Most of us have visited a farm once or twice in our lives. There, you can see many farm animals, including horses, chickens, cows, and, of course, goats.
Goats are raised on farms for several reasons. For example, they are important for meat, milk, brush control, livestock shows, as well as companionship. As a result, farmers choose to breed them for agricultural purposes.
After a goat gives birth, it takes time for it to be able to give birth again. But how long? Let’s take a look at when exactly a goat can get pregnant again after giving birth.
How Soon Can A Goat Get Pregnant After Giving Birth?
After giving birth, a goat can be bred again after about three months, provided everything goes well. The goat needs time to regain its strength and take care of its kids, so it needs an adequate amount of time to do that. With that in mind, goat kidding can occur every seven months, including the three-month period of rest.
What affects how soon a goat can get pregnant after giving birth?
Just like with humans, there are safety guidelines as to how soon after giving birth a goat can get pregnant again.
In the case of goats, it’s important to wait at least three months after goat kidding to bread the animal again. This time frame allows the goat to rest, recover, and take care of its young.
Breeding the animal before that time can cause illness and even death, not to mention that it’s unethical.
With that said, there aren’t many other factors that affect how soon after kidding a goat can get pregnant rather than simply waiting for it to recover its strength.
How can you tell a goat is pregnant?
Just like with any animal, there are several ways to determine if a goat is pregnant.
In the beginning, the goat’s appetite will increase, but the production of milk will decrease. This is because the goat is trying to retain strength for the pregnancy and birth, so its body slows down milk production.
Later on, the goat’s belly tightens and becomes more pronounced. It’s one of the most common signs that the goat is pregnant and is visible relatively soon after impregnation.
Another thing you may notice is the change in the pregnant goat’s personality.
Because of the hormone progesterone, the goat’s personality might experience a complete change. For example, if it used to be friendly towards you, now it might want nothing to do with you and vice versa.
What’s more, if the pregnant goat is still in the same company as the breeder buck (the goat that impregnated her), the buck might become more aggressive toward her.
This has a lot to do with the hormones and usually passes after the goat gives birth and stops nursing the young goats.
Later on in the pregnancy, you’ll obviously be able to see a larger belly, kids moving, and an overall change in the goat’s shape.
Can a goat get pregnant while nursing?
The simple answer is yes; a goat can get pregnant while nursing but not right away.
First of all, goats can only get pregnant during their heat cycle, which doesn’t occur for a while after giving birth.
This period of time, called lactational anestrous, allows for the uterus to heal and provides the goat with time to recover, feed her children, and wean them before getting pregnant again.
After a while, even if the goat is still nursing or being milked, the heat cycle will start again, allowing for another pregnancy.
How many times a year can a goat get pregnant?
The gestation period for goats is anywhere between 145 to 155 days, averaging 150 days. This number is affected by the breed, litter weight, environment, and other factors. So, it can be less or more.
Keeping that in mind, it’s much better to breed the female goat once a year. That way, you can ensure the goat is healthy, strong, and ready to reproduce in the future.
That said, some breeds can be bred twice within the period of about 18 months, which equals around twice a year, give or take. But most breeders avoid doing that to ensure the good health of the goats.
Goats are in their best breeding state at about five to seven years. After that, they’re less likely to become pregnant, and if they do, they’re more likely to give birth to fewer goats.
In some cases, a goat might be able to be bred for up to 12 or 14 years, but that’s very rare.
How can you know a goat is in heat?
Now that you know how often a goat can become pregnant and how to tell if she’s already pregnant, it’s a good idea to know when it’s in heat.
One of the most common signs you can notice that a goat is in heat is that it becomes more talkative.
As a rule, most goats are relatively quiet and don’t make too much noise. But when a goat is ready to be pregnant, it might become more vocal.
Additionally, the goat’s behavior might change, and it may start wagging its tail. This behavior is often associated with trying to attract a mate for breeding.
What’s more, when a goat’s in heat, it might produce way more milk than usual. This is caused by the surge in hormones that promote milk production.
So, when the goat’s in heat, it produces more milk, but the production decreases when it’s already pregnant.
There are many other signs you can watch out for, but these are the most common ones.
As you can see, a goat might get pregnant again after just three months of giving birth. This amount of time is safe for the goat to recover and feed its babies. In addition, a goat is able to be in heat again after that time.
With that said, this amount of time might differ depending on the breed, litter weight, and the health of the goat.
So, it’s always important to follow the specific guidelines made for different breeds.
Sources: PMC, Science Direct, Springer, and Taylor & Francis Online
Jack is the owner, chief editor, and senior writer of Farms Wise.
Farming has always been a passion of his since he was a young boy. Growing up on a small farm in rural America, he learned the value of hard work and dedication from an early age.
After completing his degree in Agriculture, he decided to follow his dream and became a farmer in 2009.
Since then, he has gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field. He has grown a variety of crops, tended to farm animals, and worked with all sorts of farming machinery. Continue reading…