Moon Phases (Part 3)
by Gary Pfalzbot
About the Author
In this instance, the farm we moved to had a large security light that performed as they are supposed to; turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn. That was until about a year later when the light began malfunctioning and going off and on at sporadic intervals throughout the night. I never gave it much thought other than I myself having to fumble through the darkness or cursing myself why I hadn't gotten new flashlight batteries. The light itself really had no bearing on the goats until I moved the pens into proximity of where the light continually illuminated the entire area with at least a soft glow, and then moved again out of the light path. Under artificial light, sure enough, each doe began kidding at odd intervals with no correlation to the phase of the moon. Once removed from the light, each goat followed the moon phase as before.
The data I kept during this period of time was very fluctuating and actually had me questioning the moon phase theory altogether. I had simply failed to take into account the actual amount of light the goats were receiving at night from the security light. Once the goats had been moved away from the light path, data came back into align with the moon phase theory. So all in all I'm simply saying, for those of you who have conflicting data with the moon phase, examine closely the amount of light that your goats receive in the hours of darkness and the source of this light. You may be surprised to find that just a small amount of light will make their kidding behavior erratic in relation to the phase of the moon.
But these schools of thought are paralleled by another puzzling fact. While you won't find highly definitive answers (yet), there is much indication and reference to many other undomesticated animals giving birth either in the new moon or full moon phase. Even though a goat gives birth during a full moon phase, they don't always kid during the darkness of night!
And even though animals other than goats are not clearly documented in this behavior, You will find much speculation on animals being more prone to biting during a full moon. So there is no simple answer -- only facts and statistics as they present themselves in each and every unique situation.
In closing this article, I will once again mention the skepticism of the theory simply because a number of people have pointed out that their goats do not seem to follow the cycle of the moon. And once again I must ask that readers please take into account many of the factors I have outlined. I have thought about this theory many times over the years and still come to the basic conclusion that those goats that do kid within the 3 to 5 day window either side of the full moon, may be doing so for their own comfort. Those that do not follow this theory, may be doing so for other reasons perhaps not listed here.
This article will be continued as I compile more facts and statistics. If you would like to contribute your own thoughts and findings on this subject, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.