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We have a year old doe who we believe is pregnant. This would be her (and our) first pregnancy. How can we be sure she is pregnant? Also, we're basing this belief on the fact that her tummy has become much larger and full. She has not lost any of her energy or spunk, but my husband's concerned her belly may be a symptom of some sort of disease. Can anyone give us some clarity on this?
 

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First, goats are ruminants. A big belly means they're taking in a lot of forage - which should ALWAYS be the staple in a goats' diet. Forage is not really a good food source, and it requires a lot of cellulytic bacteria and water to ferment that cellulose into metabolites that goats can use. A yearling animal is going through a lot of physiological changes and their bodies change dramatically as they mature, especially through the first few years of life. A young animal appears drastically different as a FF, which looks different in her 2nd fresh, 3rd fresh, 4th fresh etc/ In the goat world, we call a large stomach 'capacity'. Big capacity is a good thing considering they're turning a large amount of generally poor quality foods into a liveable amount of energy. Goats (and most animals) do not deposit body fat in the stomach area, so a big stomach is no a 'fat' goat. They can deposit body fat there, but they deposit fat externally and would need to be absolutely horrifyingly obese to really have substantial belly deposits. :)

Alternately, a big belly *can* be the sign of a heavy load of worms but this is harder to determine because they are ruminants. Goats are highly susceptible to worms, however, so monitoring worms using the FAMANCHA method as well as fecal quality and getting regular fecal tests done is vitally important. You can either use your local vet to do a fecal float, or you can ship samples to this lab: http://midamericaagresearch.net/

Has she been around an intact male goat within the last few months? What breed is she? Some breeds do not breed in certain months - most breeds are seasonal and will breed only during late summer/fall/early winter. Young goats Gestation is 150 days, and generally belly size doesn't start to change until they are in the last 4-6 weeks of pregnancy. It is accompanied by development of mammary tissue too, in this time . An udder on a first time doe will feel like a little handful of mammary tissue - if she is not developing an udder, you'll find teats but it will not feel like a little handful of mammary tissue when you palpate it.

The way to tell for sure is to wait until she develops a mammary and has a baby goat coming out of her, OR you can draw blood and send it off for pregnancy testing. Pregnancy testing is easy and cheap. The cost is 6.50 per sample, and you ship it to BioTracking for fast results. http://www.biotracking.com/
 
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We just mailed off blood to BioTracking for a does that is sold and was bred on Sept. 4th. We anticipate knowing her pregnancy status next week and then the buyer will be picking her up...just like that! Easy.
 

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We have a year old doe who we believe is pregnant. This would be her (and our) first pregnancy. How can we be sure she is pregnant? Also, we're basing this belief on the fact that her tummy has become much larger and full. She has not lost any of her energy or spunk, but my husband's concerned her belly may be a symptom of some sort of disease. Can anyone give us some clarity on this?
I'm not about to waste money on pregnancy test from BioTrack. Look at her pooch! If you look at your does that you know are not bred, you will notice that their anus is not tucked up under their tail and there will be a small, round protuberance at the end of their vulva that points outward at a 45 degree angle from their bodies. When a doe has reached about 1 1/2 months into her pregnancy, their anus will be more tucked up under their tail, their vulva will be relaxed and pointing downwards, and the protuberance will not be as obvious.
 

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When a doe has reached about 1 1/2 months into her pregnancy, their anus will be more tucked up under their tail, their vulva will be relaxed and pointing downwards, and the protuberance will not be as obvious.
I'm pretty sure that this is not terribly accurate, because one of my does, her butt looks like this all the time. They are all different - perhaps if you know what your personal doe looks like normally, a significant difference like this could suggest pregnancy. Or it could just suggest being in heat - another doe, the only sign I have that she's in heat, is her bum puffs up and turns bright pink. :shrug:
 
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