Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Lately I've been wondering if the adage about being able to tell if your pregnant doe is going to have boys because she acts "bucky" while she's pregnant is true. Juniper is being such a bossy girl lately! Her previously shy temperament is going away, and she is bossing Pokey around all the time now. She mounts him, chases him and antagonizes him by nipping at his legs and sides. She also goes around stamping her hoof a lot, not something she used to do. It's so funny. I guess if she does have a buckling(s) it will give some credence to that old adage. 

But on the other hand, she's never been more affectionate with me than she is now. She always wants to be by my side and nuzzles and climbs in my lap all the time. Consequently I'm falling in love with this little creature more and more. I hope this means that if and when she does give birth, she will let me be near her to comfort her. I will  only intervene if absolutely necessary, but I would love the honor of being by her side when her kid(s) is born.

They are also starting to shed their heavy winter coats so I'm getting a better look at their overall condition now that we're coming out of the cold season. They look really good, Juni is probably a bit thinner than she was, but she might just look that way because she's getting taller and longer now. Pokey looks fine, that boy knows how to survive and has since the day I brought him home as a scrawny, weak runt. Now he's a strong, healthy specimen full of vitality. I put good food in front of him, but I give a lot of the credit to him because he knew what he had to do - eat! 

Now I need to bring my attention to solving the problem of neighborhood dogs straying on to my property and scaring the goats and chickens. I hope talking to the owners and asking them to be more responsible will work, but I rather doubt it will. They obviously don't care enough now to keep track of their dogs, so I don't expect them to suddenly become responsible owners. I really don't want to do anything drastic. It's not the dogs' fault their owners are idiots. Maybe animal control will help me. 

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Comment by Julieanne Cook on April 2, 2015 at 9:57am

Bev, I'm so sorry you lost a goat to a roaming dog. How heartbreaking.

Yes, I'm afraid that the talks with the neighbors did not go all that well so they have been put on notice that I will do whatever is necessary to protect my goats and chickens. I really hate that, because I'm a dog lover and I know it's not the dog's fault that their owners are so irresponsible. But I'm also not prepared to sacrifice my animals to their stupidity. Most of my neighbors already think I'm weird, so it's not like I'm having to lose friends over it. 

Oh, and animal control's "helpfulness" consisted of, "if they're on your property threatening your livestock you have a right to shoot it". In other words, handle it yourself and don't bother us. Thanks guys. 

Comment by Winding River Farm (Bev) on April 2, 2015 at 1:25am

Julieanna - dogs are a problem.   I have learned the hard way that most times people get very offended when we have tried to talk to them about their dogs roaming.  They just don't seem to get it that their pet can be a danger to our animals.   Lost friends over it -but then if you can't speak to them about the problem I guess they were not very good friends anyway.    Now I take a hard line because my sheep and goats are more important to me than the roaming dogs.  I let the neighbors know I can use a gun and will use it - dogs on our property can be considered targets.   Sounds mean but I lost my goats years ago to a dog and it broke my heart.  Unfortunately two neighbors don't talk to us but guess what -they keep their dogs home.   Once you talk to them they also know you are maybe going to deal with it and then if something happens to their dog and you weren't involved with it -they think you were.  It can be kind of a no win situation.   Had that happen also.   People next door had to shoot a neighbor's pitbull that was growling at him on his own porch.  Because we had spoken to the dog owner months previous  about it digging under our fence they told everyone we killed their dog for no reason.  

Comment by Deborah Niemann-Boehle on March 27, 2015 at 8:31pm

Sorry I wasn't more clear. There is a 50/50 chance of a kid being a buck or a doe. If a doe has twins, there is a 50% chance that it will be one buck and one doe, a 25% chance of two bucks, and a 25% chance of two does, so it's a 75% chance of at least one being a buck because the odds of two does is only 25%. There is also a 75% chance of at least one kid being a doe because there is only a 25% chance of having two bucks. Hope that makes more sense.

Comment by Julieanne Cook on March 26, 2015 at 7:31pm

My observation was mostly tongue-in-cheek, I know it doesn't really work that way. I've heard that from old-timers here in the country before, but I didn't really think male fetuses would be releasing testosterone. I just like to tease Juniper about it. (Yes, I joke around with my goats, doesn't everyone? ;p)

That statistic about a 75% chance of one of twins being a buck is an interesting one. I've speculated a lot about why more bucks are born than does. It doesn't seem to make sense in terms of survival of the species at first. But maybe since in the wild ruminants are often prey animals, more bucks are born to increase the chance of does surviving to breed? I dunno, but it sure is interesting. 

Comment by Deborah Niemann-Boehle on March 26, 2015 at 12:41pm

I've actually never heard this before. In general, doe personalities change when they're pregnant and when they kid. It's not unusual for them to get more self-confident, which can translate as bossy or bucky. This is why I don't worry about shy junior does. Keep in mind that if she has twins, there is a 75% chance that at least one of them will be a buck.

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