When can you tell?

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by rnmom24, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. rnmom24

    rnmom24 Guest

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    Hello! I just purchased my first two dairy goats. They both are supposedly recently bred (or maybe just exposed). Anyway, how soon do goats start to "show"? When will I know if these does are actually bred or if I need to start looking for a prospective buck? ;) Also, they both are rather timid (aka. WILD). Any suggestions for taming them so that milking won't be a complete bust when the time comes? They are only 3 and 2 and so I'd like to hope there is still time to conform their personalities to what I always envisioned in a loveable doe.

    Thanks,
    Liz
     
  2. Ashley

    Ashley Active Member

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    Welcome to the forum!

    You can get them blood tested for pregnancy at www.biotracking.com.

    My first nubian doe was pretty wild as well, she came to me with a collar with a rope attached to it lol. I just tried to spend time around her and of course me being the one feeding her helped. Try giving a few treats and scratches on the withers/neck when she will allow it. Mine is very friendly with me now, but still quite wary of strangers. By the time it was time to milk (got them in Nov/Dec and she kidded first part of Febuary) she was fine.
     

  3. Cotton Eyed Does

    Cotton Eyed Does New Member

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    Oh Liz. I hate to be the bearer of unwanted news, but I think a lot of us have already been down this road. Trying to tame a "wild or semi-wild" or dam raised doe to be a milker is a bigger headache than you can imagine. I have sat in a pen with one of these for hours on end day after day, catch her, hold her, pet her, love on her and talk to her. Try to feed her out of my hand. Nothing helped. When she freshened I made myself crazy trying to pen her to catch her to lead her to the milk stand every day. It was so NOT worth the aggravation and after I sold her my life was so much simpler. I think Ashley's doe is an exception to the rule. Most of them really don't turn out like this.

    As far as finding out if they are pregnant. Wait 30 days from the day they were "exposed" to a buck. Pull blood from the juglar vein, about 2-3 ccs and send it in to BioTracking and have them tested for pregnancy and CAE at the same time. That way you don't have to guess if they are clean or pregnant.
     
  4. Wendy Tinney

    Wendy Tinney New Member

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    Oh, boy! You just bought yourself loads of fun. I would start by feeding them and standing near the feeder. Don't touch for a while and just keep getting closer. Then I would try giving them animal crackers out of my hand. Still never trying to reach out and catch them. You get the point. You need them to trust you. Slowly you work your way to petting them all over. It will really help if you can be there to help them during the kidding process. They will trust you even more.

    You will not see a noticeable difference for a while. You will want to get the date they were exposed and watch 17 -21 days later. Look for differences in personality. Do they scream more? Are they wagging their tail more than at flies? Are they acting like a buck (jumping up on backs)? The heats are much easier to tell with a stinky buck around. Just a side note on the buck, I would not buy a buck that is wild. I only buy bottle fed babies. A wild buck is too dangerous in my opinion.

    Later you will notice ( I still have a hard time) that they get velvety sp? around their vulva. It kind of gets jiggly. Not so good at explaining this. Better just to send off blood and have tested. You can find that info in Goatkeeping 101.

    By the way, Welcome.

    Wendy
     
  5. Ashley

    Ashley Active Member

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    Oh yes, I remember doing that now. When I would feed her her grain, I would stand by her, as close as I could be to make her just slightly uncomfortable, but not so close she wouldn't eat. Just stand there and desensitize her to your presense. As she grows comfortable with that distance, in later feedings, get a little closer. '

    Christine, it may also have to do with me being kinda silly and just loving this kind of stuff. We used to have a cat come around that was wild and I would feed him and got him to where I could pet him, and I bought a horse that was a wild nutcase as well, he's a great horse now. I love a hard case I guess? Cause when the guy said she was wild (my doe, Penny) I had to take her, didn't hurt that she was so pretty.
     
  6. Wendy Tinney

    Wendy Tinney New Member

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    I do have to go with Christine, it is a pain and they will never be your most enjoyable goats. But it can be done. I had one and we managed. But there was no love between either of us. I finally got wise and sold her (I was totally truthful about her attitude) and wouldn't you know it, she loves the lady. Treats her like I wanted to be treated for 3 long yrs!

    Again, just highly recommend those bottle fed babies. I will never again get a goat that has to be chased down.

    Please don't be discouraged. It can be done!

    Wendy
     
  7. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    put them in a small area each day and go sit and read a book with a bag of corn chips you eat they watch it takes time but they will be inquisitive and start getting closer and closer. Don't try to pet them but eat a chip and offer them a chip. make sure as they start coming up wanting chips that your book is not a prize exspensive one as they will soon want to have a nibble at that also. It takes lts of time and patience to win over their affection but can be done.
     
