2021 Kidding Season Information

Statistics

  • 65 bred Alpine dairy goats.
  • Approximately 125 kids expected.
  • Due dates range from January 27th to March 6th.
  • Over 1000 live kids successfully delivered over 15 years of owning goats.
  • Our average is twins, with triplets and singles happening frequently.
  • We’ve had quads (4 babies from the same mom) around ten times in 15 years.

Useful links:

Breeding schedule - https://gmsgoats.com/pages/kidding-schedule

Kids born in 2021 - https://gmsgoats.com/pages/2021-goat-kids-born

Why we bottle raise - https://goatmilkstuff.com/bottle

Why we assist with the births - https://goatmilkstuff.com/assist

What the different goat colors mean - https://gmsgoats.com/colors

To purchase baby goats - https://gmsgoats.com/

To become a Patron to watch the live births - https://patreon.com/goatmilkstuff



Frequently Asked Questions:


Do all of the goats have a name?

They do! All of our goats, and the 1000+ babies we’ve had over the years, are named, and they know their names! We remember most of them, and we haven’t run out of names yet.

Why aren’t you letting birth happen “naturally”?

Because if we allowed the goats to deliver on their own, like they would in nature, goats would die. We have delivered over a thousand live babies this way. We are very proud of the fact that over 95% of our babies survive birth, and we rarely lose a mom. In the wild, up to 50% of the babies could die. For more info: https://goatmilkstuff.com/assist.

Do you keep all of the babies?

As much as we wish we could, we can’t keep all of them, as we would have thousands of goats by now.

What happens to all of the babies you don’t keep?

We do our best to send them all to good homes where they will be loved for the rest of their lives. Most of them go to families to be a family milker, or a 4h goat. Some of them even become pack goats!

Why aren’t they with their mom?

We bottle raise our babies because in our 15 years of experience with both bottle feeding and letting the moms raise them, we have found that bottle feeding leads to happier and healthier babies. For more info: https://goatmilkstuff.com/bottle.

Why do you bottle raise?

One of the reasons we bottle raise is because we can make sure each baby is getting all of the milk they need to thrive. If there are triplets, or even if there’s one larger twin, the smaller babies may not be strong enough to fight for all of the milk they need and would fail to thrive. For more reasons: https://goatmilkstuff.com/bottle

Why do you take off their horns?

In the wild, horns are necessary to help protect goats against predators. On our farm, we have livestock guardian dogs to do that. We also have fences that the goats can get their horns trapped in. Goats with horns can hang themselves, die of dehydration if they get stuck, or severely injure themselves, other goats, or humans. We remove the horns when they’re young so they can’t harm anyone, and since they never had horns, they don’t know any better.

Is it ethical to breed goats for milk?

Our goats are our babies and we love them very much and always do what we think is best for them. We bottle raise the babies with the milk from our goats, not milk replacers or substitutes, because in our experience it’s better for the babies, not because we want to harm either the mom or the babies. Our goats produce more than enough milk to feed their babies and give us plenty of milk for our soaps, cheese, candies, and more. Goats are expensive - their barn, water, feed, and hay costs a lot of money - and the extra milk they make enables us to continue to provide for all of their needs.

How many goats do you have?

There are about 125 goats on the farm, not counting the babies being born this year. The number changes often as more are born and others go to their new homes.

When do they go to their new homes?

They go to their new homes at about three days old, once they have been tattooed (for registration) and disbudded (removing their horns for safety purposes).

Why do they leave the farm so quickly?

By them going to their new home so quickly, they are able to bond with their new owner instead of us and causes them less stress.

Can I buy a goat?

Of course! You can find more information about purchasing a goat at https://gmsgoats.com. Fill out the contact form there to get started.

How do you name them all?

They get their mother’s initial, and then (usually) go in vowel order after that. For example - if Persephone had triplets, their names could be Panini, Pegasus, and Pippi, because that follows the Pa, Pe, Pi rule. Occasionally we’ll go backwards and use a U and an O instead of A and E.

How many babies do they usually have?

Our average is twins, but single and triplets happen frequently! Quads (four babies) is possible, but very rare - we’ve only had quads about ten times in our 15 years as goat owners.

Why don't you Facebook Live the births anymore?

Because we decided after months of being abused and attacked by trolls that our family's mental health was too important to put up with it any longer. We now post the Live videos and have livestreaming cameras in the barn for our Patrons, which keeps the trolls away. To learn more about the decision, visit https://goatmilkstuff.com/live.

Signs of Labor:

Watching the live cameras can be fun, but it's not a sure way of discerning whether or not a goat is in labor. Sneezing, coughing, hiccuping, or even re-positioning can look like pushing, but most of the time it isn't. Until you see something coming out, it's all okay!

Signs that a doe may be preparing for labor (though it could still be 2 hours to 2 weeks before she actually kids) may include the following:

  • Her udder filling up with milk.
  • She isn't interested in eating.
  • Her ligaments are loosening.
  • There's thick, white, discharge.

Immediate signs of labor:

  • rhythmic, consistent pushes or contractions 
  • a "bubble" or sac appearing
  • hooves appearing

 

Terminology:

  • Females are "does" (not "nannies").
  • Males are "bucks" (not a "billy").
  • Babies are "kids".
  • "Dirty milkers" is what we call the goats who have been given medication, which is not safe for human consumption. They are milked separately to ensure that milk is not mixed into our normal milk.
  • "Clean milkers" are the does whose milk is safe for human consumption. They are milked on the milk machine.
  • "Bo-se" is selenium, a mineral that goats need to live. Indiana is naturally deficient in this mineral, so the goats are given a booster shot when they are born. 
  • "Colostrum" is the first milk and is something that new baby goats need to live.