The gestation period for goats is about 150 days, but I've been keeping goats for about 17 years and there are only about 40% who have kidded on the "right" day.
Now, I calculate the gestation from the day they were serviced by the male and add five months and take away one day in the winter and three days in the summer - although it's rare we kid then - but we have on the odd occasion when we've lost a kid or if a very good goat has miscarried we let her have a late service.
So, Puck arrived on the 27th November. We kept him apart from the girls for the first night and the next day so he could have a bit of a rest after his journey.
Suzie our milk goat came into season as soon as she caught a whiff of the billy.
I wonder what she's whispering in his ear in this photo ?
The next day we separated the girls we wanted to get pregnant by Puck - the ones with the best fleeces, easy temperaments, good confirmations, and good mothers and within minutes of being put into the same field he was the life and soul of the party, the new boy on the block and the man of their dreams all rolled into one !
We like Suzie to be the first to kid because we save some of her colostrum and freeze it just in case we need to give some to a newly born kid who has lost her mum, or who is weak and can't suck properly. We also use Suzie's milk for the kids if we need it and we take some for ourselves too.
Unfortunately, she came into season again three weeks later, so I don't think she's pregnant. If not, it's time to start looking for a new milker. We'll see.
So, once the goats are sheared it will be easy to see their udders filling out and keep a close eye on any girls who look as though they're ready to kid. I'm so looking forward to it and I'll try to remember to take my camera so that we can share it with you!