Archive for the 'Goat Birth' Category


November 24, 2009

The mechanism which controls the breeding cycle of cows is understood only to a limited extent. With your hand in the cow’s rectum it is possible to feel the whole of the genital organs and the changes that take place in them as the breeding cycle goes along. The mechanism that controls the goats breeding mechanism is believed to be similar.

The sexual cycle of the goat is started by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland secreting follicle-stimulating hormones which excited the ovaries at each tip of the ‘horns of the womb’, to develop a ‘blister’ inside which one of the store of eggs in the ovary rapidly develops. This blister itself secretes estrogen which in turn produces the symptoms of oestrus or ‘heat’

The womb contracts, the cervix at the mouth of the womb relaxes and opens, the vagina is tensed and lubricated by slime. The goat becomes restless, bleats and wags its tail with a red and swollen vulva often showing signs of discharges. The goat is ready to stand to the male goat billy.

When the blister in the ovaries reaches its full size the pituitary produces luteinizing hormones which causes the blister to burst which in turn causes the mature egg to start its long winding journey down the fallopian tubes. The broken walls of the blister then grow lutein which is a kind of temporary gland that secretes progesterone. Progesterone has an opposite effect to that of oestrogen. Thus the outward symptoms of ‘heat’ subside, the vagina relaxes and dries off, the cervix closes to seal the womb and the womb then relaxes and is richly supplied by blood.

If the mating is successful the egg on its way down the fallopian tubes encounters a sperm and fertilizes and upon arriving at the womb finds its place prepared for it (by the action of the progesterone) settles down and develops. The lutein remains continuing to produces progesterone until the foetus is mature

Upon maturity of the foetus the lutein is reabsorbed and at the stimulus of the pituitary, the ovaries once more secrete estrogen which relaxes the cervix, lubricates the vagina and contracts the womb to expel the kid. When the kid is born the secretion of estrogen stops.

If the egg is not fertilized on its way down the fallopian tubes the lutein persists secreting progesterone for about 10 days after which it shrinks away and the follicle-stimulating hormone is again secreted by the pituitary gland to start the cycle all over again.




October 29, 2009

New Addition To Our Barbados Blackbelly Sheep Herd


August 26, 2009

In the days before you Doe is due, start placing her up for the night in the kidding pen where she will have some privacy.  Sometimes we will put them in with another doe they get along well with because naturally goats do not like to be alone, so giving the doe ‘a friend’ (if needed) helps keep down stress. By placing the doe up a few days before the actual kidding time gives her time to adjust to her new pen.  A video monitor, something we have been thinking about but cannot afford at the moment, would be rather nice at this point to save on having to walk over to the pens in the odd hours of the night to check them over.


January 18, 2009


Our first kid of the year Barbados Blackbelly Sheep kid born in the very early morning of 1st January 2009. Weighing in at 1.67kg. What a fantastic start to a new year! Happy New Year!


October 15, 2008

Place you hand on your doe’s spine right where it starts to angle down, by putting your fingers on one side of the spine and your thumb on the other side. Now run your fingers slowly down her spine toward the tail, feeling along the spine and the areas just to the sides of the spine. As you run your fingers down the spine, you will feel the ligaments which are located on either side of your doe’s spine, about halfway between where her back starts to slope down and her tail. The ligaments seem to come out of the spine and slant down toward her pin bones. They feel similar to the size of pencils. If you can’t find them, keep trying, going slowly down the spine. You need to learn to feel for the ligaments because as the birth nears, the ligaments loosen. At first they will feel quite hard but then they will gradually start to soften and once it feels like they’re “gone” labor is close at hand.

As you feel for the ligaments you’ll also be feeling for the physical changes in the tail head. As labor drawing near, the area along the spine will seem to sink and the tail head seems to rise. Get used to running your hand down your doe’s spine to check the ligaments and the raising of the tail head. If you no longer feel the ligaments and you can practically feel and touch your fingers and thumb together around her tail head, your doe will probably kid sometime within the next 24 – 48 hours.

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