February 2, 2012

Goat Update: PG? Or Not

The question of the year is, are Jasmine and Surprise pregnant?


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.

23 comments:

  1. I definitely see the bulges, and like you, I was thinking, "Their daddy is a pygmy so they aren't going to show like they would if they were pregnant with full blooded Nubian babies." *Fingers crossed!*

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  2. I can see the bulges too,so maybe they are mommies to be,we shall see!

    Blessings Jane

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  3. Hard to say, but I bet Gruffy figured it out all by himself :-) My guess....they're pregnant :-)

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  4. I don't know what I'm looking at anyhow, never been close to a goat :o) one thing I do know..time will tell it :o)

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  5. Oh my goodness, this sounds worse than when I've hoped to be pregnant! LOL! At least I could take a simple UA! Good luck!

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  6. Oh, I hope they are, too! Time will tell, and it seems nature always has a way of working these things out ;)
    -Jaime

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  7. Jody, that's about all there is left. :)

    Michelle, thanks! So nice another goat person sees those bumps. :) Hopefully your kidding will be without incident.

    Jane, you know, last year I never could tell if Jasmine was pregnant just by looking at her. She's a big girl and only carried a single, so it wasn't until she went into labor that I knew it was for sure!

    Jean, I hope you're right! At least Gruffy was experienced. :)

    Ginny, well, it could be just big fat tummies! You're right though, time will tell:)

    RaShell, I've actually thought about getting a couple of the pregnancy kits from the dollar store. Just to see what happens! Then I'd have to try again sometime when I knew for sure they weren't. :)

    Jaime, sometimes it's just best to leave it that way too. Several folks more experience than I said it would happen on it's own. We'll see!

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  8. I was wondering about your goats. Well it would be nice if they were pregnant. Are they still producing milk and is that any indication of pregnancy in goats?

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  9. Ha ha! "...but it's entirely conceivable that it could be later than that." Funny pun. Ha ha!

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  10. I've been breeding goats (Angoras) and sheep for about 12 years now. I've only seen the deed a couple of times, but have had babies every year. Even when I bred the super tall Montedale cross ewes to the baby Dorper (and if anyone ever needed a step ladder it was him!). Fingers crossed for you and your girls!

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  11. Renee, good question. As far as I know, milk production doesn't change much during pregnancy. It is standard practice to dry them up the last two months. I dried Surprise early, because she always tends to be skinny and fussy about eating. I've just begun skipping milkings with Jasmine, so she will begin to produce less and be dry soon. Good think I froze a dozen half-gallons for milk during the dry season. We'd miss our yogurt otherwise!

    Paula, well duh on me, I didn't even catch that! LOL

    Sue, thanks! That's encouraging. Others have experienced the same so I'm hopeful. Makes a challenge for calculating due dates but fortunately I've only got the two!

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  12. I'm keepin my fingers crossed!

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  13. The girls do have a little bit of that bulging preggers look. March is only a few weeks away, so it shouldn't be long before you know for sure! If they are, my fingers will be crossed for does. Your weather looks lovely there. No wonder they are playful.

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  14. I missed out. So much has been going on here, that my blog time has been limited...forgive me?
    I love that you grow your own feed for the brood and the herd. You are a wonder. That's a very good thing. You are so busy with your animals and your cabinets, you must sleep like a baby at the end of the day.
    As for the girls, I'm sure 'ewe' will see babes before you know it. Bulgy is beautiful...basking in the sun and playing is pure pleasure to see. Will be waiting with you.
    BlessYourHearts

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  15. When I first started dating my future wife in high school I would go to her house and hang out with her four brothers. One of the things that almost stopped us from continuing to date was when my future wife and her mother came around the corner and us boys were trying to help their male dog to...you know what to the female lab. I guess it would have been a surprise to most anyone seeings that we were using a garden hose to prop the dogs back end over an old barrel.

    I'm surprised she actually said yes when I asked her to marry me. ha.

    Good luck with your bulges.

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  16. Bridget, thanks!

    Nina, I hope so. The latest actual due date I have is May(!) So it could be awhile but hopefully not. :)

    Oh Dar, I doubt any of us is able to keep up with one another considering our busy lives. Thank you so much though, for your kind caring.

    Doug, ok, a gal could consider that weird. She must really love you. :)

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  17. I had the same problem with Bleuberry. Shes a long bodied, deep doe & you can't tell by looking. So I gave in, watched a youtube video on how to draw blood on a goat & drew blood to send in to Biotracking.

    Very easy to do (do a google search on drawing blood on goats) & cheap. If you're interested I can send you the info on where to get blood draw tubes 10 for $8 & that includes shipping.

    You send your samples in to www.biotracking.com (detailed instructions on website & submission forms for you to print out) Pregnancy test is $6.50 & you can get the sample tested for CAE too for an additional $4. Then you not only know your goats pregnancy status but you also know if they are CAE positive, and if so you can pull the kids to raise on CAE prevention. :)

    BTW- Bleuberry came back CAE Negative & positive for pregnancy!!!!! She is due March 5th & doesn't look any different than she did 6 months ago...

    Love the pictures of the girls, I'm crossing my fingers your lil man got the job done, I wanna see baby Kinders!!! :)

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  18. Oh Crystal, I wanna see some baby Kinders too! Please do send me the info on the blood draw tubes. That really might be a good route to go, both for the pregnancy test and CAE. Jasmine especially, is like your Bleuberry; she never did actually look pregnant last year. It would be nice to know. And congrats on Bleuberry!

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    1. Thanks!! I'm excited about babies!!Had twin bucks on Jan 30th (haven't updated my blog since posting pics of Bleuberry playing in shavings though) & I'm ready for doe kids!!!

      If it makes you feel optimistic, my mom's Mini Alpine doe barely had a belly and had triplet does on Dec 13. It was her 1st kidding & we thought it was going to be just 1 tiny kid, but nope, 3 were hidden in there :)

      I hope you get some colorful Kinder does!!

      I emailed you with the blood tube/testing info, so odds are good it's in your spam folder :)

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  19. Crystal, I got it! I just got very sidetracked with my reply, explanation included in my response! Thank you so much. You are a treasure trove of information.

    Congrats on your first kids! And yes, news of your mom's triplets is very encouraging indeed. :)

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  20. we have been surprised both ways. There was one time when a mother gave birth and we did not know she was with kid. There are been other times when she really looked like she was and never had a kid. Don't count your chickens, er, kids, before they are born! :-)

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  21. AwaydownSouth, that is absolutely correct! Last year, we had a similar experience to you, in that I was pretty sure that one of my does hadn't settled. Turns out she was carrying a single. This year, I'm actually thinking about having blood tests done.

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