Other than being cute, goats are used for milk production, but need to be pregnant and give birth before giving milk. Here's the 411 on goat pregnancy.
Goats are some of the most adorable creatures on Earth, especially baby goats. Yes indeed, people love baby goats, and, honestly, what's not to love? Their bouncy movements, their heart-melting expressions, and how soft and affectionate they can be makes goats one of the most popular animals on the farm -- some say they are even similar to dogs!
For many years, humans built a strong bond with these dog-like farm animals. (Ever been to goat yoga?) We use goats for a variety of purposes, but a main purpose is for milk production. Like other mammals, goats need to be pregnant and have their own goat kids -- Baby goats are actually referred to, formally, as "kids" -- in order to produce any milk. And while goats can start birthing as early as four months of age, it's best to wait until a year old to start goat breeding.
How Long is a Goat Pregnant?
The short answer for "how long is a goat pregnant for" is 150 days.
While it's important for goat owners to note that the gestation period of a pregnant goat can vary quite a bit depending on things such as different breeds, litter weight, and environment, the average goat gestation length ranges from 145 to 155 days, averaging around 150 days (or about five months, if you prefer!) for most goat breeds.
However, some "does" or "doelings" (definition: a female goat) can have a longer goat gestation length. These pregnant does can be pregnant for up to six and a half months. This includes the Alpine goat, with a gestation length of a whopping 197 days!
After they give birth, female goats produce milk for up to eight months (or more depending on the breed). Especially dairy goats, who will usually produce more milk than their kids need. However, sometimes, a goat will produce milk without giving birth first -- this is referred to as a precocious udder.
If this is your first time in breeding season, or simply want to determine exactly when your goat's due date is, we recommend you use a gestation calculator to avoid any, um, surprises.
Do you know a pregnant goat? Or had one before? Share your story on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page!