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The length of time of a normal-sized domestic goat’s pregnancy ranges from 145 to 155 days. This means that the average length of time is 150 days. That works out to around 5 months, or 21 weeks, give or take a few days.

Does the length of the gestation time change for miniature goats? What about goats in the wild? Let’s take a closer look at gestation time in goats.

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What’s the Gestation Period for Goats?

Gestation is the amount of time an animal spends developing in the mother’s body, from conception to birth. The amount of time can vary greatly between animals. While a goat’s pregnancy is 150 days, other farm animals have different gestation times.

Sheep are also 152 days, pigs are 113 days, and cows are pregnant for much longer at an average of 283 days. The 150-day average applies to normal-sized domestic goats. Are the popular pygmy and Nigerian dwarf varieties different?

Pygmy and Nigerian Dwarf Goat Gestation Period

The pygmy goat and the Nigerian dwarf goat are both small, but they are two separate breeds. According to the American Goat Society, the gestation time for miniature goats is a little shorter than for full-sized goats. Miniature breeds are pregnant for an average of 145 days instead of 150 days.

These are relatively minor time differences. You’ll sometimes see gestation times for small goats listed at 150 days as well.

pregnant pygmy goat
Image Credit: MollieGPhoto, Shutterstock

Wild Goat Gestation Period

Wild goat species tend to have longer gestation times than domestic goats. For example, the North American mountain goat has a pregnancy that lasts between 150—180 days. Wild goats can usually delay the birth of their kids if they feel that conditions aren’t favorable for them, which is why they can be pregnant for up to 180 days.

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What Affects Pregnancy Time for a Goat?

The amount of time a goat is pregnant can vary, depending on circumstances. The breed can have a small impact, but there are other factors as well, including:

  • Litter weight
  • Breeding season
  • Parity (number of times the mother has been pregnant)

What’s not a factor? The number and sex of the kids (baby goats) in a litter do not seem to affect gestation time.

Goats bred in summer have slightly longer gestation times than those bred in the fall. Longer gestation time means heavier kids. Gestation length is shorter for mothers who have had several previous litters. They also tend to have larger litters after several pregnancies.

Research into goat gestation has shown that longer gestation is good because it leads to the birth of heavier—and healthier—babies than shorter gestation times.

Goat Gestation Calculators

Many goat farmers will use gestation calculators or tables to determine when a doe (female goat) will give birth. Online gestation calculators let you enter the date your goat was bred and then give you a kidding date. Some gestation tables list around 6 dates per month with the corresponding kidding dates.

Entering a specific date can be more accurate than choosing the closest available date, but any due date, even if you know the exact breeding date, is always an estimate.

pregnant goat at the farm
Image Credit: Perle20, Pixabay

How Many Times Does a Goat Give Birth in a Year?

Since the average goat gestation is 150 days, a goat can give birth twice a year. But just because it’s possible, it doesn’t mean they should be bred that frequently. Animal experts recommend that for health reasons, a goat should give birth once a year or every 18 months at the most.

What Time of Year are Goats Born?

Like other animals, goats tend to breed seasonally. This means that goats are usually bred between late summer and early winter, and the kids are born in the springtime months. Some goat farmers will breed their animals year-round, but in nature, goats are pregnant in the colder months and kids are born in the spring.

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The average gestation period of most goat breeds is about 150 days. Some breeds may have slightly shorter or longer periods of gestation, determined by several factors, such as the season and the parity of the female.

Featured Image Credit: Merrimon Crawford, Shutterstock