I admit that I've been very doubtful that this is an affirmative. They certainly don't look like it when they're just standing around....
Our goal is to raise Kinder goats, and this year we attempted to breed the girls (both Nubians), to Gruffy, our Pygmy buck. We even built a Pygmy buck assist to compensate for the size difference. The problem was, that neither doe would cooperate when it came to being put in front of it. No matter how amorous their behavior toward their suitor, when it came to that, they side stepped, bucked, bolted, and wiggled every whichaway. Since it took both of us to hold her in place, we never actually witnessed whether Gruffy was being successful or not. On top of that, both girls both seemed to go in heat at the same time, dividing Gruffy's attention and giving him, and us, double duty.
After two months of uncooperative nonsense, I finally threw my hands up, propped open the buck gate and said, "fine, you figure it out". I let all the goats run together for the next several months. I realize that's not a very professional approach to breeding, but 6 or 10 attempts a day to "help," didn't seem to be doing any good.
I know it supposedly isn't possible to tell if a goat is pregnant simply by looking at her; only a sonogram is considered definitive, and I'm not doing that. There are signs that she's settled (goat folk lingo for pregnant), such as not going into heat again, but even that is difficult. Last year, Surprise was still quite flirty with Petey every three weeks or so. Looking back, I know she was already pregnant, despite her behavior.
It could still be a bit early, but every now and then I look at them and think they're starting to look a little bulgier than usual. Like when they lay down to runimate...
|Jasmine, bulging on the left? Or is it rumen?|
|Surprise, bulging on the right? Or is it the light?|
Maybe it's just that I'm wishing so hard for it to be true, that I think they look bulgier. Being half Pygmy, the kids would be smaller, or at least that's what I keep telling myself.
If it's so, our first potential due date wouldn't be until toward the end of the month, though I'm pretty sure neither doe settled her first heat. The next potential due date would be around the middle of March, but it's entirely conceivable that it could be later than that. That gives me all the longer to hope for bigger bulges. No matter what, I give them the care of pregnant does and will be prepared for the dates circled on my calendar.
I do know that both are exceedingly happy these days, though perhaps it's the pretty weather. They run, and leap, and play. They run up with their "pet me" faces whenever they see me. At the very least, that's something to be thankful for.