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Angora Kidding

Kidding is an exciting time on the farm, and generally everything goes smoothly because angora goats make great mothers. A little preparation goes a long way though, and it is much better to have everything tickety-boo well before kidding time.



Prior to Kidding

Doe nutrition during her pregnancy (and even before mating) hugely impacts the strength of the kid. The does nutritional needs increase greatly in the last six weeks of pregnancy, which should be reflected in increases of grass or supplementary feed. Does should have a nice covering of fat and muscle. Overly fat does may have more trouble kidding, so keeping them in good nick without over doing it is your responsibility as a farmer during their pregnancies. Extra feeding in the last month and a half of pregnancy needs to be offered because this is when the kid, or kids, are growing rapidly and causing a greater drain on the doe. It is also when the kids are developing the fibre follicles in their skin, so well fed does leads to well fed kids in utero and eventually well covered, high producing angora goats for your herd, and more money in your pocket.

Does should also be vaccinated and drenched, which can be done at the same time as shearing, so that kids are born with some immunity to diseases. If shearing prior to birth is not possible, then does should at least be belly crutched, to allow kids easy access to udders for milk.



Does should then be moved to suitable weatherproof shelters prior to giving birth, in a location that allows for easy observation.

A few hours before kidding the Doe will take herself from the main mob and choose her birthing spot. She is likely to baa and bleat and may even think she has already kidded and look around for her kids. More dominant does may try to claim kids that are already born in this time of hormones and confusion. Once her kids are born she will likely forget about any attempted adoptions. The vulva will look swollen with a possible mucus trail, and her udder will be much larger than usual – full of milk.

Signs of labour starting include lack of cud chewing, self-isolation from the rest of the herd, sitting and standing repeatedly. Only observe during this time, don’t upset her by fussing over her or insisting on making her eat or drink. Take a note of the time and check on her again in half and hour or so.

Kidding is normally very quick and easy due to the small size of the Kids.


Birthing Issues

If the doe has been in labour for more than a couple of hours, she may need help to kid. She may push out a “water-bag” which means that the kid should not be far behind. If the water bag has been out for more than half an hour, she probably needs intervention. Call your vet or an experienced goat farmer to talk you through the next steps or come help you.


After Kidding

The angora doe seems to kid quite easily in nearly every case and sets about cleaning the first kid born, even as she is straining to deliver the second kid. Following the birth, she will clean up her offspring and allow them to have their first drink of colostrum milk. Ensuring kids have had a drink of colostrum in the first 8 hours after birth is crucial. You can tell they have a full stomach by gently lifting the tummy of the kid and feeling how weighty it is. A hungry kid will bleat for their mother and be looking for an udder. Sometimes the teats of the doe are “plugged” and the kid cannot get any milk. You will need to coax milk out by giving the teat a gentle squeeze until the milk starts flowing out. Make sure you see the kid drink from the doe if it has been quite a long time since birth without any milk being drunk. The mother doe will often stay with her kid(s) for quite a long period after birth, after which she will leave to eat and drink. After the mother leaves the kids will remain in the same spot that they were born. This can be a good time to check their bellies.

A new-born kid is very susceptible to cold and wet weather, so it is vital they are either born or taken to shelter in these conditions. It pays to make regular rounds during poor weather conditions, as kids may not survive if they are exposed for too long.

The first two hours are vital to the bonding process and interference at this stage is not recommended, as the mothering doe may get startled and leave their kid. The only exception to this rule is if the conditions make it essential to interfere, such as an obviously weak Kid, or conditions hypothermia then move Doe and Kids to shelter.

The best course of action following birth is observe, and only take action if needed. Do not just remove the kid without the doe knowing what you have done with it. Once the doe has accepted, cleaned, and fed her kid(s), then you may be able to start interacting with the animals. New-born kids are normally mobile 2-3 days after birth.

Kids will drink from any doe in the first two days, so any replacement mothering which needs to be done should take place during this period.

Kids will rapidly get stronger, and will soon join groups formed with other kids, playing together or lying dozing in the sun. They like to create gangs, and stay together, only following their mother when the mood takes them. There will always be at least one doe with the group, as a baby-sitter.


Care of the Sick Kids

If new-born kids have been exposed to the elements then immediate care may be needed.

The fastest way to warm cold weak kids is to place them in a plastic bag (with their head out), immerse the bag into warm (but not hot) water, and vigorously rub their bodies until they start to stimulate blood flow within their body. The plastic bag saves having to dry them, and the does smell remains on the kid. After they have responded to treatment, place the kid in a box with either a hot water bottle or a heat lamp. Leave the kid in a warm and quiet location.

After a short period of time, the kid will start to bleat as it becomes stronger, and will begin to try to stand up. Once the kid is able to stand up you will need to test the strength of its suck, which can be done by placing a finger in its mouth and making sure there is a strong response.

When the kid can stand and suck, then it is time to feed it. Either take it back to its mother where it can get a drink of fresh colostrum, or artificially feed it with from your frozen supply of colostrum. Once fed, the kid should be kept with the mother in a warm sheltered area and left to sleep.

Note: Never try to lift a very cold limp kid to the udder and forcefully squeeze milk down its throat. This may lead to the kid incorrectly swallowing  milk due to poor reflexes caused by stiffness, with the milk entering the lungs instead of the stomach, and the kid will either drown or develop pneumonia.



Goats give birth to high rates of twins in comparison to other stock types. Due to reduced nutrition during pregnancy, twin kids are often born much smaller than their single kid counterparts. Does who give birth to twins will also have more difficulty in providing warmth and milk, including colostrum, for her offspring. Make sure mothers of twins are fed plenty of supplementary nutrition whilst she is making milk for her babies. Silage or grain-based feeds are appropriate.


Marking and Identifying New Kids

Angora goats, and goats in general, have a habit of leaving their kids at the same place as the birth for one to two days, which can make it easy to ear tag them. Each farmer may have their own system for ear tagging, which will suit their individual farming style, but here is a basic example of what can be done:

Ear tags are recommended to be colour coded to the year of birth, with each year having a different colour. This colour coding will make it easy to later identify the age of animals from a distance. Ear tag numbers will also often start with the number that relate to the year (e.g. kids born in 2019 would have an ear tag that starts with a 9), followed by another number (e.g. 901, 902, 903, 904). Shearers prefer the tags to be in the right ear.

Once a kid has been ear tagged, you may then record their details in reference to their ear tag number and colour. Recommended information includes:

  • Parents
  • Sex
  • Whether it is a single or twin

Make sure the tags you use are sanitised and the applicator is functional before attempting any ear tagging.


Mohair Fibre at Birth

At birth, Angora kids are not as maturely formed as lambs would be at the same age. Their coat of birth hair is not as thick initially and cannot be classified as true mohair. The birth coat is curly and rather harsh to touch. At approximately six to seven weeks of age this birth coat sheds, with lustrous soft mohair fibre growing in its place.



Many breeders will have different ideas on the best time to wean. Generally speaking though, the longer the better. Does will eventually wean the kids themselves if they are not separated. This also means the doe and kid can develop a strong bond leading to happier goats. In many herds the does will spend time with their own kids even as they grow into adults and start having their own offspring.


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