Mucus Plug and Kidding....
I have been feeling Zoey's ligaments every day like a somewhat obsessed psychotic goat mother. I know her breeding date and I also know she is not due until March 11th, but it does not stop me from checking her for impending signs of kidding. One thing she has done differently in the past two years is her mucus plug. The first year, she lost her mucus plug early in the morning and kidded that afternoon. Her second year I never saw any discharge until she laid down and started pushing! This year I think she is trying a third option out, with her being less that three weeks out from her due date, I noticed some light yellow discharge from her vulva this morning and her ligaments were very soft.... So I did what any self respecting goat parent would do and I went back and checked my breeding dates, and recalculated her kidding date, coming to the same conclusion. March 11th. What I do know is that mucus plugs can be lost right before kidding or any time in between a few weeks before kidding. So it seems that Zoey is trying the earlier option of loosing her mucus plug with three weeks left to go.
I am hopeful that she will be able to hold out until her due date of the 11th, because as time would have it, I am traveling to Kentucky for work on March 7th-9th. Historically, she has kidded 4 days late each year, but history doesn't always repeat it self as we are finding out with her mucus plug! I know it can be frustrating as a goat owner and a breeder to try to understand when your does are getting close to kidding, as it is essential to be there for them in my opinion. When you are able to observe the whole process you are able to help a doe who is having trouble immediately versus having her strain and struggle for hours. You also can be there to ensure the airways are clear in the kids as they are born and that they get dried off and warm quickly. I also always try to dip and clip their umbilical cord in a 7% iodine solution as soon as possible to prevent things like pipe navel and navel ill. As a goat owner it is imperative that you plan to be as available as possible during kidding season for the best possible outcome. Goats like to keep us guessing like Zoey is doing this year, but use your gut, your knowledge and your goat to tell you when she needs you. Have a safe and healthy kidding season!