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Visual test to see if a goat is pregnant


"So, is Abigail pregnant?" Mom asked during my pre-birthday bash. I had to admit that I didn't really know. Some goats begin to show a bit on their right side (opposite the rumen) by the beginning of their fourth month of pregnancy, but others pop out kids without putting on any apparent weight at all. Still other goats have bellies so tremendous you'd think they were pregnant with quintuplets...but they never give birth because all that mass is just digesting hay.

My urine test said Abigail wasn't pregnant, but I didn't really believe it. Short of taking a blood test or finding an ultrasound machine, was there a more definitive way to find out whether Abigail had been properly bred?

Goat butts

"You could also try the pooch test," reader Sheree Clopton suggested. And thus began my obsession with peering up under Abigail's tail.

If your goat is pregnant, by two to three months after breeding, her anus (the hole on top) should be dropping down further away from her tail while her vulva (the pointy thing at the bottom) should become more elongated and tear-drop shaped. The trouble is that I hadn't take a before photo right when Abigail came to stay with us (because who really takes a closeup of their goat's butt during an introductory photo shoot?). And the test depends on deciphering individualistic changes in your goat's unique hind end. So I still don't have a definitive answer, although I think that perhaps Abigail's anus has dropped some over the last five weeks.

Goat eating honeysuckle

Grazing goatsOne way to be sure that milk is in our near future would be to go ahead and breed Artemesia, who is six months old and thus mature enough to get pregnant by some folks' standards. However, I've read lots of horror stories about breeding dwarf doelings on the young side, so Mark and I decided that it's probably safer to let Artemesia keep growing for a while, breeding her in the spring if she comes into heat then (which some Nigerian dwarfs do), or just waiting until next fall if necessary. Either way, I'll be sure to take some closeups before the breeding next time...just in case.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear from some goat gynecologists. Do you think Abigail is pregnant from the photos in this post?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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It's pretty easy to tell if your girl is preggers! Stick a buck near her and see what he does. But you dont have a buck. So have a look at her udder. at this stage it should be full size, just not filled with milk, if shes pregnant. She will grow a beard if she has had kids before. I have 4 breeds, and they all grow beards while pregnant, then mostly lose them after kidding. Along those lines; they get belly swirls if they are pregnant. Right in front of their back legs, low on the belly, the hair will get a very noticeable swirl.

As for breeding your little girl, she looks in very good shape, so she could be bred imo. What size shes lacking, she'll put on with her pregnacy growth spurt. The sooner you breed them the easier it actually is for them to kid. The longer you wait; they tend to fill out less. Which causes the problems.

Comment by T Tue Dec 16 08:37:53 2014
Thank you for this post. I too have wondered whether my goats are pregnant or not ... (I had to resort to google translator to write this)
Comment by Tia Wed Dec 17 10:13:55 2014
I got a goat given to me we think it might off been dumped but I think it might be pregnet it looks low on the belly
Comment by Sharon Sat Nov 12 04:55:38 2016

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