  8. stoneyheightsfarm

    stoneyheightsfarm New Member

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    I've heard that if you're there at kidding and can put some of the afterbirth goo on you and let the doe clean you up, that she'll see you as one of her kids, too...? Can anyone say whether this is accurate, or just gross? :)
     
  9. rnmom24

    rnmom24 Guest

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    Oh thank you so much for the speedy and honest replies. I should add, that I guess the ladies aren't completely wild. They will eat out of my hand and occasionally let me pet them. When I sit out with them they stare inquisitively. I have to handle them daily as I must lead them from their shed to their pasture by a lead every morning and back at night. They DO NOT like to be led, but (and perhaps this is just my imagination) seem to be getting more used to it. The mini was in milk until just two weeks ago, but had a fit when I tried to handle her udder. From what I understood she was hand milked, but that seems doubtful to me now. I didn't buy these goats expecting the best. For the price I purchased them for I knew there would be issues. I wanted lower quality goats to "cut my teeth on" so that the investment wouldn't be so much initially. My plans are just for family milk production, soaps, and valuable (hopefully fun) life experiences for myself and my children. Not looking to earn a profit from this, though if I fall in love with dairy goating... just looking to live more self sufficiently and "simpler" (hah hah).
    Keep the advice coming! Thanks so much

    Liz
     
  10. Wendy Tinney

    Wendy Tinney New Member

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    Dairy goats have a way of not stopping at 2!

    Wendy
     
  11. doublebowgoats

    doublebowgoats Active Member

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    Oh, welcome to the wonderful world of goats! Others have offered great advice for you and I'll just tell you these guys here are great to help. I think you'll do fine training these gals, it just takes patience. Do get a milkstand and get them used to getting their grain on it, That will make things so much easier.
     
  12. MiddleRiver

    MiddleRiver New Member

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    The answers you got are good ones :+)

    I have a doe that didn't like to really be touched or caught - she was dam raised - she wasn't wild like do anything to get away from you, but did voice her opinion. I did all that was already mentioned. She got somewhat better but was just different in personality then the others i had - just a goof/flake kinda. another thing i saw that helped her calm down was being around my other people oriented goats - she learned from them. She got to the point that she wasn't hard to catch to handle and was good when i take them out for browsing walks, but just didn't care for some things still- never really seemed to enjoy petting or affection from me. I was a bit concerned how she was going to be when she freshened for milking ( she was to be a FF ). But i have to say it was the best thing ever for her and me.

    She did have the 3 frustrating days of learning the milkstand/being milked, but after that smooth sailing ! She actually rejected her kids - the buckling she picked up by the ear and was agressive towards - he was pulled right after that, the doeling she just never showed interest in and did not like it by her udder, and we pulled her too. So she was milked 2x per day, and after a week or two - she really changed. She is now very friendly with me and DH ( whom she never before learned to like ), and a dream to milk. She loves petting and scratches and is just a doll - still a funny goof ball, but did a 180 when it comes to affection and handling.

    She is never hard to catch either now as she looks forward to milking, she comes by her name and runs to the milkstand - so it can be done i've learned, with time before, and spending time milking together - and the best part is she lets anybody milk her-not just us. She is sold now as she was a grade and i needed room for reg. goats, but still here for breeding first - and i really will miss her now - i've grown to love her as much as she has me - lol - now i feel like i'm betraying her by sending her to a new home :+( Good luck with your girls !
     
  13. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    I have never had trouble teaching wild goats the milking routine. And having everything the same all the time is super important. I could open the door, they would run in, jump up on the milkstand (mostly because they were offered no grain anywhere but on the milkstand) stand to be milked and then get down, go out the out door and leave. But be petted, or come when called when it wasn't milking time, no. Anything that needed to be done to the doe, hoof trimmingetc, was done to her during milking time so we didn't have the "old lady running through the woods cussing at goats" syndrom here :)

    Have fun with your girls, it's super important for your family that you know they are bred, we are almost half way through with breeding season and you do not want these two open. After they have been with you for 26 days, send in blood to biotracking.com we have instructions for pulling blood on goatkeeping 101. Hmmmm, RNMom? I would think you could pull blood from the jugular :) It is not hard, no harder than trimming feet. They also with that same blood will test your two for CAE...when wild likely from dam raising they also come with the problem of not being on prevention for disease so do test them before you family falls in love with these two.

    Also think about worming them now, trimming their feet, think about vaccination and also.

