How Many Babies Do Goats Have? A Guide to Breeding Goats

Written by Farm Animals

If you’re in the business of breeding goats, it’s essential to fully understand how many babies your goats can have. This will help you not only get prepared but also calculate what you plan to financially gain. However, before you worry about any of that, there are a few things you should consider.

First, why are you breeding goats? Is it for milk? Maybe it’s for meat? How about fiber? It’s important to fully understand what it is you’re trying to gain. The reason this is important is because different breeds have different qualities and strengths. For example, British Alpines and Anglo Nubians are dairy goats and can produce lots of milk whereas Nigora goats have the ability to produce 3 different kinds of fleece.

Second, do you have enough space to raise the number of goats you’re wanting? Goats need their space, but just as important, they also need shelter from the rain and a dry place to lay. This is essentially important for goats that are pregnant and are giving birth.

The last thing you should consider is whether or not you want your goats to eat the grass and other vegetation on your property. Goats love to eat all kinds of grass, weeds, and shrub. However, you don’t want them doing this, you’ll have to feed them properly. Female goats that are pregnant will also need additional protein to stay healthy and strong.

So, how many baby goats can a goat have?

Boer Goats

This breed of goat has white fur and is usually bred for their meat. Typically, the Boer goat gets pregnant 3 times in 2 years and has two kids per pregnancy. Farmers tend to cross this goat with other breeds as a way to boost the size of the animal.

Nigerian Dwarf Goats

Did you know that the tiniest goat breeds usually give birth to the most children? This is definitely the case for the Nigerian Dwarf goat. This goat can give birth to 3, 4 and sometimes even 5 kids per pregnancy. In addition to this, the Nigerian Dwarf goat can also breed all year round and at a younger age than most other breeds.

 Dairy Producing Goats

These goats not only produce large qualities of milk, they also produce even more when they have twins. Sometimes a dairy goat will only give birth to one child, but on average, they usually have two during every pregnancy and are seasonal breeders. Some of the different kinds of dairy goat breeds available include the Oberhasli, the Alpine, the Saanen, the LaMancha, and the Toggenburg.

How does a goat breed?

Although some goats can breed all year long, the majority of the breeds only mate in season. This specifically applies to fertile goats.  A breeding season for the average goat lasts from the month of September to the month of March. 

The typical goat will give birth to 2 to 3 children, but as we mentioned above, the Nigerian Dwarf goats can give birth up to 5 children per pregnancy. The one thing all goats have in common is their time of gestation, which is usually about 150 days.

How to know if your goat has become pregnant?

The most obvious way to tell if your goat has become pregnant is to observe their body shape. Just as female humans do, they’re stomach will begin to bulge outward. Goats will usually show signs of bulging when they’re pregnant on the inner and outer sides of their abdomen.

Another way to tell if your goat is pregnant is to make an appointment with a veterinarian and have an ultra sound performed. Although this is an effective method, it can become quite expensive to have this completed.

Last but not least, when a female goat is pregnant, her vulva will become to sag. This is really an easy, inexpensive, and extremely effective method. If you don’t know how to do this, you can again take her to the veterinarian, so they can do it for you. This will be a lot more inexpensive that having an ultra sound performed.

When your goats begin to go into labor, they’ll also show signs. Some of these signs include the loosing of their ligaments, the leaking of discharge from their vulva, and they’ll begin to become very restless due to the anxiety and the pain of the whole process. If you see them pawing and pushing, you know your goat is probably going into labor.


How long does it take a goat to give birth?

Once a goat begins going into labor, the approximate time in which they will give birth is around 12 hours. While in labor, goats will begin to push over and over. Once the goat successfully starts to push their babies out, you’ll see a bubble. Newborn goats come out of their mother’s womb in a large bubble. They should also come out head first.

Typically, once a goat starts pushing during the birthing process, it should take about 30 to 45 minutes to push their babies out. If you notice that it’s taking longer, you can either help pull the babies out or call your local veterinarian.

Once the babies have been born, what should you do?

When you handle the young ones, make sure your hands are clean and you hold them as gently as can be. Start by grabbing a clean towel. While holding the baby goat just like you would a human infant, wipe off all the placenta.

Once you clean the baby goat with a towel, then you’ll want to comfort it by simply rocking it. This rocking motion not only puts the baby at ease, it’ll also help eject any extra placenta fluid from their lungs.

The last thing you want to do before you rejoin the baby with their mother is to check and make sure that the newly born goat is in fact breathing. Once you know for sure that the baby goat is breathing, then you can place the youngster down on the hay with their mother.

Shelley Howard

Shelley Howard

Shelley Howard has been writing professionally since 2010. She writes about homesteading, health and travel for various online publications.
Shelley Howard

Last modified: January 28, 2018

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John Kessi

Very educative. Can a goat give birth twice in a year?

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