Doe did not settle . . . now what?????

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Vicey, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. Vicey

    Vicey Member

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    Took my 3 YO Alpine doe for breeding last fall (2 hour trip to what to me seems a very reputable breeder). . . and nothing.

    This doe appears to have obvious regular cycles. After the breeding, which was one day, she did have what I thought to be some odd colored discharge. I had the vet look at her and do a vaginal swab which came back normal. I've also had a stool check done and she's clean. She's one of my two goats (other is a wether) on browse and grass only 2/3 of the year; hay and a little grain in the winter. Since she was young, she has had a "handful" udder; the past several months it has been "much more that a handful" with a little larger teats. (Although at some times the sides seem to be uneven.) I've checked--she had clear liquid that is sometimes milky looking. This was another reason I thought she might be bred.

    Spoke to breeder and his assessment is she's healthy but "too old, too fat (carrying too much body weight); may be a non-breeder."

    It took a while for me to find something nice that would even breed an outside doe anywhere in the area. I'm sure she was in heat when I took her for breeding but I'm not knowledgable enough to know where she's at in her cycle, or what the window is there is to breed.

    My questions are where did I go wrong here. Wait too long to breed her; is that why she's heavy? (How do you put a goat on a diet that only gets what's in the field?) Am thinking about looking for a buck or taking her to a local "junk-yard" buck in the hopes I can just get her bred. Does anyone think it would be worthwhile trying her again with someone that would pasture breed? Or was she just too old? Is there something else I or the vet is missing that would show she's a "non-breeder." Can't just keep throwing good money after bad. Or would the best bet just be to start over with another doe (and a buck--for one doe!)?

    Regarding her health--after describing her udder and being told she's too heavy, one goat person (she did not see my goat) did tell me to try milking now--to get her producing to keep her weight down and keep her healthy. Yikes--never milked--does anyone think I should be doing that?

    She's a pet and a keeper irregardless. But I certainly did want to have my own babies and am becoming a little discouraged. Would welcome any and all input. Thanks!
     
  2. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    she is rather old to be starting her reproducive carrear, but it can happen, you just need to let the buck take care of her for longer than a day,
    what i would do is find you a buck kid thats a few months old, and weened or an older smelly active medium to large size pygme buck and turn him out to pasture with your goats for a while, if you get the young buck keep him for a few months to a year so he is able to have lots of chances for both of them to get it right,
    if you get a big smelly pygme buck you shouldnt have to keep him long, i had a 4year old spanish doe i boght at auction once, i had her for a year and a half with my herd and had two differint bucks through that time, neather one bred her, but i then sold her to a friend who just liked the way she looked, and they were given a big smelly pygme type buck who she just put in with the spannish not even thinking, that buck was all over her like white on rice all over the pasture, he also caused other problems so he left, but in a few months she up and had twins by that buck, so yes it can happen it just takes persistance

    instead of takeing a your doe to someone else to take care of untill she breeds i would just find you some cheep buck thats healthy to work her over real good at your place then you can get rid of him when your done with him,
    once she is opend up and breeding you can then breed her to something more appealing
     

  3. Carrie C

    Carrie C Well-Known Member

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    Some goats develop a "handful" udder when they are "over conditioned" (a nice way of saying fat). It isn't filled with milk, just fat. You said that for the past several months (since she was bred, I'm assuming) she started producing more of an udder and milk came out when you milked her. Maybe she miscarried and her body hasn't gotten the message sent everywhere yet (like the mammary system).
    "Psuedo-pregnancy" or "hysterical pregnancy" or just an oddity of nature but it can happen. The whole body doesn't get the message and keeps thinking there is a kid on the way. If you start milking her (pinch at the top and press down with your other fingers, don't pull) she might come into milk. In that case, congratulations! You have yourself a milk goat! If not, try breeding her to another buck (some bucks just aren't compatible with certain does).
    Oh, and be sure she isn't pregnant before you milk her. In a few goats it can signal contractions (only in actually pregnant does).
    Best wishes!
    ~Carrie C.
     
  4. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Your scenerio is why I always counsel new folks getting into goats to get your own buck. Purchase a buckling in the spring, put him in with the does in the fall, sell him or butcher him in the winter when you have blood test confirmed (about $12) that your doe is bred, and then repurchase the next spring. Taking your does to a breeder is such a hassle, knowing if they are in heat, not coming out of heat and too late, is just way to much work for someone new and for a breeder trying to get her own goats bred.

    Most good dairy goats are going to come into udder (albeit small) and some milk when turning 2 and the spring of the year because of hormones and the will and genetics to milk. So you can't really judge anything on that.

    An experienced breeder could look at the tail end and teats of your doe and pretty well tell if she is normal or not. Most freemartins have small teats, with no development in them, and the slits of their vulva are small short and tipped.

