Do you want to know how soon a goat can get pregnant after giving birth? Find the answer to this question and more about the pregnancy of goats in this article.
Goats are among the first animals domesticated by humans and are being bred for their milk and meat for more than 9,000 years.
Breeding goats can seem a bit challenging for someone who has never raised goats. Whether you want to breed your goats for profit or just for your private production, there are certain things you need to know.
How Soon Can A Goat Get Pregnant After Giving Birth?
There is not an exact time frame since the last birth after which the doe can become pregnant again.
For a goat to get pregnant again after giving birth, it first has to come back into heat. Although that can happen shortly after kidding, it is not recommended to allow you doe to get pregnant again before having a recovery break. Kidding and lactating are exhausting for the doe and she needs a period of rest before the next pregnancy.
To answer this question more clearly, we need to understand a few things regarding goat breeding.
Goats Reproductive Cycle
The reproductive cycle of most goats has a seasonal character. This trait is inherited from the wild goats who only bred in November and December so that the kids find in the first weeks of life the most favorable conditions for growth. The species of animals that are only mating in a particular time of year are called "seasonal breeders" .
Researchers have made a connection between the occurrence of heat in goats and the daylight . It has been found that prolonged light and high temperatures can suppress the desire of does to mate.
Although bucks can mate throughout the year, the does heat dictates when will produce offsprings.
Heat & Estrous Cycle Of Goats
The heat in most goat species appears in the fall when the nights are longer and days shorter. Yet, this can vary depending on location, breed, and climate. As an exception to the rule, if proper resources and the right conditions are constantly available, some goat breeds can also have a breeding period throughout the year.
The estrous cycle in goats occurs every 18 to 24 days (with an average of 21 days). A shorter cycle of 5-7 days can very rarely occur in young goats.
Estrous or heat itself manifests over a period of time ranging from 24 to 72 hours in mature goats.
Gestation Period For Goats
The gestation period of goats is normally about 150 days. This, however, can range from 143 to 157 days depending slightly on one breed to another, the age of the doe and whether it's at the first birth, the gender of the kids and how many, etc.
The miniature goat breeds (breeds like Pygmy, Nigerian Dwarf, or Kinder Goats) commonly have a slightly shorter gestation period than most breeds, of about 145 days.
To help you more easily calculate your goats' due dates, we have created this gestation calculator that you can use for free whenever you need it. This tool will help you quickly and effortlessly calculate how many days are left until the kids are born.
How Many Times Do Goats Give Birth In A Year?
Most goats only give birth once a year. As the goats' gestation period length is about 150 days, even if the doe would get back into heat several times a year, there wouldn't be enough time to give birth more than two times within 12 months.
An example of a breed that can give birth twice a year is Boer. Goats from this breed can come into heat throughout the year and enable the breeders to breed the does two times a year. As a result, Boers deliver kids both in spring and fall.
Dwarf goats can also be bred throughout the year. Many growers choose to adopt a breeding cycle that involves breeding their does three times in two years, giving the does a six month plus break between pregnancies .
Having a doe bred too often, without any breaks, might lead to health issues for the mother or kids.
How Many Kids Does A Goat Have Per Birth?
On average, goats have two kids per gestation, but it is not uncommon for them to give birth to four kids at once. However, there are cases when does can have even more kids.
According to the Guinness World Records, the current record regarding the goat that gave birth to the most kids at the same time is currently held by Angelica, a Nigerian Dwarf goat from the United States. This doe gave birth to 7 kids on February 16, 2019.