How Do You Tell if Your Goat is Bred?

I’ve seen several searches by people wanting to know how to tell whether or not their goat is bred.  This is not such an easy thing to tell sometimes.  With cattle, the vet comes out and does a physical exam to feel whether or not they have a calf.  With goats, you can have the vet do an ultrasound to check for a fetus, but outside of that, it might be hard to tell until just before it happens.  There are, however, some signs you can check for.

First, keep track of your doe’s heat cycle.  They should come into heat about every twenty-one days.  I really do keep a chart that shows the dates of when all my girls are in heat.  Most times, I know they are in heat because they hang out by the buck pen, they flick their tales a lot, have more discharge, and sometimes become very vocal about their desires.

Joe in heat, hanging out by the billy goat.

If you are keeping track of their heat cycles and know when you put them with the buck, you can usually have a decent estimate of when they might be due.  There is the possibility that she won’t settle though.  I have ten girls that were exposed to bucks between October 12 – October 19.  All were in heat at some time while they were with the boys.  That dirty hip on Kizzy below is a good indication she was bred.  You can actually buy a harness to put on the buck so he will leave a mark letting you know if the doe has been bred.

Kizzy with stains on hip from being bred

None of them has shown any sign of coming back into heat.  That would be my first sign, which is another good reason to keep track of their heat cycles.  Not seeing them in heat is not a guarantee they are bred.  They are only in heat for a couple of days and it’s easy to miss if the weather is wet and they don’t feel like standing in the rain to flirt.  I had one doe that went several months without me seeing her in heat, and I finally did have the vets check her, and she was open (not bred).

Pregnant or Fat?

Another indication would be shape of their belly.  Some goats carry straight out from their sides.  Some goats have longer bodies and are not as noticeable.  Most of the time they will start to look rounder at about three-and-a-half to four months along.  Of course, the degree of round will depend also on how many babies they are carrying.  This is just another clue because some goats are just fat.

Litha looking round

About a month or so before birth, they will begin to make an udder.  When this happens depends on whether or not they’ve had babies before and weather.  The new moms don’t start making an udder as soon, and they tend not to have their milk drop until birth when the weather is cold.  Honestly, my girls due in March are so hairy right now that you can’t really see if they are making an udder, so I had to reach under for a feel.  If they are making an udder, it’s pretty certain they are bred, but again, I can tell you about the exception.  Goats have been known to come into milk even when not bred.

Starting to make a hairy udder

As they get closer to giving birth, they will start springing.  Honestly, their privates begin to get puffy and look swollen.  When they lay down, there is pressure from the kids that will make them look like they are beginning to open up or push their rectum out.  Not all goats will do this either. Sorry, but this is the best picture I can come up with for springing.

Lily springing; about to deliver

You might be able to feel a baby move, but this can also be just their stomach working.  In the final stages of pregnancy, you can sometimes use a stethoscope to hear fetal heartbeats.  If your goat looks like this, you can assume she’s bred and ready to kid any second.

Very pregnant Dolly

Of the ten girls exposed and possibly bred for spring break babies, I’m pretty much positive seven are bred, I think another one is, and I think two are open.  I’ll keep checking those udders and watching for more signs for me to be certain.

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122 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tayet
    Feb 05, 2011 @ 21:26:07

    Very nice and informative post!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Feb 05, 2011 @ 21:54:59

      Thank you. You are getting to be quite the expert with all the babies you’ve had born at the Lucky 13 Goat Ranch lately!

      Reply

      • Shariq Jawed Bandukhwala
        Jul 16, 2014 @ 09:08:06

        Hey. Teresa i found your article really helpful. I live in Pakistan and have some querries regarding my does. I bought two does and because my parents had some issues with me keeping them at home i kept them at another ladies house. She says that a Billy Goat did the deed with both and asked me money for the stud services that her billy gave. I wanna make sure before that my does are pregnant. Its been a week to her claim. One of my does has become lazy eats lesser than before and one eats as if thats the goal of her life :P .. and yeah most importantly when i bought them both were virgins. Can i tell smhow if they have lost there virginity ? and another thing Pakistan is not such a hi tech and developed country so it almost impossible to find a vet who has ultrasound facilty. Please help.
        Shariq Jawed :)

      • Teresa
        Jul 16, 2014 @ 10:40:44

        The best thing is to watch and see if they come back into heat, which would be three weeks later.

        Some people claim the vulva will point down instead of up if they have been bred, but I find no reliable correlation to that and pregnancy status. It might be an indicator of the buck servicing them though. Sorry I’m not much help there.

  2. texwisgirl
    Feb 05, 2011 @ 22:04:26

    I know you must give your goats (and all your critters) a lot of your time in order to 1) take care of them; 2) keep track of their heat cycles; 3) keep them healthy and happy and delivering healthy and happy babies. And with a job too… I’m impressed.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Feb 05, 2011 @ 22:25:10

      Impressed! Wow! Most people just think it’s weird! I really don’t like the standard time when it gets dark so early. It makes it hard to spend the time with them that I would like.

