We watched for signs every day. As the doe gets close to kidding time, her body will start to adjust. Her pelvic bones begin to spread out. You can see the area around the back bone of the goat, where it connects to the tail area, begin to indent. You may, or may not, see a small amount of jell/mucus leaking from the vulva, this is called "loosing the plug". Later, an extension of this will be a steadier leak of fluid.
In our experience "strutting" happened 24hrs before kidding. When the bag is strutted, the skin is as tight as it can get. It will look shiny...it also looks very uncomfortable. I was tempted to relieve some pressure, but didn't want to milk-out colostrum. Read all about "Liquid Gold" here.
We put the pregnant does in a smaller pen at night so they would be easy to locate. There were many late night check-ins by flashlight.
One night, around 11:45...
Gidget was the first to kid. She's the herd queen. Above you can see her tail raised as the ligaments loosen. Below, you can see the kid's head emerge. What you see is the ideal presentation - a diving position. At this point we wipe the nose clean and continue to encourage the doe with soothing words and steady hands.
Around 2:00 am we had our first kid.
As soon as we clear the airway, and towel-off, doe and kid bond. She starts trying to get him on his feet immediately.
We dip the cord and the hooves in iodine and place clean used feed bags under the kid.
In the morning we all get to know each other.
Two sets of twins soon follow.
Our approach to milking in a later post.