Stages of Labor

Keep in mind that each doe is unique and may vary to some degree. It is important to keep good, detailed notes of each of your does to help you prepare for the next years kidding.

Stage 1 – Pre-labor

This stage may begin 24 hours prior to delivery. Keep in mind that each doe is unique and may vary to some degree. Some identifiers that your doe is in the first stage of labor may be the following:

  • Nesting. Your doe may begin to paw at the ground to clear a space for labor.
  • Restlessness. When a doe is beginning to go into labor things start to get uncomfortable and you will see your doe struggle to get comfortable.
  • Discharge. A white discharge from the vulva will appear; this is referred to as the mucus plug. The  vulva will also appear loose or flabby.
  • Loose ligaments. As the doe’s body prepares for labor you will notice the ligaments around the tail become soft. You will be able to pinch around the tail head, where before those ligaments were tight and you were unable to pinch all the way around.
  • Hollow out: As the kid drops into the birth canal you will notice that instead of being all belly, they will have very pronounced hips.

Stage 2 – Soft Labor

This stage is usually ushered in with labor pains and periodic pushing. The doe will become increasingly uncomfortable. She may be laying down a lot and will begin to stretch out a hind leg. At this time you are about 6 hours or less until she delivers.

Stage 3 – Hard Labor

This is when delivery is imminent. The doe will being to have contractions, she will be pushing more and may become very vocal. Her cervix should be dilated. At this point, if the baby is positioned properly, the doe should deliver the baby within an hour or so.

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