Goat kidding wisdom for first time owners.
As new goat owners one of THE MOST STRESSFUL things you can go through is preparing and waiting, and waiting, and waiting for your goat to give birth. You desperately want to be able to predict when your goat’s kidding date. You have calculated the moment of delivery down to the minute! The day is marked on the calendar, the barn is ready, the goat is locked in the kidding pen and you are checking on her hourly.
And she is still overdue! Is something wrong? Did you miscalculate? Maybe you wrote the breeding date down wrong!
Stop! It’s not your fault.
I have done this for a lot of years now and I think I need to let you in on a little secret that you might not know yet.
With goat kidding there is 1 Surprising Secret why You Never get the Date Right.
A little thing called the Doe Code of Honor. Never heard of it? Oh, you are in for a treat.
None of us who breed or raise goats truly know where the doe’s code of honor originated, but it is one of those breeder secrets that only takes a kidding season or two to figure out. And every breeder can tell you, there is no circumventing the Doe Code. No amount of planning, expertise, wisdom or tracking can save you from the code.
The code is pretty simple, for the doe. But for us poor owner’s, the Doe Code is basically just the pregnant goat version of Murphy’s Law.
Welcome to the Breeders Club.
You can find our official copy of the Doe Code down below. Know other frustrated, exhausted new goat owners? Feel free to share.
Doe Code of Honor
Doe Code (hereinafter referred to DC) Paragraph 1: No kid shall be born until the Doe decides she is ready.
DC Sub-Paragraph A: Said doe has the right to change her mind regarding kidding AT ANY TIME.
DC Sub-Paragraph B: No kid shall be born until total chaos has been reached by all involved. Doe owner’s house must be a wreck, their family hungry and desperate for clean clothes, and their social life nonexistent.Original Author Unknown
DC Sub-Paragraph C: “Midwives” must reach the babbling fool status before doe will kid. Bloodshot eyes, tangled hair and the inability to form a sentence mean the time is getting close.
DC Sub- Paragraph E: For every bell, beeper, camera or whistle attached to doe, kidding must be delayed by at least one day for each item. In the event an audio device is used, doe is obligated to provide at least one good holler per hour to keep things interesting.
DC Sub- Paragraph F: In the event the doe overhears the words, “She’s nowhere near ready. She’ll be fine while we’re away.” Doe shall wait until owners have just left the property and IMMEDIATELY begin pushing.
DC Sub- Paragraph G: Owner stress must be at an all-time high! No Doe shall kid until Owner appears to be at their breaking point. Tears of frustration from Owner is a good sign. If you are in the care of someone else, ten to fifteen phone calls a day from the frazzled Owner is also a positive sign.
DC Sub- Paragraph H: Should Doe hear the words “I can’t take it anymore!” from her Owner, she must wait at least three more days.
DC Sub- Paragraph I: The Doe is obligated to keep her owners on the verge of nervous breakdown at all times. She should engage in activities such as looking at her stomach, pushing her food around and then refusing to eat it, and nesting. False alarms are mandatory!
DC Sub- Paragraph J: The honor of all goats’ rests within the kidding does over-burdened hooves. She shall use this time to avenge all barn mates for the ridiculous costumes, tricks, late feedings and bad haircuts. Wormings, shots and bolusing can also be avenged at this time.
DC Sub- Paragraph K: In the event that the Doe has completed sub-clauses A-J and is still unsure of the appropriate time to deliver her kids; she should immediately listen to the weather forecast on the radio that has been so generously provided by those who wait. Severe storm warnings are the absolute best time for the Doe to begin her labor. In the heart of the storm the Doe should jump into action! Should the Doe find herself in the immense good fortune of a power outage she must commence labor as quickly as possible. Her owners may miss the entire kidding while searching for a flashlight that works!
DC Sub- Paragraph L: The Doe should make the most of her Owner’s interrupted nights. She should beg for food each time someone comes into the barn. The Doe should convince the Owner’s that she is quite possibly starving and there is no way the kids can be born in such atrocious conditions. Her barn mates are obligated to also take advantage of the extra treats as the goodies fall their way too.
DC Sub- Paragraph M: The Doe should remember at all times that the Doe’s Code of Honor is designed to remind humans of how truly special goats are. She should do her best to reward those who wait with a beautiful doeling to carry on the Doe Code of Honor for the next generation.
In a nutshell, the “Doe Code” means that no matter how well prepared you think you are, your goats will only kid when they are ready and most of the time only when it is absolutely most inconvenient for you. And no matter how well you think you have your doe’s date figured, with goat kidding you may never get it right.
So, stop freaking out. Prepare the best that you can. And roll with the punches. (or kiddings in this case)
Kidding season is a wonderful time on the farm but it can cause some serious mental breakdown. (Speaking from personal experience) There are the combined blessings of bouncing baby goats and the stresses of does who ‘must’ comply with the age old ‘Doe Code of Honor.’ Knowing what to expect with goat deliveries and facing the chaos with a touch of humor will help you survive kidding season. At least, mostly mentally intact.
If you want to know more about the technical stages of goat delivery, check out this must read post 5 Steps to Prepare for Your Goat’s Labor and Delivery.
Are you planning for the next kidding season? Read up on 6 Simple Steps to your Best Kidding Season Yet.
Have your own crazy goat labor and delivery story? Please comment below and share the chaos with the rest of us.