Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

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Hi, so I am a newbie goat owner of both Nigerians and pygmy's. I have one buck and 3 does however will be rehoming the pygmy one due to just not fitting in. I have a question. I bought a pygmy/Nigerian cross in october and was told she was possibly bred. She's young like really young! Well I believe she is developing an udder but since I'm new to this I'm not certain. I shaved her yesterday for a better look since she has some major winter fluff! She could be due anywhwre from feb-march 17th. I'm leaning towards march if she is.

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That looks like udder development to me. Does who have never had a kid and aren't pregnant have no udder development at all, the teats would be flat against the body.  However, she doesn't look like she's close to delivery either. Any idea how old she is?

She is about 10-11 months old. The person I bought her from had her with a buck and 3 other Does the whole time he had her. So she would be due sometime in Feb. However my buck escaped around the time I brought her home too. From what I witnessed he had no interest in her as he was acting like she wasn't even around. He only shows interest in my Doe who never settles. My biggest Doe is bullying her bad now too so I can't even pen her with my other Does at night in fear that she is pregnant and they are going to hurt her.

I hate not knowing and even if I did do a test to know she is pregnant for sure I have no exact date and it is driving me batty. I know my husband must be super annoyed by me. I've never dealt with kidding before so I need to start a kit and everything and I don't know how much time I have.

This would be a 3 month difference. First picture is shortly after I got her.

Right before delivery, most does' udders get quite large, and the skin on it will begin to look taut. There are several videos and articles about checking for ligaments, once you can no longer feel them they usually kid within 24 hours. There is usually some fairly significant discharge in early labor. 

She's pretty young, so you for sure want to keep a close eye on her and try and be with her when she delivers. She'll probably only have one kid, but you never know. If you have access to a baby monitor, that can be helpful. When they start pushing they usually yell pretty loud!

I would suggest she have some alfalfa hay or pellets in her diet now, if you haven't already started it. That gives her some much needed calcium. How hard is the other doe being on her? Because it takes a lot for them to get hurt, even when pregnant. And it would be really stressful for her to be by herself. If it's really bad I guess you have no choice, but goats can be pretty rough on each other and still do no harm. 

She is super rough. She has horns and is much bigger and she will keep ramming her in to the side of the pen. I made her a small pen on my deck. I am probably going to start leaving my other doe out with her because she more attached to her. She doesn't seem stressed about not being with them I think shes relieved lol if they are out in the open they are fine except when the "mean" doe wants to be on the deck she will let the other goats up but will chase her off. I don't understand why she is being so harsh. I keep worrying she has a still born because like I can feel something in there when I push but I can never actually feel anything moving. Also she was super wide and then suddenly shes not.

I have been doing alpha pellets but she doesn't care for them all that much. I keep mixing it into the grain so she will at least eat some. She likes them better then the alpha cubes. I'm going to try some actual alpha hay to see if It goes better though

Julieanne Cook said:

Right before delivery, most does' udders get quite large, and the skin on it will begin to look taut. There are several videos and articles about checking for ligaments, once you can no longer feel them they usually kid within 24 hours. There is usually some fairly significant discharge in early labor. 

She's pretty young, so you for sure want to keep a close eye on her and try and be with her when she delivers. She'll probably only have one kid, but you never know. If you have access to a baby monitor, that can be helpful. When they start pushing they usually yell pretty loud!

I would suggest she have some alfalfa hay or pellets in her diet now, if you haven't already started it. That gives her some much needed calcium. How hard is the other doe being on her? Because it takes a lot for them to get hurt, even when pregnant. And it would be really stressful for her to be by herself. If it's really bad I guess you have no choice, but goats can be pretty rough on each other and still do no harm. 

Yeah, if she's that rough it's probably good you separated them. Right before delivery, they will "drop" just like humans do. Deborah has always said that if you look down on a pregnant goat, they will look like a table, then shortly before delivery the table 'drops" and you will see hollows along the spine. Sounds like she's getting close, I hope all goes well. :)

That is a tiny goat! How much does she weigh? They should be 40 pounds before being bred, and she doesn't look like she weighs anywhere near that. She still looks like a kid. If she is less than 35-40 pounds now, I'd suggesting finding a vet that can do a c-section, if needed. Hopefully she has two kids in there, but a big problem with very young does is that they usually only release one egg, and single kids tend to be larger than twins, which makes it even harder on the doe giving birth. It's better to have the info and not need it than to find yourself in labor with a doe that can't give birth and have no idea who to call. Also, ask how much they charge. C-sections can be anywhere from $200 to $800, depending on the vet.

