Okay, maybe some would not consider 5 goats due over two months a true "season". For me it is a lot of goats and I'm very excited!!! Of course, one can never expect all good outcomes so I try to research and keep a decent kidding kit stocked, as well as the phone numbers of experience breeders and vets (yes plural, not only do goats tend to need help when your vet is unavailable, I also have several imaginative doomsday scenarios in my head that require having the phone numbers of vets three counties over).
I think we are as ready as we can be. Sugar is up first, due the 5/7. A Goat's gestation period is usually around 145-155 days with dwarf goats tending to kid on the earlier range. I find that my herd tends to average 144 days, but last year Sugar kidded around 147 days if I remember right.
By checking the tail head ligaments, you can (hopefully) tell if they are close to kidding. If they appear to be "gone" then they are said to be within 24-48 hours of kidding. What I look for is multiple signs of kidding, but the ligaments do mean more to me than just being listless. Sugar's tail head ligaments were almost gone last night, but back this morning. Actually, I find that they are usually softer at night than in the morning with all of my pregnant does. Whether this has to do with a hormonal day/night cycle, or just to prevent me from getting a good night's sleep, I do not know.
Her udder has been filling steadily over the past month. Last year, she didn't really form an udder until she was pushing, which isn't really a bad thing. However, being that her udder is already the size it was last year at a 10-12 hour fill before she has even kidded, I am hoping for better capacity this year. This is her second freshening, which usually brings a slightly better milking ability. Fingers crossed! I love this doe in terms of general appearance and conformation and want to see her be able to put milk in the pail as a Sr. doe.
I will be watching her on the barn cam on and off tonight but I think it's best to sleep for when things really get going. Let's hope for plenty of X chromosomes this year!!!
**Disclaimer: This page will contain descriptions of impending labor signs and birth as well as potentially graphic photos****
Does Due: (145 days)
Sugar - 05/07/17
Eleanor - 05/10/17, June?
Norah - 06/17/17
Norah'easter - 06/25/17