This study analysed the effect of level of nutrition and date of birth (age) on the onset of puberty in Payoya she-kids born in autumn (November) or in winter (February). Two experiments were conducted to examine pubertal events at the onset of puberty. For each date of birth (age), two experimental groups were used, differing on the level of nutrition. Groups were balanced for live weight (LW) and body condition score (BCS). For the first experiment (goat kids born in autumn), 27 Payoya she-kids were used: high-nutrition group (H1, n = 13) and control group (C1, n = 14). For the second experiment (goat kids born in winter), 25 Payoya she-kids were used: high-nutrition group (H2, n = 13) and control group (C2, n = 12). In both experiments, the level of feeding was adjusted weekly according to LW so that the animals would gain about 50 and 100 g per day for C and H groups, respectively. Oestrus was tested daily using young aproned bucks. Ovulation rate was assessed by laparoscopy 7 days after identification of oestrus. Plasma samples were obtained weekly for progesterone assay. LW and BCS were recorded weekly. No effect of nutrition level or birth date (Experiment 1 v. 2) on the date of the first ovarian activity or the first detected oestrus was observed. No effect of nutrition on LW or BCS at the first detected oestrus was observed. Birth date influenced significantly the LW of the animals at the onset of ovarian activity or first oestrus (P < 0.001). Irregular sexual activity was frequently observed before the first oestrus (74.7% and 48.0% of the first reproductive activity was irregular for Experiments 1 and 2, respectively). No effect of nutrition level or birth date on ovulation rate was observed. Ovulation rate at first oestrus was influenced by LW in November-born goat kids (1.06 ± 0.06 v. 1.67 ± 0.21 corpora lutea for LW < 30 and ⩾ 30 kg, respectively, P < 0.01). These results demonstrate that the age at puberty was very dependent upon the season of birth in Payoya goat kids, and that there could be some benefit in breeding November-born goat kids at a higher LW to obtain a higher prolificacy at the first kidding as a consequence of a higher ovulation rate at puberty.