I've gotten fairly proficient at predicting the day of a kidding. I look for the tell tale signs....loose ligament...tight udder...the doe acting differently. MOST of the time I can tell when they are ready. And then there are those does who defy explanation. The ones that lose their ligaments, udder up, become vocal and even have some nice contractions....and still we wait. Their ligs might come back and they completely go back to normal...chewing their cud and laying in the sun.
I had the pleasure of sleeping on the concrete barn floor last night. Not because I didn't feel right leaving my doe, but because she completely FREAKED OUT when I left and I didn't want to stress the rest of the herd!
Betina lost her ligaments yesterday. Her udder is TIGHT TIGHT. She walks around with her tail up and she knows that something is amiss. And yet she holds off.
When I locked her down in her kidding stall last evening, she was calm for awhile, ate and took a nap. Until I left. And then she went absolutely crazy. Kicking her hay crate all over the stall. Stepping in her water. Staring at the barn door crying for me to come back. When I came back after changing my clothes, she was alot calmer but still very irritated and vocal. I slept next to her all night as she had the occasional mild contraction. All signs pointed to her kidding by morning. But she didn't. In fact, around 4am she just stopped everything and went to bed. She never progressed. She never discharged. She never got serious.
When daylight came, she was calm and I saw a couple of contractions but nothing regular. That is when I gave up...went to work and scheduled her checks every two hours.
Some does, especially first timers who are drama queens, just can't decide when to let it happen. As a good friend once told me when I asked how I know my doe is ready to kid? "When you see hooves." Ain't that the truth!