Movement in a goat's belly doesn't mean anything good or bad:

http://nigeriandwarfgoats.ning.com/video/is-this-goat-pregnant

I have almost never felt movement in a pregnant doe's belly before she kidded, so don't worry about a stillbirth. I have also had goats get beat up really bad and not had stillbirths. I did have one doe go into premature labor, but the kids were born alive.

She doesn't necessarily look wide enough to be pregnant -- or if she is, she's not due soon. If udder development is the only thing you're seeing, it could be a precocious udder, which just means she'll start producing milk without being bred. Based on her tiny size, I'm really hoping she's not pregnant.

Also, it's a bad idea to have horned and non-horned goats together. As you've seen, the horned ones will be quite mean to the ones without horns.



Deborah Niemann-Boehle said:

That is a tiny goat! How much does she weigh? They should be 40 pounds before being bred, and she doesn't look like she weighs anywhere near that. She still looks like a kid. If she is less than 35-40 pounds now, I'd suggesting finding a vet that can do a c-section, if needed. Hopefully she has two kids in there, but a big problem with very young does is that they usually only release one egg, and single kids tend to be larger than twins, which makes it even harder on the doe giving birth. It's better to have the info and not need it than to find yourself in labor with a doe that can't give birth and have no idea who to call. Also, ask how much they charge. C-sections can be anywhere from $200 to $800, depending on the vet.

Movement in a goat's belly doesn't mean anything good or bad:

http://nigeriandwarfgoats.ning.com/video/is-this-goat-pregnant

I have almost never felt movement in a pregnant doe's belly before she kidded, so don't worry about a stillbirth. I have also had goats get beat up really bad and not had stillbirths. I did have one doe go into premature labor, but the kids were born alive.

She doesn't necessarily look wide enough to be pregnant -- or if she is, she's not due soon. If udder development is the only thing you're seeing, it could be a precocious udder, which just means she'll start producing milk without being bred. Based on her tiny size, I'm really hoping she's not pregnant.

Also, it's a bad idea to have horned and non-horned goats together. As you've seen, the horned ones will be quite mean to the ones without horns.


I have no weighed her. I didn't breed her someone else did :( I know you're suppose to wait a min of 1 and a half year for miniatures and because she clearly is a slow maturer she should have not been bred until 2-3 years. She's very small but I'm thinking she also comes from extra small goats I'm starting to wonder if people bred them to be this small because I've been seeing that lately. She's only about 10 months old so she is still a kid. I love her with all my heart and do not want to lose her. I have been beating myself up lately for being stupid enough to buy her becsuse now I'm attached and bad things can happen.

Don't be too hard on yourself, Lisa.  You bought her and brought her into a much better situation where she won't be bred irresponsibly. You sound like you care a lot and that's exactly what she needs right now. It might be a difficult delivery and it might not be. Either way, you'll be there to support her. You're already doing what you need to do, keeping a close eye on her and giving her good nutrition. I'd say that in spite of her previous owners being negligent and her having a rough start in life, she's now a lucky goat to have a caring owner. 

We'll be here to support you while you're getting your doe through this. :)

I know you didn't breed her, and as Julianne said, it's good that you have her now and are taking care of her. I'm suggesting that you weigh her so that you will have a better idea of how much to worry -- and how much you need to prepare. Age has almost nothing to do with when they should be bred. It's really about the size of the goat. I've had plenty of does kid at one year of age, but they weighed 40+ pounds at 7 months when they were bred. Even if she comes from a smaller line of goats, that's irrelevant when it comes to size of breeding, and the sire might not be. She could also be small because she had parasite problems when she was younger, which stunted her growth. Regardless of the history, knowing how much she weighs now will help you prepare.

So I went ahead and weight her she is 30 pounds currently. Her udder seems to have pooched a tiny bit more out but still doesn't look close. I left my doe with her yesterday that she gets along with and am currently trying to sale the bigger girl with the horns because shes going to be alone if I keep doing that too. I started feeding her separately too and I am trying to keep the alpha and grain equalish she doesn't seem to overeat or anything like if I put to much she won't sit there and eat it all in one setting either. I also wormed her a couple weeks ago too since the weather was cold and then hot and wet. As far as roughage in her diet and stuff goes she has plenty of free reign on that all day. We have 7 acres so she has a lot to range on. I love that she seems to be getting closer and closer to me every day. She will come on my deck and look through my windows all curiously until she sees me and I go out and love on her.

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