Thursday, November 1, 2012

'Tis the Season...

We should be able to tell when our does are in season... but... we... can't. At least, not definitively. I mean, there are signs to look for like:
  1. Vocalization: Increased vocalization is among the most common behaviors exhibited by a doe in heat. “Calling” and “bleating” is common and may occur for no apparent reason.
  2. Tail Flagging: Goats do not usually wag their tail, like a dog. But, frequent tail wagging or “flagging” is common in a doe in heat. Does may also start wagging in response to petting her neck and back.
  3. Aggression: A submissive and easy-going doe can be transformed by hormones, leading to fights with other goats. The opposite can also occur during heat; a normally assertive doe may allow other does to act in an aggressive manner toward her, without defending herself.
  4. Physical Changes: Vaginal discharge and some redness or swelling in the hind quarters may often be seen in a doe in heat. The discharge can also lead to damp or clumped fur on the tail. If a goat is producing milk, production tapers off significantly during the heat cycle.
  5. Mounting: Does may be seen mounting other does when they’re in heat. And, it’s also not uncommon for a doe in heat to allow others to mount her.
  6. Unusual Feeding Patterns: It is common for a doe in heat to change her eating habits, exhibiting a distinct lack of interest in food.
And, in time, perhaps we will be experts at this and learn how to track their cycles with any kind of certainty.  For now, we are simply putting our does in with Jedi for 4-6 weeks and hoping that he does his job.

We want Jedi to breed Pepper, Leah, and Rachel this year. Eventually, Asher will be paired with Leah and Rachel, but he is still quite young and though he seems willing to give it a try, Jedi is having nothing of THAT. As far as HE is concerned, "all the does are belong to him". We bought Ruby and Sapphira to breed with Jedi in future years.

Tonight, after checking their weight and overall appearance, the feel of their coats, and the color of their lower eyelids, we decided that Leah and Rachel were ready to attempt to mate. We made the decision that Pepper would wait another few weeks, at least. Though Pepper looked very good on most of the criteria we considered, her eyelids had gotten slightly less red than we want to see them. To be on the safe side, we will give her a 2 ML injection of Ivomec tomorrow and wait a few weeks before attempting to mate her with Jedi. We have read that Ivomec is safe to use on pregnant does on several sites, but since we are at the beginning of the breeding season, we can afford to be overly cautious. It won't hurt anything to wait, so we will.

All this is supposing that she isn't already pregnant between her escapes into Jedi's pasture and his routine visits to the does' stalls. I guess, time will tell! ♥

If the does get pregnant this month (November), we can expect new kids to appear in April. If all 3 does are successfully bred and come full term, we should have between 3 and 8 goat kids for sale this Spring. We can't wait to meet them!

Thanks for visiting tonight,
Sonja ♥


  1. I am excited for babies! I appreciate your being cautious with Pepper. Your the bestest goat Mommy!

    1. Thanks, Kimmy! I am excited for you to come up and play with the new kids when they are born. You'll have to help us think of some Bible-based names for the new ones. :)

  2. I hope you have kids! I think goat babies are the cutest things ever. Seems like it's almost like a soap opera in the goat barn haha! Exciting times for Jedi :)