at least a week before the expected delivery date. Also, keep your goat’s veterinarian’s number at your reach in case of an emergency. It is also good to have frozen or powdered colostrum ready if any issues arise with the mother’s milk production during the first few hours after delivery.

caring for a pregnant goat

When it is about time for delivery, you can separate the pregnant goat from the herd and house her in a different stall with a few of her friends or companions. The stall must be clean, with all the food supplements for the mother ready and near. It is advised to use fresh straw as bedding since the newborns might inhale the fine particles of wood chips, and it can also stick to the wet body of them. If the weather is cold, keep the heat sources ready to ensure that the babies stay warm. After setting up all these, you can wait for the goat to go into labor. This can happen a few days prior to or later than the predicted due date.

Problems a Pregnant Goat Might Face

Pregnancy is a crucial period that must be dealt with care. During this period, goats can experience different problems due to physical and hormonal changes. Mastitis is one condition that goats might face during pregnancy. It is mammary gland inflation that causes pain to the mother while nursing. Goats can also suffer from congested udders, which can lead to complications and discomfort.

Due to sudden drops in calcium levels after birthing, the goats can have milk fever or Hypocalcemia. This must be treated properly, or else could even cause paralysis in goats. Another situation where it requires immediate medical assistance is when the mother’s uterus protrudes outward before giving birth. It can be fatal and must be tended quickly with no delay.


Caring for a goat when she is pregnant is as important as raising them. With proper nutrition, shelter, and pre-delivery preparations, you can keep your does happy and relaxed throughout their pregnancy and lead them to a smooth delivery. Also, make sure to consult the veterinarian whenever necessary and monitor the goat’s health regularly without any delay. 


  • Sameera R

    Sameera is particularly fond of farm animals and loves to write about them. Horses are her favorites and she wishes to own one someday.

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