    When does are dry they hate having their udder messed with, this is likely what is going on with her. Next year you won't dry up your does just because they are bred. But use this dry period to get them into really excellent condition, which means lots of alfalfa (hay or pellets) and limited amounts of grain. Vicki
     
  14. coso

    coso Guest

    The first four goats I bought the doelings were dam raised. I know about the
    I didn't have time to mess with them two or three hours a day to gentle them. I ended up milking both doelings the next year. But like Vicki said it was run through the door and on to the milkstand. If anyone else tried to milk they wouldn't even do that. They would stand outside the barn and look at who ever was new like they were the devil incarnate. I couldn't even begin to catch them out in the field. They would make you think that you could catch them then off they would take that's where the
    comes in.
     
  15. rnmom24

    rnmom24 Guest

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    Where do you get the needles and vials to draw the blood for testing? I have already wormed them. Still need to clip their toenails- was waiting until they get a little more used to me. My husband will be building me a milk stand hopefully in the next month. Then we can practice. Regretably, Ive been giving them grain in their shed at night up until now. Feel bad because the nubian seems quite underweight. Do not want to overfeed them, though. I just hope they are getting enough on pasture. How do you know? And what is the healthiest way to put weight on? LOL "old lady running through the woods cussing at goats". Call me the "youngish (and far less experiended) lady running through pasture, and yard, oh yeah and garage, cussing at goats under my breath lest the 4 young children behind me should hear. "
     
  16. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    biotracking.com has everything you need. I just use a 3cc syringe and needle combo I give vaccines with, and then syringe it into a vacutainer tube with the goats name on it. You aren't going to believe everything you will learn with these goats!

    If they are really thin you will want to give grain. Good clean whole oats (fat oats or race horse oats) are the best, you can add anything you want to them...barley, corn, beet pulp etc...but go slow and don't offer too much too fast. The goal should be to provide the best alfalfa hay you can, if you can't get it (we can't keep it due to our humidity) I use alfalfa pellets, once again start them slowly and build them up to about 3 pounds of alfalfa pellets a day. Normally a dry doe would get no grain and you will read that alot on here, but with yours in poor condition, I would grain them a little, maybe up to 1 pound a day each. Whatever you chose to purchase to feed them continue with it, but unless it's an all grain feed (says oats corn etc. on the label) if it's by products, you might want to start half and halfing it with good oats.

    Also you need a good loose mineral out for them...hard to buy a 50 pound bag of something for 2 goats, is anyone on the forum local to you to help you out with this? vicki
     
  17. rnmom24

    rnmom24 Guest

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    Unfortunately, I know no one with goat knowledge. I bought 10% sweet feed at TSC and have been giving them about 2 handfuls each a night. Is that not good? They also had a dairy goat mix but it was $4 more and this sweet feed says it is for all livestock including goats. I also bought hay- probably not alfalfa, but better than bedding hay. Maybe Timothy? I've been giving that, too, but not sure how much to give them. I'd like them to get as much from our (free) pasture as possible. I did get a goat mineral block and keep it next to their water out in the pasture. I've tried to introduce it to them, but they don't seem interested. Matter of fact, they sure don't seem to touch the water much, either. I was expecting to have to freshen it a couple times a day, but it seems there is just as much there at night as I have put out in the morning?????
     
  18. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    You won't want to use the sweet feed, but you can use it up. Just go get some alfalfa pellets and whole oats to add to it. Your goal will to have loose minerals, and if you can't find goat than use cattle...and your alfalfa pellets out in the barn. Then when they are in milk, normally when not thin like this, milk on the milkstand when you milk them. But for now just take the couple handfuls of sweet feed and add a single handful of oats to it. Then maybe 3 days later, add more oats, until you are feeding half oats and half sweet feed...now move them up to more than handfuls....when you are down to about 1/4 the bag of sweet feed, mix in more oats than it so you can slowly get it out of their mix. Molassas in huge amounts isn't good for your goats rumen. You can keep some sweet feed in the mix if it keeps them eating.

    Alfalfa pellets will be a mianstay over in the corner of the feeder always. Start the same way a few handfuls, and move up to 3 pounds, with your grass hay up off the ground in a feeder (never use those hay net bags). Vicki
     
  19. mamatomany

    mamatomany New Member

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    A fellow New Yorker - Yeah...I moved down south a bit now, but was born in Buffalo. I bought a few goats a few months ago who were pretty much half dead. Really wanted nothing to do with me, but are the most thankful and loving girls in the world. Gray tongues, 70 poutnds soakin wet at 18 mos. Now 100 pounds and I get sheer joy when they are smackin their bright pink tongues on their lips from eating
     
  20. mamatomany

    mamatomany New Member

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    My silly cat just shut me down....anyways, they are doing great and actually one is just got bred last week...Persistance and love and spend lots of time reading on this forumn and you'll be on your way to be a great goat owner. I love it here It was God sent that I found this forumn.