      Reply

  3. Sharon
    Feb 05, 2011 @ 22:17:27

    Too bad they don’t have some kind of diaper or something that would change color when they are pregnant. I think a pee stick would be difficult with a goat. Your first kids are due in March or Feb? You are gonna be one busy gal!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Feb 05, 2011 @ 22:26:24

      Up to 10 (I think 8) are due between March 11 – March 18. I don’t do Feb. babies because it’s too cold and I’m at work, so I do some on the week of spring break. They really should develop a pee test for goats. That would make life much easier!

      Reply

      • bethany
        Aug 03, 2013 @ 10:42:21

        (in response to the pee test) Oh my goodness, wouldn’t that be nice! Blood testing can be done kinda cheap, but I haven’t bothered because I don’t wanna draw the blood myself to send off. I may have to take my girl to the vet down the road, she actually owns a goat herd herself, and have her check my doe. She looks preggers, and should be due, but now Im starting to wonder about a false pregnancy. She should have a heavy udder this close, and there just isn’t much there. Also I haven’t seen any discharge, and her lady parts aren’t as smooshy as I’d expect… She also bred very late (as you can tell by her Aug due date), but I don’t have an exact due date since I bought her bred and she was open bred for the entire 3 months or so. Ugh. This is turning into a nightmare…. Hope others can take my story as a warning, if you buy a doe already bred, only buy from someone who witnessed the breeding or/and is willing to let you use their billy again on the off chance the doe didn’t take……

      • Teresa
        Aug 03, 2013 @ 10:49:23

        I hear many people that are very stressed because they buy a “bred” goat and don’t have a clue when. It’s stressful enough when you know a due date. I hope things turn out well for you.

  4. Pondside
    Feb 05, 2011 @ 23:24:57

    Our gals are past all that and enjoying a well-earned retirement at Pondside. A couple of stags have been hanging around the goat yard, but I’m hoping that it’s just for the extra feed!

    Reply

  5. liesl
    Feb 05, 2011 @ 23:42:26

    Very informative post Teresa. That Lily can give a cow a run for her money with that udder!

    Reply

  6. Alica
    Feb 06, 2011 @ 04:57:29

    This sounds a lot like cows. We have a Herdex chart to keep track of their heats and breeding dates (we use A.I. for the cows). What is the gestation of a goat?

    Reply

  7. Rich
    Feb 06, 2011 @ 07:33:06

    An excellent and informative post Teresa… and excellent pictures to illustrate!

    What a great resource for people who don’t happen to have (or know of) other goat breeders nearby. Sometimes it can make the littlest things overwhelming if you don’t know who to ask.

    Rich

    Reply

  8. Sandy
    Feb 06, 2011 @ 09:03:05

    Good info! I have one here that I am starting to wonder about. I am just not sure she is ever going to get bred. Starting to think there maybe a issue.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Feb 06, 2011 @ 10:54:09

      Annie (labeled fat or pregnant) is one I’m wondering about. She had one kid two years in a row, but she spent all last winter with the buck and didn’t get bred. I think she might just be fat. She has no hint of making a bag and she was about that fat before she was with the billy goat again this year. Guess I’ll just have to wait.

      Reply

  9. Chelsey
    Feb 08, 2011 @ 08:08:14

    I have had such a time breeding my girls this year. Last year I let my two does live with a buck for a few months, but this year I tried to take them on “dates” when a doe was in heat. (I lost a doe kid at birth because one of my does surprised me with labor a month before I thought she would…) I had a buck bust through some doors in the barn to get to my girls in January, so now I am just waiting patiently to see if he got any of them. I also have one doe that has shown no real signs of pregnancy until about last week, when I noticed she was starting to make an udder. She was exposed to a buck multiple times – so it looks like she may have finally stuck! :)

    Reply

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  11. jeneen
    Aug 07, 2011 @ 14:22:52

    i got a doe last saturday because i have a buck and i had him for four months he was born april 1st of this year and so now that we got raina (the doe) he has been acting weird like peeing on himself and she has been pawing at him and he has been trying to breed with her but she wont let him and i have no idea if they have bred or not and they are always dirty so i cant really tell do you think you can help me?

    Reply

  12. jeneen
    Aug 07, 2011 @ 15:37:19

    also the person that i got her from he had a doe and she gave birth to triplets and one was a runt and so he seperates his goats from male to female so the runt got lose and breed with a doe so she had quadruplets and all of them turned out to be small and so now raina is the same size as billybuck (the billygoat) and she is 1year and a month old! do you think that it would be safe to bred him with her? even though he will get a little bit bigger?

    Reply

  13. jeneen
    Aug 07, 2011 @ 15:39:27

    and also do you think that this is a bad month to breed her?

    Reply

  14. Kim
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 00:58:56

    Texwisgirl told me I needed to read this. You will understand if you view my last post. Very helpful. Thanks!

