to ensure the doe stays as healthy as possible throughout the pregnancy and kidding period
the kids are able to develop properly throughout the pregnancy.
The basic needs can be summarized into exercise, proper nutrition and preventative health management steps.
Pregnant does need to continue as much normal activity as possible. They need the strength to carry the extra weight during the last two months and go through the labor successfully. A doe should not come into pregnancy or the first two months too fat. The normal activity of walking around grazing should continue.
Nutrition is very important in the last two months of pregnancy. 70 % of the weight of the kid(s) is developed from around day 100 to the birthing date. Undernourishment during this period will result in the birth of smaller kids, increased mortality and slower growth rates. A doe in late pregnancy has additional requirements from their supply of food, especially for energy foods. Also the uterus and its contents take up a large amount of space in the doe's abdomen so that she cannot eat enough poor-quality foodstuff to provide all of their requirements. The doe's body is designed to ensure that the kids get enough energy food at the expense of her own tissues. Her body will rob her own reserves to provide nutrition to the kids.
A doe's appetite often drops off at this time and the volume of the uterus contents and the internal fat stored will limit the volume of feed she can consumed. Therefore the quality of feed must be increased. A high quality hay should be fed during this period. Goats that eat a lot of hay during pregnancy maintain that ability to ingest increased levels of roughage during lactation.
Concentrate food with higher levels of protein can be fed to the does. You do not want to just feed higher levels of concentrate feed. High volumes of concentrate feed has been associated with slow birthing and poor cervical dilations. We feed our pregnant does a concentrate feed with 16-17% protein level. Ensure the does have access to trace-mineralized salt and clean water.
De-worm the does around one month prior to birthing if she is showing any signs of worm problems.
Vaccination for Clostridium perfringens C and D and tetanus toxoid should be given around 3 weeks prior to kidding so the immunities can be passed on to the kids.
Watch for signs of pregnancy toxaemia and treat as defined in our Diseases section.