Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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Okay, how do I tell when the girls are in heat? My older doe's milk production has dropped to 6 oz per milking and i am thinking of just drying her off and breeding her but I don't know how to tell when they are in heat. I have to take them to the breeder an hour away so I need to make sure they are in standing heat right?

 

How do I tell???

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I'm still having trouble with this... my does seem to act in heat when they aren't, or I catch them too late into their heat to stand... lol

Having a wether can really be helpful. Even after nine years I keep a wether with my does, and he sometimes lets me know about a goat that is in heat when I never would have guessed. Wethers don't know that they're not real bucks, so when a doe is in heat, they'll mount them, and if the doe will stand for them, they're in standing heat. If the doe runs off or starting to butt heads with the wether, they're probably close, so you can keep an eye on them for the rest of the day. Sometimes does will mount each other when they're in heat, but it can be like a free for all with them. Usually the one being mounted is the one in heat, especially if she is standing for it. If a doe is mounting other does, and they're running away, then the one doing the mounting is probably in heat.

 

Flagging is a sign of heat -- that's goat speak for "tail wagging." It's really constant when they're in heat. My milking parlor felt five degrees cooler last week when I was milking a doe that was in heat. She was flagging the whole time. I think they do that to get the smell out there so that bucks will know they're in heat. It isn't anything that humans can smell, but it's obvious that bucks love it because they sniff the doe's back end a lot of and do the lip curl.

 

A small number of goats will get very vocal -- pretty much screaming their head off all day -- but you can't count on that. Maybe one out of every seven or eight does will do that.

 

The vulva may look slightly puffy, and there could be a tiny amount of white or clear discharge. It's not usually enough that you'll notice without looking, so you have to make a conscious effort to check under the tail. If you happen to notice dried mucous causing the hairs to stick together on a doe's tail, mark your calendar for 18 days and start checking her for slight puffiness and discharge at that time for her next heat. They come into heat every 21 days.

 

Some goats may also get very violent, butting heads with everyone. In the middle of summer, our intern came to get me because Star, my 12 year old doe, was beating the snot out of everyone. She was facing off with with three or four does at once. Because I have absolutely no desire to breed her, and because I was afraid she was going to get hurt, I just locked her up in the barn by herself for the day. Maybe one out of three or four does will act like this when they're in heat.

 

And I can understand that if you are only getting six ounces at each milking, you might feel like it's not worth it to continue milking. However, I wanted to mention that you don't have to stop milking before breeding a goat. Most does continue milking until they're three months pregnant.

I know I can continue to milk her but it just seems like more trouble than it is worth and i don't want a wether....I already have one special needs goat that can't be bred so that is plenty. I'm thinking I am going to call the breeder today and see if she will send me a buck rag to help me find out if they are close and then I can just call her and leave them with her for a couple days if necessary. She has separate breeding pens so it wouldn't be a problem to leave them for a day or two.

 

Anyone wanna mail me a buck rag???  LOL

What is a "buck rag"? It can't be any worse than what I'm imagining!!?
You take a rag and rub it all over your stinky bucks scent glands and then put it in a bag or jar and let the girls sniff it and if they get excited you know you are close....is that what you imagined??? LOL
Oh... that's not too bad! I was imagining worse! LOL! I have 2 bucklings-9 weeks old, and the things I see them do around my "supposedly" bred doe are very...interesting! (We are new to goats, so it is a learning experience for the whole family!)
if anyone near you has goats - they usually dont mind wiping a rag all over their stinky buck ^^ - you could even search craigslist just for goats and find a local.  My goats a year ago had the stringy mucous for a few days - now it is just a little moist and every one acts like they have PMS!  lot of hair raising - butting - mounting.  I have read also if you give them a finger squeeze right at the tail head and they dont lowered their tails - another good sign.
One of my does is acting like a buck!!  She is tail flagging - but, also going up to the other does and flicking her tongue like a buck would!!  Geez -

Okay, so I got a buck rag and have been monitoring the girls....Aliana got very interested in the rag one morning after milking. She chewed the rag a bit then threw her head up and ran to the door of the milk room....I put her in the pasture, showed her the rag again and she sniffed one of the other girls rear ends and then ran to the gate as if to say "well....where is he?" Lots of tail flagging and bleating too....noticed a bit of discharge but not much. So I called the breeder who is 1 1/2 hours away and said "I'm pretty sure today is the day" So we loaded her up, picked out a beautiful buck from Caesar's villa Stetson lines....Obadiah (who has blue eyes btw!) and she immediately stood for him. We left them together for the next 1-1 1/2 hours and they bred repeatedly....hopefully it wasn't a false heat but a true standing heat and it took. She is no longer interested in the buck rag but yesterday and this morning she had thick discharge stuck to her vulva and tail matting. What does that mean? We bred her Wednesday afternoon. Does that mean something is wrong or could she have been in a false heat and is coming back into heat again? The breeder said to watch her for one week and then see if she was in heat again after 7  days and if she was to bring her back to be bred again. If she doesn't come back into heat after 7 days she said to count 21 days and check for signs of heat again to see if she settled.

 

What is up with the discharge though?

If she stood, she was in heat, and standing for it is a great indication she should settle. (become pregnant) The discharge is just like we humans... the semen don't stay in there... lol I hope that's not too graphic... but it is what it is. Just overflow. Sounds like your breeder knows what she's talking about to me.
the 7 day thing happened to me 2x with 2 does.  We had another date and one got pregnant and one didnt.   What's up with that 7 day thing anyway?  They stood both times
the way my does are acting right now - if I had a buck it would be a breeding frenzy.  They have to wait for December  -(

Lori Adams said:

Okay, so I got a buck rag and have been monitoring the girls....Aliana got very interested in the rag one morning after milking. She chewed the rag a bit then threw her head up and ran to the door of the milk room....I put her in the pasture, showed her the rag again and she sniffed one of the other girls rear ends and then ran to the gate as if to say "well....where is he?" Lots of tail flagging and bleating too....noticed a bit of discharge but not much. So I called the breeder who is 1 1/2 hours away and said "I'm pretty sure today is the day" So we loaded her up, picked out a beautiful buck from Caesar's villa Stetson lines....Obadiah (who has blue eyes btw!) and she immediately stood for him. We left them together for the next 1-1 1/2 hours and they bred repeatedly....hopefully it wasn't a false heat but a true standing heat and it took. She is no longer interested in the buck rag but yesterday and this morning she had thick discharge stuck to her vulva and tail matting. What does that mean? We bred her Wednesday afternoon. Does that mean something is wrong or could she have been in a false heat and is coming back into heat again? The breeder said to watch her for one week and then see if she was in heat again after 7  days and if she was to bring her back to be bred again. If she doesn't come back into heat after 7 days she said to count 21 days and check for signs of heat again to see if she settled.

 

What is up with the discharge though?

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