Young females should be mated as from the age of 12 months. Good nutrition ensures that the animal grows faster and ready for mating. It also increases fertility and litter size. If young animals are mated when they are very young (less than 8months) they will remain stunted the rest of their life and will have poor reproductive performance. A well-managed female can produce kids for about eight years.
Pregnancy in goats lasts between 145 –150 days (five months). A mature female can only mate when she is ready (on” heat”). The heat period lasts between 24 –26 hours. During this time she should receive the male. The presence of the male in the flock triggers heat. Coming on heat also depends on the nutrition of the animal.
Signs, which may indicate that the animal is on heat:
• Shaking of the tail
• Mounting other animals
• Seeking males
• Continuous bleating
• Mucous discharge
Pregnant females should be separated from the main flock for close monitoring, at least two months before kidding. This also reduces the loss of kids. At this stage they will need quality feed supplements to enhance feed reserves in the body. This will ensure a healthy kid and enough milk.