    Reply

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  16. jen
    Sep 11, 2011 @ 07:49:38

    I really love all the goat info on your blog, its gonna help me alot. Thank you :)

    Reply

  17. John
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 21:50:31

    I bought 4 does from an individual, was told that they were breed and would have kids in November. So far no kids and I can’t tell if they are with kid. We have had them since August 20, I have on occasion seen a couple of them riding others but no other signs of being in heat. They are getting more of a belly than they had but they were thin when we got them. Is there any to tell or will I just have to wait a couple more month?

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Nov 19, 2011 @ 22:00:14

      Riding the others is a good sign one or both are in heat and not bred. It sounds doubtful that they are bred. If they were that thin, they might have not settled even though the buck bred them. You can feel to see if they are making an udder. It might be starting by now, but not a guarantee. For some goats, it’s really hard to tell until they are getting ready to have them. If you have a vet around that works on goats, you can have an ultrasound done.

      Reply

  18. jen
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 12:06:21

    I’m look at this post right now tryin to figure out if Tulip &/or Star are bred… I think Star. I just did a post on it, maybe you can look at the pics. & tell?

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Dec 06, 2011 @ 13:02:03

      Hard to tell from those pictures because I can’t see an udder. If you have a stethiscope, you might be able to hear a heartbeat this close to when they would be due. Have you seen them come into heat? Is the neighbor’s buck interested in one or both? I always try to start figuring out their heat cycle early in the fall.

      Reply

  19. judy
    Jan 04, 2012 @ 10:51:52

    I am trying. To breed a pigment that is four years. Old is she to old to try?

    Reply

  20. jami
    Jan 28, 2012 @ 22:45:43

    We got 2 does and a buck last may. Last october we had a surprise kid. We are milking her and letting the kid still nurse, my question is, is there any chance that she could have got bred back shortly after kidding, and if not what are the chances that she could get bred in may again, is that a freak thing, breeding in late may, we live in nebraska so it would have been warm, and i don’t believe they have any pygmy or dwarf in them.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 28, 2012 @ 22:59:26

      While in this area the general rule is that they will only settle in a month with the letter r (Sept. – Apr.) it’s not that uncommon to have an October kid. If the buck has been with her, she is most likely bred.

      Reply

  21. meg
    Mar 22, 2012 @ 22:56:18

    Will bucks mount a female if she is NOT in heat? I’m a first timer and took my goat to be bred…the breeder kept her for a couple days and they did the deed, but honestly I had no idea if she was in heat or not…. it was just like ok lets try today?? And 5 months is a LONG time to wait to find out LOL…. she doesn’t look much different, but according to our calculations she is “hopefully” due in about 5/6 weeks.

    Thanks

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Mar 22, 2012 @ 23:06:10

      If she is due in five or six weeks, you should be able to see a widening in the middle. She should be starting to make an udder if you feel. Have you seen her in heat since then? Flagging (flicking her tail) and discharge would be signs. It’s honestly hard to tell sometimes. A reputable breeder should have been able to tell if she was in heat or not. Some bucks might jump and breed a doe just because she’s new rather than she’s actually in heat. Good luck.

      Reply

  22. kandi
    May 25, 2012 @ 18:28:51

    I have two nannies and I’m fixing to buy more but the one I just got Saturday has a full bag at first milk was coming out but now nothing is but the bag still looks full she looks a little poor so I think who I got her from took her off a baby but my question is why is her bag full and nothing is coming out?

    Reply

    • Teresa
      May 25, 2012 @ 18:31:22

      It’s possible she has mastitis. Does if feel rock hard? Does just a bit come out and then nothing? Does she have a fever? If it is mastitis, she’ll need antibiotics. I would contact your vet.

      Reply

  23. Shelby Hood
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 11:58:08

    Love every thing but i am concerned becuse my billy was dehorned but some greew back. he was fine till one day i noticed that one horn was missing. he is over a year old and i dont know if it will grow back.. Oh and do you sell your little boers

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jun 20, 2012 @ 12:01:30

      It isn’t uncommon for horns to grow back if they are not done properly or completely. Sometimes they grow as scurs (small and loose) that might be knocked off and then grow back. They make a tool for nipping scurs off when they first start to come back. Biggest thing to watch for is infection if there is bleeding when it comes off.

      I do sell most all of my kids.

      Reply

      • Shelby Hood
        Jun 20, 2012 @ 12:08:33

        Where are you located if i really was intrested. i have been wanting a Boer or part boer for my one goat herd ( IN PROGRESS)
        And his one horn left is about 3 inches tall can that still be removed it is very loose and wiggley but when he was dehorned they got all but the back side so it about 3 cm thick and only the back half of the horn

      • Teresa
        Jun 20, 2012 @ 12:21:12

        I am located in central Iowa. I would contact the vet to ask if it can be done. When they get older, it gets harder/more dangerous to remove horns.

      • Shelby Hood
        Jun 20, 2012 @ 14:45:13

        ok maby i will just wait and see if it falls off i had to apply blue coat becuse he was bleeding But Thankx and i live in michigan your a little far away lol i’ll keep looking

      • Teresa
        Jun 20, 2012 @ 14:53:12

        No problem. Good luck with the scurs.

