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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just wanted to see your favorite labor signs. It’s always fun to see how everyone runs their goats, and I need some more reliable signs because right now all I have is the mucus plug and a bagging up udder. The mucus plug is my favorite but I do have a question about the tail ligaments. HOW IN THE WORLD DO I FIND THEM! anyway thank you in advance.
 

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Pushing.

Super tight udder overnight.

Clear amber long tube like discharge.

No ligs.

Really droopy, sloppy tail head.

Sunken in flanks, kids dropping down off of her sides. Looking less pregnant from behind.

Nesting and off by herself.

Not eating when normally she does when fed.
 

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The best way I know ..it get a doe..not pregnant. Go about 4 inches on the backbone before the tail starts. Put a thumb on one side..two fingers on the other..push down and make like a v going away from the spine. You will feel a pencil like tendon. Keep playing till you get that...then go to your pregnant doe & compare.
 

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My favorite is pushing! I had a doe with ligs start pushing and I had to help open her to get the kid out. Not sure why she didn't lose her ligs but she didn't. She also had a small udder and a tiny belly so I wasn't even 100% sure she was pregnant. I knew when she was due and she was overdue by 5 days. So just wait until they push! because that means babies!
 

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Each goat is so different...seeing that water bag being pushed out insures kids are definitely on the way :)
 

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My only reliable sign that I’ve found for my does has been nesting; all of my does nest a couple hours before they have their babies. I used to trust the ligs and discharge and such, but all of my does have fooled me with those. I had one does that had discharge for her fist possible due date but didn’t have the kids until her second due date. I’ve had udders that are full a month before and some that fill up while they kid. And one had discharge a couple weeks before and one had no discharge.
 

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Hooves peeking out. ;).
This made me laugh because last week I went to get luck for the family down the road. My dad was being a smarty pants and said he would watch the goats but how would he know if they were having kids (he totally knows!) so I gave it back to him and said when you see extra body parts sticking out lol
But personality change or change in behavior. That is always my go to and know they are going to go that day no matter if they have their ligs, which on my tubby boers can be hard to find, tight udder, just had 2 that didn't have but a puny udder until they started pushing and hoping to see that long string before it breaks off and is gone. If they are more lovey then normal, don't want to be touched when they are usually up my butt, hiding out from the others, more vocal, the nesting for sure, anything that makes me look and say that's not normal for that goat, and they will have kids that day. Of course that doesn't exactly narrow it down to a certain time frame but I know it's coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The best way I know ..it get a doe..not pregnant. Go about 4 inches on the backbone before the tail starts. Put a thumb on one side..two fingers on the other..push down and make like a v going away from the spine. You will feel a pencil like tendon. Keep playing till you get that...then go to your pregnant doe & compare.
Thanks so much for helping me find the ligs it was so useful!!
 

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For me its ligaments an udder. I have some that grow their udder for a month..and some the day of. So for me...i watch it...and sudden growth with teats filling (the main part) and it being super tight...is a clear sign. I have one right now that her udder and tears have been filling all day. She had a good sized udder yesterday already. But it is huge right now. But she has the TINIEST bit of ligs left. I barely can even feel them. I know from previous kidding that she looses them right before kidding out.

There are other signs I look for...but without the suddenly huge or growing udder...I generally wont expect kidding.
 

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2 Nigerian Dwarf does...both are a bit different...

Agnes starts loosening up in her ligaments about a week before kidding. By the time she kids, there are no ligaments...you can literally almost touch your fingers around her tail-head. She also gets real "lovey" towards us. She's pretty sweet as a norm but...gets noticeably more so when she's ready to kid. Once the ligs are gone and she's a big love-bug, usually the 'goo' starts...we know it will be 'soon'...then we set up a couple of chairs and a TV in the barn and just wait for the magic to happen. (so far, it has always been after midnight)

Sue is always on the sweet but obnoxious side and hasn't ever completely lost her ligs...they get very loose but, not anywhere near what Agnes does. Sue's personality will change from being kind of obnoxious to being a total love and just wanting to hang on you all-the-time. She will also act very uncomfortable...will paw and lay down (nesting) then gets back up for more love...guessing the babies are lining up. :) After that, I am checking for the 'goo' and settling in for the wait.
 

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They get "broody". They look for a secluded place, or a place where other does or she has kidded in the past. My does use an outcropping of rocksj down the pasture if it is not raining. If raining, they are in the back of the shelter. They make "nest" of spilled hay or soil. This is hours away.
Swollen vulva, then mucus is within a couple hours.
Leading up to thIs is is a couple days or less of self isolation, off feed, and a thousand yard stare.
Udders don't always indicate kidding. Nor does dropping off the abdomen.
Each doe is different.
If she strains for more than a couple hours, better get ready to check her for a stuck kid or a breached birth.
 

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All of the above and none of the above

Really, I watch ligs, udder, and personality. Some change behavior but some don't. Especially the experienced ones. Ligaments have been pretty reliable. Udders much less so.

The one that we have never seen with any consistency is a doe not eating. Mine eat right up til they're pushing out kids. They'll have the long mucus string and be making the perfect labor bed and see some tasty looking stems in it. I have more than one doe that will continue to grab hay between pushing out kids. She chews cud with a violent kind of ferocity while in active labor.

I guess just knowing your own individual does in probably the key.
 

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For mine the main ones to watch for are personality changes and getting up and down because they’re uncomfortable, as well as pawing at the ground.
 

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Well since I have missed every single one, yes quite literally ALL OF THEM of the starts of my goats delivering usually the first labor sign for me is a baby on the ground.

I swear my girls wait for me to have to run a quick errand and aren't acting any different than they did the days before and its like bam I come back to hello babies.....usually I'm back just in time for all the after baby fun stuff to be delivered. So I miss the fun part for the first baby and get the goop....maybe I should have a staff meeting with my girls and let them all know this isn't how this game works.
 

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Absolutely no ONE reliable way. Every doe in my herd does something different, and while you can look for all the signs above, knowing your due date is very important. The only guarantee is that they will all drive you nuts waiting on those kids!
 
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