Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

My first freshener who was due a week ago at this point still doesn’t look close. She is soft in the udder area but doesn’t have a bag yet and has slightly larger teats. I was able to squeeze milk out and her ligaments seem a bit softer than usual but are far from gone. Her vulva is still tight like normal. I know my date is absolutely correct because we did driveway breeding so she was only with the buck once. We saw him breed her three times while we were there and she didn’t come back into heat. She is also significantly wider than usual and has a bigger bulge on the right side. Everything I know points to pregnancy yet she still hasn’t had babies yet. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’ve never heard of a FF not bagging up early. Is she not pregnant? Just taking her sweet time? We are at 153 days right now.

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The only way to know for sure if she is pregnant would be to get an ultrasound. If she is having a false pregnancy, she will test positive on a blood test because her body thinks it's pregnant. 

You should not squeeze her teats. That tells you nothing and puts her at risk of mastitis since you pushed out the plug that is naturally there to keep bacteria out. A new plug will form, so hopefully she'll be fine if you don't do it again.

If this is a false pregnancy, she could start to bag up a little. It's not clear if she has bagged up, but if her udder doesn't look like it's making lots of milk, then you should hope that she is not going to kid anytime soon because if she did, she wouldn't be able to feed the kids.  

If this is a Nigerian and she is at 153 days, and she has no udder, I would seriously doubt that she's pregnant. I've only had two does go past 150 days in 18 years, so it's very unusual for NDs to go more than 150 days. They are very prompt. 

Can you post photos of her from the front and from the back so we can see what her belly and udder look like?

I tried to post pictures but I’m not sure if it worked. My vet doesn’t do ultrasounds so I’d have to drive her 4 hours away to get it done. Can I just wait and see or do I need to get her an ultrasound?

That does not look like a pregnant goat. You weren't kidding when you said she has no udder. You don't need to do anything. I'd keep an eye on her udder for a few more days just in case it suddenly balloons up, but she looks like she's just well conditioned ... maybe a little too well loved. :) 

Bummer but thanks for the peace of mind. I’ll stop being so on edge then. My other doe is due today so hopefully we get at least some babies this year. I don’t have a lot of space so we only keep two. Well conditioned is definitely how I’d describe her. She gets nothing but good grass hay but she has always been more padded than necessary. Guess she needs a treadmill or something ;)

I thought I had mentioned this here already, but it must have been in an email to someone else. If you had to hold her while the buck mounted her, then that would explain why she wasn't pregnant. Sometimes people say that they know the doe was bred because they were holding her for the buck. If a doe is not in standing heat, she will not get pregnant. That means she must stand for the buck. 

If she doesn't have much pasture to walk around on, that could be the cause of her weight problems. A lot of people with city goats have trouble with their weight because they just don't get to walk around much. They just stand in front of the hay feeder and munch all day. 

She was only in with the buck for a half hour but we didn’t hold her. She was more than happy to stand for him. I’m starting to think we have something else going on because my other doe who is now a day overdue has more of an udder than she does but still not what I am used to seeing this close to kidding and I’m starting to question is she is pregnant. Any suggestions if my whole herd is having fertility issues? I don’t think it’s the buck because he’s successful bred other does and threw some beautiful kids. Maybe being in with him for just a little while isn’t enough? Mineral issues? We have to copper bolus every three months or they get fishtail and start loosing color. My vet is not very helpful so I feel a bit lost. This is my third year with goats and the first two years went great. Now suddenly we seem to be having problems. I’m about ready to throw in the towel and just take a break until I have enough room to house a buck. We will be moving next year and will be buying a house with land so maybe I should just start over then. Wish I had some goat friends nearby that could help me learn. I’ve read everything I can get my hands on at this point but nothing beats experienced friends. 

That sounds almost identical to what happened to us. We were okay the first two years, then suddenly we had fertility issues -- goats not getting pregnant, not staying pregnant, miscarrying, or having kids that had problems or disqualifying defects. So mineral deficiency would be at the top of my list of suspects. Since some are stored in the liver, it can take awhile for symptoms to show up as the goats gradually become deficient.

What is the mineral you have available? 

I have Redmond goat mineral available to them at all times but one eats a little and the other turns her nose up at it. I really haven’t been impressed with it and suspected mineral issues so I have been giving them mana pro goat balancer as an BBC additional supplement. It maybe helped a little but we still have rough coats. I copper bolus every three months because any less than that and they get fishtail and loose hair on their noses. 

Redmond minerals are practically worthless. They are almost all salt with very little other real minerals in them. And unfortunately Manna Pro Goat Balancer is also mostly worthless. I'm sorry there are so many bad products on the market. I am not surprised you have to copper bolus so often. That's really the only decent amount of copper they are getting. 

The two best minerals for goats are Sweetlix Meat Maker and Purina Goat Minerals. Sweetlix is available through distributors, which you can find on their website. Purina is at a lot of farm store, including Tractor Supply. When you switch to one of them, I would hold off on the extra copper to see what happens. It is unlikely you will need to do it that often after they get one of these minerals. 

In addition to NOT recommending the Manna Pro Goat Balancer, I also do not recommend Manna Pro minerals for breeding animals because it has half as much selenium in it as Sweetlix or Purina. Manna Pro might be okay for wethers that are not reproducing, but does really need the selenium to avoid fertility issues and labor problems.

What is BBC? 

BBC was my dumb phone adding its own text for no reason and it won’t let me edit it. Oops

Wow. That explains a lot. No wonder I’m having problems. I know I can get purina minerals at my local feed store so I’ll be getting a bag today. I’ll discontinue the Mana pro goat balancer.

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