  24. Shelby Hood
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 10:32:11

    HI i had a question. My goat she was breed but i wasent shure when bacuse she was in the pen with the billy all winter. so latley she has become very swollen in the back. when do you think its a good time to seprate her from the herd.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jul 02, 2012 @ 11:35:29

      I generally don’t separate my girls until just before they kid. I try to get them back with the herd as soon as they are comfortable with their babies. Whenever you separate one, they have to go through fighting to reestablish themselves in the herd. Of course, it depends on the facilities you have, and I would not recommend having her with a buck because of the hormones.

      Reply

  25. Kimberli
    Jul 14, 2012 @ 17:35:04

    I found this post to be very helpful. It has confirmed my suspisions that our nannies are probably all 3 pregnant. One looks to be closer than the others. This will be her first. What do I watch for? Do they need help delivering? I have raised horses, pigs, dogs and cattle. I’m guessing they are simular to cattle. Do I need to make feed changes? Also, I’ve been wondering about worming. What is best?

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jul 14, 2012 @ 17:42:18

      If you have experience with cattle it will be similar signs~springing, udder larger. Many times they will kid on their own, but it seems like goats need assistance more frequently than cattle. They should present feet first. If you see long stringy fluid showing and they aren’t making progress I would check to make sure they are presenting correctly.

      Obviously, their nutritional needs are greater when they are pregnant, but I don’t know what you are feeding now to know if you need to change it.

      Worming is very important with goats. I try not to use a chemical wormer unless I have to. If possible, the vet can do a fecal to see if your goats have worms. You can check the inside of the eyelids to see if they are bright pink. If they have scours it is another sign of worms. It is quite common for people to worm and give overeating tetanus vaccine about three weeks before the doe kids.

      Good luck! Hope everything goes well. :-)

      Reply

      • Kimberli
        Jul 24, 2012 @ 22:41:28

        You’re probably not on this time of night but I just thought of another question. The nanny that I thought was showing the least signs just had baby # 1. How long between babies usually. I know they dont always have more than one, just wondering. I will keep an eye on her. Do they have one afterbirth per kid or one total? Baby goats are almost the cutest hings around! They have alfalfa/grass hay every day and they graze on the weeds on weekends.I have found mostly stock show goat grain in our small town. I know the pig show feed is differnt than you would feed regularly.I’m assuming it is the same for goats. What should I look for? They are definitely going to need grain while they are nursing right? I’m guessing they probably should have had grain while carrying also. I wish I would have known they were pregnant sooner. Thank you for your help.

  26. Cecily
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 18:37:39

    This may sound terrible but my doe is always been with a buck. I am new with goats and when I bought my buck I was told he was a wether, I found out a couple months ago that he still has one and still can breed my doe. I have seen him mount her many times, but she still has her cycles. Should I get her an ultrasound?

    Reply

  27. Angie
    Oct 12, 2012 @ 13:35:58

    hey there..I just purchased a female goat last night at a cattle sale. The auctioneer said she appeared to be pregnant cause she goes way out on both sides! Today i have put her in her new home (500 sq. ft. lot) along with another steer goat. Both are pygmys…nw my question is….I am trying to find out about how close we are to maybe having babies???? I am going thru all your pics and looking at her lol. I don t se her udders with milk so we are not close..am I correct? I am so scared and worried ..I have her a nice shelter with lots of hay in there right now.Anything else I need to do??? I am wanting to make sure I do the best for her and to find out about how close we might be. Unfortunately I dont know who the previous owner was ………:( Any help is greatly appreciated!!!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Oct 12, 2012 @ 13:53:05

      It’s almost impossible to tell if a goat is bred just by looking at her unless she has is about to give birth. If you think she’s close, you can try listening with a stethiscope on the left side to hear a heartbeat, but that is hard to do sometimes. You often get stomach noises instead of heartbeat. You can look for signs of springing. If you are familiar with cows, you’ll recognize many of the signs when she is close. Making an udder would be a big indication. You can have the vet do an ultrasound if you think she’s fairly close. The other thing would be to watch and see if she comes back into heat.

      The other thing to keep in mind is that goats are cool weather breeders like sheep. If she were due now, it means she would have been bred off season. It is possible she’s just fat. Ruminants do tend to have a pot belly and it’s hard to know they are bred just because they are quite round.

      Good luck!

      Reply

  28. Danielle
    Oct 15, 2012 @ 23:26:18

    This has been helpful to me, but I have one question. We got a doe who was already bred, or that is what we were told. We just got our buck for our 2 other does & the only one he seems interested in & smells around on is the pregnant one. We were told that after a doe is bred a buck won’t go around her much or bother her. Is that true? I am worried now that maybe she isn’t bred afterall. I will just have to look for signs I guess.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Oct 16, 2012 @ 06:44:29

      Part of that depends on how far along she is. If she’s really close, there will be more hormones that he might be smelling. Part of it is personality too. My first buck just loved Minnie Pearl. He would always eat and sleep by her. When she was miserable huge, he’d sleep at night with his head on her belly. A young buck will also be around her more because they are still very much like a kid jumping and playing, but the hormones might attract him. I would just watch to see if there are other signs of her coming into heat or being bred.

