Can a Goat Have Two Placentas?

When a pregnant goat gives birth, it is an exciting experience for farmers. 

Adding some kids to the mix is a great experience. 

Even well-seasoned farmers tend to be taken off guard when their doe passes two placentas. 

Some goat owners may even be alarmed when it occurs, which leads them to ask if goats have two placentas. 

Goats can have two placentas. Their uterus has two “horns.” Each can hold 1-3 baby goats during a pregnancy. Each horn can produce a placenta. Multiple babies can share a ruminant placenta for each baby to have separate placentas. 

Most people only expect one placenta to come out of their pregnant goat when she is birthing, but this isn’t always the case. 

Often, there will be more than one ruminant placenta when the mother births non-identical twins. 

Let’s look into why and how goats can have two placentas during gestation. 

can a goat have two placentas

Why Do Goats Have Two Placentas?

A placenta is a vital organ involved in reproduction and development. 

The placental tissue begins to form in the uterus. 

It provides oxygen and nutrients to form fetal tissues for babies to develop. 

The tissue will nurture the fetus from the initial stages of pregnancy up until birth when the mother will pass it. 

It is one of the many integral aspects of reproduction. 

All mammals, including humans, have placentas. 

They are integral to fetal growth. 

A ruminant placenta is similar to a human’s in how it nourishes the baby during pregnancy through an umbilical cord. 

Goats have two placentas because they often deliver more than one kid at a time. 

Interestingly, humans may also form two placentas during a twin pregnancy. 

Doctors note this most commonly occurs with non-identical twins. 

Goats have two placentas to properly nourish their babies while they form in their womb. 

There is no reason to be alarmed if this occurs. 

It is simply part of multiple kids or twin pregnancies in the goat. 

Diamniotic twins refer to a pregnancy where each fetus forms in its amniotic sac. 

This means there will be more than one placenta of ruminants during pregnancy with diamniotic twins. 

It is an interesting aspect of reproduction science and animal science as well. 

Related: How often do goats have twins?

Is It Bad For Goats To Have Two Placentas?

It is not bad for goats to have two placentas. 

The ruminant placentas are designed to nourish the baby.

Sometimes they share the placenta, especially if they form on the same “horn” of the uterus. 

Often the goat will deliver one baby and then their placenta. 

After this, she will deliver another baby and a separate placenta. 

The main reason for multiple placentas is having a non-identical twin pregnancy. 

This is not a reason for concern so long as the mother is fit and able to birth multiple kids. 

If this occurs, there is no reason to be alarmed unless the placenta is left “hanging.”  

How Can I Help My Goat Pass The Placenta?

If your goat has trouble passing the placenta, they have a “hanging” placenta. 

A hanging placenta occurs when a mother has not fully expelled the placenta after 12-18 hours. 

Contact a veterinary professional to determine the safest course of action if this occurs. 

Never pull on the placenta. 

When the placenta is passed, you may notice multiple cotyledons per placenta. 

The fetal cotyledons are little growth promoter structures responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients for fetal growth. 

Can A Goat Have A Baby And Still Be Pregnant?

Yes, goats can still be pregnant after delivering one baby. 

Domestic goats typically deliver between 1 and 5 babies at a time. 

This means they can still be pregnant after having one baby. 

Goats are capable of producing multiple placentas. 

Each placenta is produced to provide nutrients and oxygen to her babies. 

In theory, a goat may develop separate placentas for each baby.  

While it is uncommon, if each baby had a separate ruminant placenta, the mother would deliver five separate placentas. 

How Many Babies Do Goats Birth At A Time?

Goats are ruminant animals. 

Like other ruminants, they tend to have multiple babies per pregnancy, but this is not always the case. 

Some goat pregnancies are similar to those of cows, where they only deliver one baby at a time. 

Cows produce bovine placentomes, which involve all the fetal and maternal tissues forming a placenta. 

The condition of goats with multiple placentas produces more placentomes during pregnancy. 

This isn’t uncommon. 

Most goat farmers and homesteaders report their doe birthing 2 or 3 kids at a time. 

During a non-identical twin pregnancy, some will notice a second placenta. 

It tends to be alarming if this is the first time it occurs for a goat farmer, but there is no need to worry.

How Far Apart Are Baby Goats Born?

Baby goats born in the same pregnancy are usually born within 10-15 minutes of each other. 

This may vary based on the overall health and strength of the mother. 

If you want to breed your doe again, it is best to wait 140-155 days after birthing before attempting to breed them again. 

How Long Can A Goat Be In Labor After Water Breaks?

Once the water sac breaks, expect your doe to begin to birth kids in about 30 minutes or so. 

If your doe is struggling and actively pushing after 30 minutes with no sign of the kid, we recommend contacting your herd veterinarian. 

Some older goat mothers struggle due to reduced strength and may need assistance to successfully birth their babies. 

What Do I Do If My Goat Is Pregnant?

If this is your first time with a pregnant goat, we recommend contacting a veterinary professional or experienced farmer to educate you on what to expect when your goat is expecting. 

The mother will need added nutrients for proper fetal growth when she starts showing pregnancy symptoms. 

The initial stages involve some of the essential aspects of reproduction. 

They may also need vitamin supplements for proper intrauterine growth. 

Goats with poor nutrition often face more difficult kidding or births. 

They tend to have a harder time pushing out both the babies and the ruminant placenta. 

Sometimes this leads to a hanging placenta where professional intervention is necessary for the mother’s well-being. 

To ensure goats’ successful performance when the birthing time comes, provide adequate nutrition. 

Domestic goats don’t usually need much in the way of extra pampering, but it’s beneficial to take some extra care of your pregnant does. 

Nutrition is an integral part of the development of the placenta of goats. 

This will be the primary source of nutrients for the intrauterine growth of babies. 

It is vital to provide good conditions for pregnant goats to have the healthiest pregnancy possible. 

Veterinary care is essential, especially if the mother needs any sort of blood tests or health checks. 

The doctor may also check heart rate, blood pressure, and other vitals to ensure she is healthy enough to deliver. 

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Growing up amidst the sprawling farms of the South, Wesley developed a profound connection with farm animals from a young age. His childhood experiences instilled in him a deep respect for sustainable and humane farming practices. Today, through, Wesley shares his rich knowledge, aiming to inspire and educate others about the joys and intricacies of rural life.

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