To say Lucy is about to pop would be an understatement.
This beauty is due to kid on May 20th, but I’m pretty sure (first timer here, her and me!) that her ligaments are gone, which would mean baby goats in 24 hours or so.
I’ve read, I’ve researched, I’ve watched who knows how many goat birthing videos… yep. So here is a regurgitation of what I take as signs of impending labor.
Signs to watch:
- Ligaments- the ligaments that go from the tail base, down towards the hind legs (pin bones) are shaped like a V. Begin feelings these ligaments in the last month before due date; once labor is close these ligaments will go from hard like a pencil, to soft, to super squishy/not there. The pic below gives a general idea of where those ligaments are. They will be firm, the size of a pencil, and go down in a V towards the sides. Once they are close to labor (24 hours do so) those are nonexistent.
- Swollen vulva- typically the goats vulva will increase in size once they are pregnant. But when labor is very near it will become swollen and very puffy. Below you can see her bag has been filling up and her vulva is enlarged. My other doe Wendy is 3 weeks out and neither her bag nor her vulva are as larger as Lucy’s. The color will turn very pink.
- Discharge- Typically a goat will have discharge (mucus) from her vulva very near labor become very full before labor, more full than usual. Lucy’s udder is looking very full, but first fresheners don’t typically bag up as large until after labor (they say).
- The tail- this is sort of part 2 of the ligaments. Once the ligaments are gone, and her body is prepping for labor, the tail does a sort of “dip”, instead of being straight.
- Does will straighten back legs, stretching and arching back. This gets the kids into position. Lucy began doing this a little on May 16, this post was started on the 15th)
- Bedding down/pawing- this one is tricky. All my goats “bed down” even my whether. However, I would expect the pawing to increase as their pain increases during contractions and labor. It is a sign of discomfort.
- Active labor should look something like the tail dipping down and coming straight up, as if they’re going to potty, but instead they’re pushing through contractions. Lucy is doing this, but every time it is just her pooping … She is going potty NON stop, and I wonder if goats clean themselves out before labor like other animals, and sometimes people?
- I’ve read they will also chew at their sides, and look at their rears a lot during early labor. Lucy has been doing this a lot today.
Lucy has been grunting non stop, panting, and laying a lot. This could be because she’s miserably pregnant (ha, I know how you feel sweet girl) or, she’s close to labor. I supposed my next update will include what was early labor, actual labor, and just misery.
Below are some too cute pics- Wendy being jealous of Lucy getting attention, and the puppies laying with the goats. We have 4 boys left for sale as of today and they’re just all so impressive. I love watching them and learning about their behaviors.