    Your doe should start cycling again by September, get yourself a buck lined up to bring to your farm and put her big ole butt in with him! If you can borrow, lease or beg someone to use their older buck 4+ years, he will bring her into heat andbreed her, and in the mean time, run off some of that bulk! No grain for her, alfalfa, minerals, lots of clean water...she likely has alot of packed in enterior fat that is going to cause problems with her pregnancy. But she needs the calcium from alfalfa for this pregnancy, some calories from grain once 100 days bred. Breed her when you have time to really stay around and watch, because alot of breedings happen in the middle of the night because of the heat. So check for nasty tail each morning.

    Good luck with this. Vicki
     
  5. Caprice Acres

    Caprice Acres AKA "mygoat" Staff Member Supporter

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    One day is probably not the best at all to do a breeding... I would have her there at least three days to catch her in her exact 'moment'... If you were off by a few hours you could have missed it. Last year my doe kidded at three years of age for the first time. My friends' doe kidded at 4 years of age for the first time... IT can be done and isn't all that difficult. Don't feed her grain throught her pregnancy as I did, as it caused my doe problems with BIG kids, and make sure she isn't cubby when bred, but feed her some grain to flush her starting a month before breeding.
     
  6. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

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    Your girl could also have gone through a followup heat which can occur 4-7 days following the first and is usually the real ovulation. If a doe doesn't ovulate she's not going to get pregnant. I have a small herd and every year two of my does do this backup heat, generally for a first cyle or two during the fall. I agree, one day with a buck, especially given a first timer at three years old probably isn't going to cut it. She needs to stay with a buck for awhile or perhaps you could lease one for a month.
     
  7. Vicey

    Vicey Member

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    Thanks to all who responded!!! I'm learning. Whole thing has been such a disappointment (buck I tried was a nice one), but I'm sitting here giggling for the first time about this breeding escapade: I need to get her "over-conditioned" "big ole butt" "worked over" by a "big smelly pygmy"! Yes!!!!!

    Sounds like the consensus is to not give up on her yet--but find a way to get her exposed for a length of time to a buck. Worth trying again--right?

    What would be the surest bet for getting her bred--OLD or YOUNG (think I'm hearing both mentioned)????? Odds are that I will probably have to buy--and not sure even where to start looking. I hesitate to spend a lot (good money after bad thing) since she hasn't settled, and it probably will not stay here (should not--I am the keep-everything queen). On the other hand, I want to be careful about health issues (CAE, etc.?) and stay away from auctions. Is it too late to expect to find a kid? Talking kids because I've read bottle babies are easier to handle--and I'm no spring chicken.

    Need to know something about keeping a buck. Have searched the forum and found a little info. I know they come into rutt in the fall and stink--that's about it. Can it just run with the doe and her wether friend--all year? Or when do you need to separate? I really did not want January babies (but I'll take anything I can get). If there would be winter babies, what kind of protection is needed in harsh climates.

    As I said, this doe looks healthy, full of herself, obvious regular cycles (easy to spot having her wether friend). Looking at her today--from the rear she definately does have that "cute" little udder!?! The slit in her vulva does not look short or tipped to me. The only time anything out of the ordinary happened was after the breeding last year I thought there was some irregular, sometimes colored discarge for a while. Not sure what that was. That was when I had the swab done. IF I would get this doe bred, should she be easier to breed in the future?

    Follow-up heat was mentioned. Can someone tell me what that is; when and why that happens. Not sure what flushing is and why it's done.

    Re general feeding: I've always given a little grain @ December - February. Hay is grass/alfalfa mix (winter only). Boer wether is also as wide as he is tall. Should grain be cut out completely (unless I get doe bred)? I must have easy keepers or high calorie weeds.
     
  8. KSALguy

    KSALguy Lost in the Wiregrass Supporter

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    the thing is you could stand to have a young (few months old) buck around longer, as he wont be stinking and being too roudy yet,
    an older buck will STINK but this also can sometimes bring a doe into heat faster,
    its really 6 in one hand and half a dozen in the other, and comes down to availablity,
    you can leave the buck with the does up untill she kids then separate/sell/butcher the buck after you have kids on the ground and go from there,
    sence all you really are trying to do is get her body to wake up and produce this first breeding buck isnt as important about breed or type as long as he breeds her and gets her pregnant,
    so i would just go and check other breeders out and see if they have an extra buck or buckling, or go to the sale barn and check out the animals there and be choosy, you can find bucklings at the sale barn for little money and you can find some good ones,
    i would steer clear of Bottle feeding a buck because that makes them OVERly friendly with you and a buck that is feeling his hormones that things your just another doe in the herd can be a BIG problem
     
  9. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've had the same experience with bottle-raised bucks. (Although I am doing it again this year. :rolleyes: ) IF you can make up your mind to sell him when the time comes, it is worth it, imo.
    mary