Goat Reproduction Puberty and Sexual Maturity



Kiko Buck with marking harness.

The male goat is called a “buck” or “billy.” If he is castrated, he is called a “wether.” Male goats up to 12 months of age are sometimes referred to as “bucklings.” Adult male goats can weigh anywhere between 100 to 350 pounds, depending on their breed, health and nutritional status. Although they can come into puberty and breed does as early at 4 months of age, waiting until a buck is a year of …

Goat Reproduction


Photo of dam nursing kids.

Understanding reproduction in goats is essential to increasing productivity, which is largely a function of pregnancy rate, the number of offspring born and weaned and the frequency with which kids are produced. Therefore, goat reproductive management should produce a high level of fertility (greater than 90 percent) and an optimum litter size (two kids) with a high rate of survival to weaning. Understanding reproductive processes in the goat will help producers manage their herd …

Season Impacts Reproduction Out of Season Breeding

Out-of-Season Breeding

Goats are considered seasonal breeders, with some breeds more seasonal than others.  To read more on the effects of season on reproduction before proceeding please visit: http://www.extension.org/pages/19372/season-impacts-reproduction-influence-of-daylength

Being able to breed outside of the normal season could:

  • Help provide a more consistent supply of milk and meat products
  • Allow for accelerated kidding (three kiddings in two years)
  • Allow producers to schedule kidding when feed and labor are available and to take advantage of specific niche markets or price

Goat Reproduction Season Impacts Reproduction



Attempts to satisfy the growing demand for goat meat have suffered in part due to the seasonal breeding of goats maintained in non-tropical areas of the world. The normal breeding season for goats occurs when days are shorter, but will depend on breed, location, nutrition and other factors. During the anestrous season, a small percentage of does show estrus (heat) and ovulation rate decreases. This means that there is a decreased ability for the doe to become pregnant …

Out-of-Season Breeding Progestagen Use

Progestagen Use


Various forms of progestagen with different routes of administration have been used to extend the lifespan of the corpus luteum for synchronization in both cycling as well as non-cycling does.  Options for hormone control with progestagens (synthetic proegesterones) include:

1.Intravaginalprogestogensponges (pessaries)

2.CIDRs– (controlled intravaginal drug-releasing devices)

3.Melengestrolacetate (MGA)  


None of the pharmacological treatments listed above have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in goats, only one (CIDRs® ) has been approved for …

Goat Reproductive Failure Toxicological Factors

Toxicological Factors

Spanish Doe.

When feeds get wet/damp, molds can grow and produce toxins, or mycotoxins, that can lead to reproductive problems and failure. Aspergillus, Fusarium and Penicillium are the most common toxins causing problems in stored feeds. In addition, there are molds and endophytes in forages that can also cause problems. Fescue toxicosis can results from endophyte (fungal)-infected tall fescue that make toxins such as ergot alkaloids, primarily ergovaline, that can delay onset of puberty, impair luteal function to …

Goat Reproduction Mating Systems

Mating Systems

In most areas of the U.S., goats are mated once yearly in the fall, during their natural mating season, for spring kidding. Animals bred at this time are more likely to get pregnant and have multiple kids. A longer breeding season allows for flexibility in breeding and kidding dates to times when the climate is more favorable and forage is available for the lactating doe. In addition, dates of ethnic/alternative markets should also be considered in the decision …

Out-of-Season Breeding Artificial Lighting and Melatonin

Artificial Lighting and Melatonin

Photo of kid nursing dam.

Light treatment to alter photoperiod response is a well-known synchronization and/or induction method for out-of-season breeding in the dairy goat industry. Artificial lighting is mostly employed for long day simulation, administered as 16 hours of daylight followed by eight hours of darkness. To simulate long days it is not necessary to provide the entire 16-hour light period, but treatment can be divided into the natural daylight period followed by an appropriately …

Goat Reproduction Parturition/Kidding

Preparing For Kidding

Kidding may occur on pasture, or you may need to provide does with a clean, dry, well-ventilated shelter, depending on the weather in your area and your preference. It is wise to watch animals carefully, in case they should require assistance. Straw or pine shavings, or an inexpensive hay, can be used for bedding in shelters, if desired. Pregnant animals will get an enlarged udder starting one to six weeks prior to kidding. Some signs that parturition, …

Goat Reproduction Reproductive Biology


Doe with kids surrounding her.

The increased demand for goat meat, especially in the United States, could possibly be met in part through improving reproductive efficiency in our herds.  Reproduction efficiency is one of the most important economic traits in terms of livestock production. Maintaining good reproductive functions in the herd is pivotal to the success of any livestock production system. Productivity and profitability is measured by ovulation rate, conception rate, the number of kids born, the number of …