As we all feel the excitement of the shift in the seasons from a long, cold, snowy winter to a warm, green grass and flower filled spring, we at River’s Edge Goat Dairy, become excited about the arrival of newborn goat kids. We know you do too.
Goats are seasonal breeders, meaning their reproductive cycles are sensitive to the time of year. Day-length is a critical driver of the ovulation cycle in the female goat (called a doe) and coming into rut for the male goats (called bucks). As the day length shortens in August, goats across North America begin to ovulate. From December through to sometime in January goats are breeding and conceiving. The gestation of a goat is five months, or 150 days. When it’s time for goats to give birth, it’s called Kidding Season! NO, we’re not kidding. (There are always lots of kidding jokes around here)
Goats typically give birth to one to four kid goats unassisted. It is most common for young goats which are carrying their first kid to only have one. At a second kidding, twins are more common. Triplets and quads typically are more common in goats that have given birth three or more times. It is possible for goats to have five, six or even seven kids at one time! Six and seven are rare. In the 21 years I have been kidding out goats, I have seen only three sets of quintuplets and only have seen and heard from fellow goat breeders about any more than five kids being delivered at one time.
Most goats do not require assistance when giving birth. Occasionally, a kid gets stuck because they are not coming out in the right direction (bum first instead of headfirst), a long leg gets tucked back in instead of pointing out, two kids sometimes try to come out at once, or just a big kid is difficult for a doe to push out on her own. I have learned a lot over the last two decades! I am proud to say, I am now confident I can help our goats out no matter what the predicament.
March of 2022 is here. We are expecting around 60 female goats to give birth to around 100 kids. This year we have our usual River’s Edge cross-bred (Alpine, Nubian, and Lamancha) dairy goats kidding AND new for this year, we have our “chocolate goats” Our Chocolate Goats are River’s Edge Goats crossed with a Nigerian Dwarf buck. These goats will have milk that is more rich, sweet, and creamy than the milk we produce for cheese.
Lots of you have been asking to buy goats! If you are, please check out our Goats For Sale page.
Lots of you have also been asking to see the baby goats. It will be a while until the nicer weather arrives and we can open the doors for all to see the goats. If you cannot wait OR you would like to have some snuggle time with some goats (kids and mamas) we recommend you book a private guided tour with one of our River’s Edge team.