GESTATION – Gestation for goats is 150 days. Does bred on the 18th of October will kid on March 17th. For the first two trimesters, meaning the first 100 days, the fetus or fetuses within the doe will not put much of a nutritional strain upon her. They remain small and relatively undemanding. It is during the last trimester or the last 50 days that they begin to grow and develop. Most importantly, it is during this time that they begin to develop their hair follicles, the small openings in the skin through which will grow guard hair and down. If a doe is nutritionally deprived during this time, the fetus will not develop as many individual down hair follicles as it otherwise might resulting in less dense fleece.
If additional feed is available, the last 30 days of gestation is the time to provide it to the does. During the last 30 days, the doe’s resources will be taxed to the maximum as she carries one or two growing fetuses and begins to produce the life-giving milk. Now is the time to give the does vaccinations against Clostridium perfringes Types C & D and Tetanus, if the vaccine is available. This allows the does’ immune system to produce antibodies against these diseases in time to provide the newborn kids with extra antibodies through the colostrum.