      Reply

  29. Mike
    Oct 21, 2012 @ 18:52:57

    Do you have any suggestions on a good ultrasound machine for goats?

    Reply

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  31. Michelle
    Dec 30, 2012 @ 18:54:44

    Hey, I had three goats bred and they are due the 15 of January (stupid due date I know) but one of them (my only dairy, a french alpine) looks very thin she has just recovered from a thymine deficiency which I went to the vet for. And she won’t eat anything, she has been like this for a few days now. I have given her milk of magnesia for two days in a row, then yogurt, I’ve given her hot molasses water,and “magic”, along with baking soda, and a thymine injection as I’ve heard that it will increase apatite, still she hasn’t wanted to eat. Today I was able to blend some hay, hot water, and molasses, and I got her to eat most of it (by putting it in her mouth and not letting her spit it out) She is very thin and it is so cold out there (I put two goat blankets on her) I do not think she is pregnant as she isn’t very round, although it’s possible that she has a little one in there. Help?!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Dec 30, 2012 @ 19:00:47

      Vitamin B can also be given as an appetite stimulant. If she isn’t eating, that can also be a sign of coccidiosis, and they don’t always get diarrhea with that. I’d recommend a fecal to make sure parasites aren’t a problem because that will happen frequently if they have been sick with something else. I don’t know about milk of magnesia, but some of those stomach coating medicines can damage the rumen. I know Pepto Bismol is safe to give. I would also recommend probiotics in case her rumen isn’t working properly. Good luck.

      Reply

  32. Ash
    Jan 13, 2013 @ 05:24:33

    Teresa :)
    Where are you located? You were mentioned darkness earlier, so I was wondering where abouts you were. The reason I’m asking is that I am expecting my first goat kids in April, I’m in Alaska, and I’m a nervous wreck. We have a LOT of darkness during the winter, and in the summer it hardly gets dark over here. :) So I was just curious :)

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 13, 2013 @ 08:51:25

      I guess I shouldn’t be complaining about how dark it is here in Iowa. I really do miss my long days though. I hope you do well with kidding this spring.

      Reply

  33. Ash
    Jan 13, 2013 @ 05:26:36

    Oh, and I was wondering how Michelle’s goat was doing? Did you hear anything? Did she recover? Hope all is well!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 13, 2013 @ 08:52:03

      I don’t know. I’ve never heard back. I do appreciate when people come back and let me know how things turn out, but there’s not often that they do.

      Reply

  34. Karen Parkerson
    Feb 02, 2013 @ 13:52:35

    I am new at this goat raising thing. My Myotonic goat looks pregnant?? Her udders sre getting bigger and the males are still chasing her tho? She seemed to be in heat a few months ago. This comment site was very helpful. I hope I will soon have some kids…

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Feb 02, 2013 @ 14:23:26

      I am glad to hear it was helpful. Sometimes bucks just like the girls. It might not be a bad idea to separate the males so she has some peace and quiet.

      Reply

  35. Rachel Leigh
    Mar 09, 2013 @ 10:24:00

    Where I live, we own a prize winning billy, along with 12 Boer does. We know every single doe is pregnant, and have been for just over 5 months now, but only 4 of them are springing. About 7 have udders, but the rest of the goats, who aren’t sprining, or into milk, have not shown any sign. A vet has come and said they were pregnant, but without any signs, we don’t know when they will go into labor. Any advice? We are in a tough spot because we all have jobs, and if a goat goes into labor when no one is home, we have a problem because our goats can’t kid alone. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Mar 09, 2013 @ 10:56:01

      If you know when they were bred the first time, you can go forward on the calendar three weeks. That will give you their next due date. It is so hard to watch and see when they are bred when you work. I start tracking heat cycles in early fall so I can come up with a good guess if I don’t have someone due.

      My vet did an x-ray last year on one of my girls and said one baby. In position. Can come any time. I had her due the next day. She waited and had her baby almost exactly three weeks later.

      Reply

  36. Presley Patterson
    Mar 10, 2013 @ 20:26:04

    my doe was born in april to a twin brother when i separated them from the mom i let them together after i found out he could get her pregnant. so i separated them.after i thought she was in heat once. i am not shore if she is bred or not i can’t if she is in heat or is it out of season for that

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Mar 10, 2013 @ 21:00:20

      Chances are she is bred if he was with her for very long. They can get bred at very young ages. When were they together and when did you separate them. Depending on when she would have been bred, she might be awfully young. If she isn’t too far along, you can give her a shot to cause her to abort. If it was just the last couple of months, she’ll probably be okay to have kids.

      Reply

  37. Presley Patterson
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 21:24:03

    she was with him until i can’t remember to good i think 6 months old . i see her very playful once and a while and as she is playing she jumps on her mom or a another young doe thats 5 months old. wagging her tail but only for about 15 min. not on and off all day no wet tail no crying no real signs of heat.also she don’t look pregnant ,she should be getting a wider or a utter by now or her behind should be getting swollen Is this because of the season she is not in heat.and the young doe was born in oct. 23 will she come into heat off season because she was born off season. thank you for your help.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Mar 11, 2013 @ 21:38:15

      If he was removed in October, she would be due now and you’d see signs. If she isn’t showing any signs of pregnancy, she probably isn’t bred. The jumping is an indicator that she was in heat. Some goats, especially young ones, can be pretty subtle.

