It’s a good idea to give goats that will be freshening a “baby clip” before they give birth. It’s not an all-over clipping, it’s just a clipping to remove hair in areas that are likely to get messy during the birthing process, or that you and the goat kids will need clear access to.
If you live in an area where it’s warm enough, you could clip them all-over; however, we’re still likely to get some cold weather, so we don’t want to remove all of their winter coat just yet.
From the rear, areas that are a good idea to clip include the tail, flanks, rear legs, and udder. Below you can see the rear trim for Amethyst and Charm Box – they are about a week away from freshening and their udders are just starting to fill. It’s not important to precisely trim them like you were preparing for a show, just remove most of the hair so they can be cleaned up easily and the teats are readily accessible for the kids.
Most goats have a beard (even females), and it’s a good idea to trim these off too. Otherwise, a lot of fluids and dirt tend to accumulate in them when the does are cleaning off the kids. The photo below shows Charm Box with and without beard.
As well as clipping the udder hair, it’s good to clip the hair on the goat’s stomach (at least up to the navel) so that you can see that the kids are nursing and the goats are not developing any udder issues. Also, trimming hooves a few weeks prior to freshening time is important.
When it’s warmer and the goats are not so pregnant, they’ll get much more thorough clippings, but for now this will help keep things a little cleaner during freshening. Baby goats will be here soon!