Livestock

Physiology of goats

Normal Physiological Data for Goats

  • Rectal temperature - 102.5°F (39-40°C)
  • Heart Rate - 70- 80 per minute
  • Respiration Rate - 2-15 breaths per minute
  • Rumen - 1- 4 per minute
  • Oestrus Cycle - 18 - 23 days.
  • Length of Oestrus - 12 - 72 hours
  • Length of Gestation - 148 - 152 days.

NB: Kids heart and respiration rates will be higher

Signs of Oestrous (being “in heat” or “in season”)

Most goats will start cycling any time from the end of August until as late as January or February. It is possible that a goat may come into season outwith these months as well.

An oestrus cycle is every 18 - 23 days (the average is 21days).

A “season” can last from just a few hours to three days. An “in season” goat can display all or some of the following signs:

  • Puffiness and redness of the vulva
  • Mucous discharge from the vulva
  • Constant tail wagging
  • Bleating “calling for the male” 
  • Mounting and being mounted by other goats
  • Milk yield can be up, or more commonly, down
  • Less interested in food than usual.

Pygmy goats can breed twice a year, and may therefore come in season in at any time of the year.

Though they can breed twice a year, it is not generally recommended to do this, as it gives the female a rest to only breed once a year.

Beth Fairley

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