      Goats are cold weather breeders. They begin coming into heat based on the length of the day. In my area, they come into heat in late August. Most of mine seem to quit coming into heat in April. It’s always possible they can come into heat some other time, but it isn’t likely that they will settle.

      Reply

  38. pat
    Mar 31, 2013 @ 17:57:39

    Very informative! I appreciate all the comments. I think I am about to be the godparent to my first “kid”. Time will tell.

    Reply

  39. Anonymous
    May 08, 2013 @ 22:57:03

    I have a doe I thought was due around April 5th… she has had mucus off and on for about 3 weeks. She is a pygmy and is huge this is her first and our first. I am not sure who is more nervous me or her. Thanks for your site it has helped some. It is about to drive my husband crazy because I will not the leave the house, I keep having him pick up a few grocery’s items when he gets off work. I am praying for a kid this week. I can now see how I could of been off 20 something days if I missed her going in heat but we are over 30 days at this point I hope we don’t go into June!!!

    Reply

  40. Lexie
    May 12, 2013 @ 23:09:15

    Hi, I have had goats for a few months now so i’m new at this and I decided to breed them. I have two does, a mom and a daughter, and I just got a buck, but the mom doesn’t seem to like the buck, she always wants to charge at him. But the daughter and the buck seem to like each other. I was wondering if you might know why the older nanny doesn’t like the billy goat? and how long should I leave the other with him? just until she isn’t in heat anymore?.

    Thanks

    Reply

    • Teresa
      May 13, 2013 @ 07:48:41

      I sometimes have a hard time answering questions without knowing specifics. I would guess your older does’ dislike of the buck is simply a personality thing. Like people, some get along and some don’t. As far as how long to leave them together, that is entirely up to you and the facilities you have. When I plan spring break kids, I generally only put them together for a couple of days. When I breed for summer, I might leave them together for six or eight weeks.

      That said, goats are known as cool weather breeders. In my midwest area, that means a does isn’t likely to settle in the warmer months. The general rule of thumb around here is that they will breed and settle in months that have an R (September – April). My does generally won’t even come into heat from mid-April until August. It’s possible she will not get bred until fall.

      Reply

  41. Lexie
    May 13, 2013 @ 12:15:57

    ok I have another question, the buck I have I am only borrowing, so do the does only go in to heat if they are around a buck?. Like I said I’m new at having goats and I’ve only had them for about 3 months and I’ve only noticed one of them going into heat once when I first got them.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      May 13, 2013 @ 12:29:20

      No. The does usually start coming into heat in late August. They will cycle approximately ever 21 days until they stop around April. Putting a buck with them will not bring them into heat.

      Reply

  42. Lexie
    May 13, 2013 @ 12:46:00

    Ok, Thanks that’s very useful. And I want you to know that your blog here has helped me with several things so thanks :)

    Reply

  43. Lexie
    Aug 03, 2013 @ 17:21:36

    Hi, I asked you a question a few months ago about my does. I wanted to make sure I was figuring their due dates right. I got the buck the 10th of may and kept him from the nanny’s until they went into heat, one was the next day and the other was the 12th. I put the first in with the buck when she went into heat and that was on the 11th of may, so she should be due around October 8th, right?. The other doe was put with the buck on October 12th so she should be due around October 9th. Keep in mind that both of the does stayed with the buck for about two weeks, how should I know when they will kid so I can separate them?.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Aug 03, 2013 @ 17:47:56

      According to the chart, that would be correct as long as they settled. Sometimes they don’t settle the first time they come into heat.

      Reply

  44. Hellen Homan
    Aug 25, 2013 @ 18:24:42

    I bought a doe that had been “disbudded” with banding rubbers. Since she was done by a novice and too young she now has a horn and a half. What is the best way to dehorn her since she is now 1 1/2 years old. She was recently bred within the past week. Thanks for your help. Hellen

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Aug 25, 2013 @ 19:30:13

      It’s hard to dehorn them when they get older. They have a blood well that goes up, so it makes them quite susceptible to infection. You would probably have to have a vet do it.

      Reply

  45. Dyan
    Sep 16, 2013 @ 16:11:42

    Hi there! Thank you for this info, we are new to goats. We have 3 does and a buck. We moved beginning of August and I think all our does went into cycle that same week. Now they all look fat, but I just found out my daughter has been feeding them 4 flakes a day! So, they are fat, and possibly bred. However, this means babies in January…doesn’t it? What are some extra things that we can do to help keep babies warm during that time? Being our first time with this whole process we can use all the help we can get!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Sep 16, 2013 @ 17:07:18

      Insulated buildings help. Heat lamps work, but they are dangerous around animals. I use lots of towels and a blow-drying to dry them when they are born. If all else fails a heated garage or basement or kitchen is an option.

