A watched goat...will NOT kid.
Updated: Nov 29, 2018
The tag line applies to all livestock, by the way! Baby season is an extremely exciting and stressful time of year. When a goat gives birth, it is referred to as "Kidding". I have read many experiences on social media about other people's first time mammas (first fresheners) giving birth and how do you know when they are ready to give birth? In fact, in three years time, I have seen more goat HOOEY (porn) posted publicly than I care to - can't a girl have some privacy, please?! So here is my two cents worth on it:
ALL GOATS ARE DIFFERENT!
The one thing they have in common, though, is that they will scream and bleat for you for days before kidding - "Don't leave me, Maah! The babies are coming! Just kidding...no, REALLY, they are coming!" However, if you are standing there ready to help be by her side - mamma goat will hold those babies hostage until you leave! You could run to the restroom and only take two minutes to do so...and chances are she will manage to 'pop' them out without you. Sigh.
I have had some mamas cry out and keep me in their sites for days ahead of time, only quieting down when I'm in there with them. Other mamas make sure I'm near and let me know they are close, but don't want to be touched. I have quietly observed and have made mental notes for the 'signs' of the babies being close to kidding by being hands-on with all of my goats. My goats are used to being touched all over, and you can feel the babies kicking inside until about 12 hours before she will give birth. That is one BIG sign for newbies to pay attention to. I have also witnessed that ALL of my mamas (Sheep/Goats/Cows) will nip at their right side within weeks of giving birth, but continuously the day before birth. Some will talk to their babies quietly within this 24 hour gap as well, and I even had one mama lick her teats ahead of birthing to get her milk ready for the baby! I will say that NONE of my goats have EVER had any kind of mucus plug or drainage ahead of kidding as many have mentioned on FaceBook. Only a few have had their tendons in their tail 'loosened'. ALL have had their 'hooey' swell up about 2 weeks ahead of kidding to "a catcher's mit" as my dear hubby calls it; Some even to the point of looking like she will birth right then and there - if she sneezes! lol.
Best advice for newbies - shy of posting any more goat porn on the internet - is to be in touch with your doe (animal). Know her behaviors before, during and through pregnancy and make mental notes of your own. Each one is different.