Trouble with a doe(?) goat : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread

Hello all, I am new to this forum but I am very glad to know of it from a friend. Reading what everybody has answered regarding other questions posted by other folks and seeing the kindly answers and variety of experience has encouraged me to use this forum too! I am having some problems with a goat being bred. In the summer of 2000 we bought our first Kinder goats, a mother and her kid (still nursing). Since then, we have increased the herd (slightly!) and decided to have the kid bred last year in June/July. She was plenty old enough, finally weaned from her mother's milk, and a frisky, shy thing. We brought her to our breeder and let her stay there for a month. -At that time, I didn't know when to tell when a goat was in heat. Wish I did!- When she came home, the breeder said she didn't ever witness our goat in heat, but we assumed she must've been since it had been an entire month. So we have waited...January 23rd was 5 months since the day she left the breeder. Still, there are no kids. Let me mention that during this whole time (after I learned how to tell!) I never noticed her go into heat. I thought of course, that was normal since she was supposedly pregnant. Now, I am in a dillema...she is overdue. Her udder is not at all formed in any major way like it should be. She has only slightly fatter, but that may be from the grain I am feeding her. Otherwise, it is hard to tell if there is a kid in there because she is a broad, well-built goat. I am curious as to what ya'll's suggestions are. I could bring her in again, but she doesn't seem to go into heat. I've wondered if maybe she is baren. I'm anxious to do something with her since I have two other does who are near kidding and not enough room!... Danielle

-- Danielle (, February 06, 2002


Hi Danielle, Glad you found us. Are you sure that this little doe isn't a hermaphrodite (male/female), or maybe a freemartin (only has partial female reproductive organs)? That might be one explanation. The only 'real' way to know if she's got all the right parts and they're normal, or if she's indeed pregnant, would be an ultrasound. At the same time, the vet could take a blood sample to check estrogen/progesterone levels. Depending on your vet, that may or may not be very expensive. Wish I could offer more... :)patty Prairie Oak Miniatures visit our message board! moderator

-- patty putnam (WI) (, February 06, 2002.

It may also be that she simply did not go into heat during that time since it was summer. Seems some will and some won't. Or maybe the buck was busy with the older does? I have an undersized two year old Nubian who just kidded for the first time. She'd had more than plenty of opportunities to breed before, and I had about given up on ever getting kids from her.

Also, some does are definitely easier to tell when they are in heat than others. I'd give her another chance.

-- mary (, February 06, 2002.

Sometimes young does will not stand for the buck, they are unsure of what he is going to do to them and so they run, flag and look at him, and run some more. The only way for a doe like that ti get bred is for the buck to run until she's too worn out to outrun him anymore- sometimes she wears him out first- or to hold her collar and make her stand for him. After the first breeding they seem to get the idea and are no longer afraid.

Other possibilities could be that the buck was a breed that is not in rut during the summer, Swiss breeds would be an example. If you are 100% sure she has not been bred since you got her home, you could lutelyse her. That would either make her go intp labor if she's pregnant, or come into heat if she isn't. But it would also make her abort if she is not far enough along to kid. Hope this helps, let us know what you find out!

-- Rebekah (, February 06, 2002.

I would also give her another chance, and I also would use a buck at your home, lease one if you have to. I just hate giving does the expenisive benefit of the doubt, which is what you do when they are bred elsewhere, you use a young buck, or you breed out of season. Kinders are 1/2 Nubian so breeding season on her Nubian side would be August through January..........having said that we breed in July and Febuary also. So get her in shape, don't let her get overfat, and get the 2cc of lutelyse that Rebekah was talking about. Go over everything in your management that may affect a young growing doe, selenium, copper, etc. Then breed her, if she doesn't come into heat or doesn't kid than sell her for a pet or..............Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, February 06, 2002.

If you know other folks nearby who have goats, there are two things you can do. 1)Observe the does in heat, so you will know the signs. 2) Obtain a buck rag. Simply take an old wash cloth, rub it over the head and face of a "ripe" buck, and keep the cloth in a closed coffee can. Whenever you are thinking the doe might be in heat, let her sniff the rag. Her signs should be obvious--tail wagging, lots of bleating, wanting to crawl into the coffee can! Know, too that there are some does who are very quiet about it, but not many. I'd have to go along with the premise that the buck you used was not in rut during the summer.

-- melina b. (, February 07, 2002.

We have what we believe to be a freemartin (sp?). Doe is 5yo, comes into heat very regularly, buck covers her often yet she never has shown any signs of pregnancy. She's a real pretty white with red roan spashes. Would love it if she suddenly took.... oh well.

-- Sharon in AL (, February 09, 2002.

Hmmmm interesting! I was talking to a Alpine/Nubian breeder in Main, he bred a doe we own, he said in his 30 yrs of raising goats he has never seen a yr like this. he thought his does were bred so he had them ultrasounded last month, they are due end of this month. Well, vet says that there are no kids inside.

As for afreemartin, I have a doe kid that was given to me in the sale of the herd I bought last November. She is the daughter of of of my favorite Alpines. I can't recall exactly how a freemartin happens, but read someplace that it was from hmmm triplet kididngs, maybe too many does or bucks. Vicki, do you know anything about that? Anyways, this doe was shown at nationals last July. she was excused from the class by the judge for having too big of a teat dilenation. I haven't seen her come into ehat yet, hope she does.

-- Bernice (, February 10, 2002.

I appreciate each one of you for contributing advice about this goat of mine! After thinking it over a bit, we talked with our goat breeder. It boggled her because the buck she used was in service at that time, seeing that many other does bred at the same time as ours have kidded. She did say, like some of you, that maybe she was one of those odd ones who was neither male nor female but some of both. She then took us to see the teats on some kid does and we were surprised at how long and "flappy" they were! The mother of this supposed doe has only given birth to bucks besides her, so we had no clue what the teats were supposed to look like. I am almost convinced now she is a freemartin (I think that's what they're called...) because "her" teats are very small and almost hard-like with little bumps on them. Is this a good indication that "she" is not a she or he?

-- Danielle (, February 10, 2002.

Danielle the small teats is a really good indication that she is a hemaphrodite, and an internal exam with your fingers will sometimes show you a small bud like protrusion in the vulva which is actually a penis. They also have very immature looking vulvas even as older goats.

A free martin is a doe kid who shares placenta and sack with her brother. She is bathed in testosterone ladden amniotic fluid so she does not ovulate. She is normal in all other respects. And according to Goat Medicine this is very uncommon in goats, very common in twin calves. There are also perfectly normal goats who do not have their parts, I saw on ultrasound this year a doe without a uterus. A reputable breeder would replace this kid for you. Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, February 12, 2002.

Thanks so much, Vicki for the info. I'm pretty sure now that she's a hemaphrodite. As far as I know, her mother has only had boys besides her (she was a triplet-two bucks and her)...being bred to the same buck both times. This breading season, we had her bred to another buck who is know for giving maybe it was the mix between this goat's mother and the first buck? Intresting...could it be possible to be both a hemaphrodite and free martin? As I've said, I've never witnessed her go into heat or ovulate since I've had her. I sure hope her mother gives REAL girls this time!! We'll see in April...

-- Danielle (, February 12, 2002.

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