      Good luck.

      Reply

  46. Maddy
    Sep 29, 2013 @ 21:36:44

    I would love to be able to tell if my goat is pregnant, but with the but being only 10 weeks old and her being 5 years, it is hard. A local breeder did however say she was more than likely pregnant ( with out seeing her ). But it is still really hard to tell!

    Reply

  47. Lexie
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 18:48:42

    Hi again, I wanted to thank you for all of your information. Both of my does had their babies, one had twins and the other had triplets. They are all healthy playful little kids to!. Anyway, thank you for the info and advice we had two nannies and three billies Morgan, Billy and lilly, trip, and captain. So thank you for the wonderful advice!.

    Reply

  48. Steve
    Nov 04, 2013 @ 07:37:57

    Teresa,
    Looks like you are very knowledgeable about goats and their pregnancy’s. We have owned boer goats for over a year now and have learned a lot, but certainly not all. I have 3 does that i took to another farm to have bred. They were with the buck for 45 days (mid August to end of September). The owner said he saw two of them being serviced by the buck, (assumed the third was but he just did not see the event). During the time they were away, I purchased my own buck. Soon after I brought the does home, they appeared to cycle, wagging tails by the fence, making goofy sounds, and the buck really wanted to meet them. First two of them cycled and just recently the third one did. Finally the question: If a doe is pregnant, will she cycle? Also, since they appeared to be cycling, I put each one in with our new buck for a couple days each. Each time the buck immediately did his job, numerous times. Question number two: Will it hurt them to be bred again if they were already bred. Thanks in advance.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Nov 04, 2013 @ 07:41:46

      Goats are cool weather breeders. In my area that means they are not likely to settle in the summer months (August). I know this year, my does were late to start coming back into heat. It sounds like they did not settle while they were away. A doe won’t come into heat if she’s already bred. Generally speaking, even if she were bred, it wouldn’t hurt her for the buck to breed her again.

      Reply

      • Steve
        Nov 04, 2013 @ 08:15:17

        Thanks, that’s what I thought. I am in Ohio. We try to breed for January kids due to our local fair schedules and the rules for weather’s classes. Looks like we will be having March and April kids this year,hopefully some late fairs will be looking for kids… I do not have to worry about it now, but does transporting and dumping them at another location also affect them being able to settle? I assume it does as it tends to stress them. Last year, when I purchased them from the same farm they were bred in August and had January babies.

      • Teresa
        Nov 04, 2013 @ 09:32:33

        Any time they are stressed it can impact their settling. You’ll be glad you have your own buck to breed.

  49. Anonymous
    Nov 10, 2013 @ 09:38:14

    Hi we are, Ron & Nadine, in Sunizona, Arizona
    We are very knew to this whole farm thing. However, we jumped and just started swimming. We have over 700 cage / range free laying hens and nine nubian goats. Your info is very helpful, thank you for your assistance.

    Reply

  50. Belinda
    Dec 28, 2013 @ 17:01:15

    I have 3 fullblood boers and there tails r covered in poop. Anytime i have seen them go to the bathroom it has always been normal pellets. Have never seen any diarrea. They r on alfalfa/grass and get sweet feed when we put them up at night. I vaccinated them all 6 weeks ago. Had a vet come out the other day but he didnt seem to do anything said it is the alfalfa, i was wondering if you have any suggestions..also have a year old boer/ nubian that i didnt think was pregnant but trimming her feet today her chacha is alittle puffy is that a sign that she is preggo? Thank u for your time.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Dec 28, 2013 @ 17:06:15

      Any time you have diarrhea, I would recommend doing a fecal because of the possibility of worms. Any change in diet can cause diarrhea. It’s possible for them to just be sick with diarrhea (like humans) as well. Alfalfa will not in itself cause diarrhea (unless it is a change in diet).

      Puffiness can be a sign of pregnancy or being in heat, either one.

      Reply

      • Belinda
        Dec 28, 2013 @ 17:18:49

        I will call the new vet on monday to bring samples n2 them to check. I asked about the puffyness because 2 of the fullbloods r due on jan 16 and their chachas have always been puffy. Was told to add in more minerals to their feed. So we started what the feed store calls trace 90 hope this helps.. Im a first time goat owner and am super nervous with the kidding lol…thank u very much for the super fast response

      • Teresa
        Dec 28, 2013 @ 17:21:57

        I hope it helps. Hard to be too much help from a distance. Hope everything goes well for you!

  51. helene
    Jan 07, 2014 @ 20:33:25

    Very good explanation; thank you!

    Reply

  52. Anonymous
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 13:08:02

    hi I have a sick female boer goat that is pregnant and she is showing signs that she could have the baby soon her tail is mushy and her vulva is swollen and kinda jutting out what else can I look for to tell how close she is?
    when can I expect it?

    Reply

  53. Beth
    Mar 10, 2014 @ 13:28:28

    I have a beautiful Alpine who, if bred, this will be her first kidding. She loves having her belly rubbed, so I know for a fact she felt like just nipples against a smooth belly before, and is now building an udder! Yippie! She was exposed to a billy in the middle of November. Im new to goats, and this will be my first time kidding, or rather–midwifing goats. lol. Either way, she doesn’t look pregnant at all just looking at her sides, and I had thought she was open till that udder showed up 2 days ago. Her vulva is extra long, but not poofy, and Im about going crazy over her. My senior doe who should also be expecting within days of my Alpine im not so worried over. This will be her 4th year kidding, although her first time with me, she has always had multiples and never needed assistance (im told) but if she has just one large one I may be in trouble with her. HOW DO YOU HANDLE THE STRESS?!! I’ve been raising rabbits for years and never worried so much about nature taking its course!!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Mar 10, 2014 @ 13:56:32

      Experience helps, but I still worry like crazy over my girls. Not much help for you here. I do what I can to get an accurate due date to eliminate the guessing. I also plan them for times that I know I will be around to keep a close eye on them.

      Good luck!

      Reply

      • Beth
        Mar 19, 2014 @ 20:50:33

        Just thought I’d let you know I was able to feel something rather boney kicking around in my Alpine! Lol. Didn’t even press on her tummy, just had my hand flat against it right in front of her udder and she certainly has one in there, and hopefully two. I’m a stay at home mom so I spend slot of time watching, talking and playing with my girls, they are so much like dogs! Anyway, I’m just gonna keep checking udder development these next couple weeks and be ready when things progress., Thanks so much for your site!!

      • Teresa
        Mar 19, 2014 @ 20:51:55

        Good luck!

  54. Mayia Moonchild
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 23:27:06

    Hi, we live in Oregon. All our goats are Lamanchas. I have a doe that is 1.5 years old that is bred – kid late march early april- Today we bought 2 does that are supposed to be bred and due in June. I am worried about the new girls, they seem very thin and the hair is dull and dirty. They don’t show any signs of worms. They were kept in a barn stall and not let outside at all – The yearling is the daughter of the older doe- They have been left together and never separated but she is still letting her daughter nurse some. Do I need to separate them? – How can I boost there weight and health while the are pregnant?

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Mar 12, 2014 @ 06:53:30

      I would recommend a fecal. Sometimes they can have parasites without seeming to show signs. After that, I would recommend separating them so that it’s not so difficult on the older doe while she’s pregnant to have a kid nursing her. Then look at diet. You have to make changes gradually, but a high quality feed would be in order. HERE is a link about goat diets. It’s from Oregon State, so they would also be able to help you out if there isn’t a local vet to ask some of these questions. I’d talk to someone around you to see if you are in an area that has adequate minerals or if you need to supplement copper or something.

      Reply

  55. Mayia Moonchild
    Mar 17, 2014 @ 23:34:10

    Thank you for your response. They did have worms and have been wormed. I am feeding a goat feed with 16 percent protein- (grains and alfalfa pellets)- little molasses- also good quality grass hay- they also have browse when its not raining-they hate getting wet. -Fresh,clean water 247

    Reply

  56. terry sutton
    Jun 03, 2014 @ 07:38:26

    Hi, we are knew to goats, we have LaManchas, just a note to worming. I do not mean this to be an ad, but wanted to mention that we try here on our farm to be as close to organic and natural as possible. Been using an organic wormer and it is scheduled every friday and every six weeks with a wormer containing wormwood. Can’t use this on pregnant does however. We have had very good luck with this and using the FAMANCHa we have seen no signs of parasites, You can even give the wormer to the babies. It also helps with coccidiosis. We have two bucks, both registered of Champion lines this will be there first year to be used for breeding. And have three does, one maybe bred, we used hormones to bring her in. Wanted at least one does that was off season. She is a little puffy, only 30 days bred, so guess will have to watch and see. One that had twin bucks in March, that we are milking and one that is a first timer she will be bred this fall hope. Also Have two young doelings. Maybe bred this fall as well, depending on how they look, Although both look very healthy right now. Just thought I would say Hi, and mention the herbal wormer. Thanks for the good info.

    Reply

  57. karen
    Aug 23, 2014 @ 23:46:34

    ok, goat people on FB, I think my 3 yr old La Mancha goat might be PG, I do not have a billy ? we live on a small farm in Ellensburg and yes there are deer and other goats kinda close by but I have never seen any in my pasture! She looks like she swallowed two basketballs and has a bag full of milk, her tummy is tight and no, there does not seem to be any infection? I am baffled! We actually milked her last night, and she has never had a kid? Ideas, thoughts? My other female goat is normal? So confused?
    LikeLike · · Share

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Aug 24, 2014 @ 08:23:14

      Ask a vet. It’s possible she has a false pregnancy. I have heard rumors of them being bred by other species, but this is not typical.

      Reply

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The information on this web site is supplied for general reference and educational purposes only. This information does not represent the management practices or thinking of other goat breeders or the veterinary community. I am not a veterinarian, and the information on this site is not intended to replace professional veterinary advice. This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your veterinarian. I disclaim all liability in connection with the use of this information.
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