Can't get my goat to STAY bred...hormonal issues?

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by Nigie Girl, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. Nigie Girl

    Nigie Girl Guest

    Oct 19, 2007
    This is a subject that has been bugging me for a while. I have a 5 yr. old dry nigerian doe. She kidded ONCE two years ago and gave birth to a buck and a still born (the still born was barely even formed).
    The first year I bred her in 2005 she miscarried 2 months after her due date. I was on vacation and my friend who was watching my goats noticed a whitish "clump" hanging from her rear. She pulled at it and realized it was a miscarriage. She put my goat on penicillin and the goat was fine.

    2006 was the year that she kidded.
    2007 she never took at all even though she was bred twice.
    2008 she miscarried the first time about 3 weeks after she was bred and then when she went into heat again she just never took.

    Every time that she goes into heat it's VERY subtle. Like I can barely tell that she's crying more than usual (actually she usually doesn't cry) and she doesn't flag that much, it's mainly the mucous.
    It's been kind of a pain because since she hasn't been lactating for two years she is a little overweight (but not tremendously) and I can't show her in breed class in 4-H because she's not in milk.

    Any ideas that I could try for this fall before or when I bring her to the bucks...or any ideas why she is not producing? The breeder that I bring my doe to says that it is probably hormonal problems.
    Also this doe was always my "strange" doe. Before she kidded we thought she was a joke. She was always making buck noises and lip flapping to strangers and always mounted the other does (and she's usually not a dominant doe).

    I really want to be able to milk her next year!!! haha it's kind of funny though because my other does have always gotten pregnant the first time I bring them to the bucks.
  2. Di

    Di Crazy Goat Lady

    Jan 29, 2008
    central PA
    Well, I'm certainly no expert, but since things seems slow here today I'll just ask, have you had any blood work done on her? If she has "hormonal issues" you may want to have her checked to make sure. If she has great genetics that you want in your herd it might be worth it, but if not, I'd just consider her a pet.

  3. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    she could have cystic overies.... that can cause breeding problems
  4. Nigie Girl

    Nigie Girl Guest

    Oct 19, 2007
    How would I find out if she had these?! :shocked:
  5. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    It is treatable but that would be something you would have to discuss with your vet because I dont know how
  6. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Ok Im gonna stick my neck out here. This is not management assasination and I know nothing of Nigies.
    Im sorry you are having this problem. Glad you had someone there who knows her stuff!
    Last year two of my does didnt take. One doe seems a little masculine and the other quite feminine. But Im firmly convinced they were too fat !!
    Everyone gets wormed regularly and good minerals, as well as BoSe twice a year, once a few weeks before breeding and another shortly before kidding.
    On another note..customers brought a doe back to be bred. When she got here I had no clue she had already been bred. She had two stillborn kids here.....she could have been butted while she was here but I also believe that she never got minerals, grain or even alfalfa. She lived on forage.
    There is a language barrier here and they never came back to buy
    more grain from me so this is just all observations and a little opinion.
  7. harmonygoats

    harmonygoats New Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    Northern Arkansas
    We have an alpine that kidded at 2. Had really bad ketosis that year. After that is seemed she couldn't carry anything to term. We did put her on 10 days of la200 one year in case it was some type of infection. When she kidded at 2 she had 2 huge bucks, 14 & 15 lbs. She didn't take at 3 so she ended up living with the bucks. I think she miscarried several times. She finally kidded as a 5 yr old. Last year we took her to a breeder and we thought she took. Apparently she did but our lamancha buck got her through the fence first. Imagine my surprise when she had an elf eared doe.LOL Can you borrow a buck for a month or maybe leave her at the breeders? It could be she is just not getting caught at the right time.
  8. Nigie Girl

    Nigie Girl Guest

    Oct 19, 2007
    okay here's some answers...

    harmonygoats- yes I can try to see if I can "borrow" a goat. The only problem is i really don't have the room in my barn or an extra outdoor pen. What i can maybe do is ask the breeder (who lives really close to me) if she can keep my goat for a few days). good idea!

    Di- no I haven't had bloodwork done on her. the next vet visit checkup I will ask. her skin and coat are fine though so visually it doesn't look like she's lacking any vitamins. her conformation isn't AMAZING and it isn't terrible either but I've really wanted her to freshen a second time because I show my goats in 4-H and it's very annoying not being able to show a doe because she's dry. (also milk would be nice and her udder is fine)

    I just read a fabulous article about hormonal causes of infertility in goats.
    here's some excerpts from it:

    Infertility in does falls into many categories: hormonal, infectious, post parturition, chronic illness, malnutrition, old age and congenital problems.

    Cystic ovaries occur when the follicles do not rupture and continue to produce estrogen. Heat cycles become become frequent (6-14 days) or nonexistent. Does may exhibit bucky behaviorby riding other does or being overly aggressive. If a doe with cystic ovaries is undiagnosed and untreated, she can become permanently sterile. These does eventually begin to look 'bucky.' If the condition is caught early, a shot of chorionic gonadotrophin may restore reproductive function.

    If you suspect more than one doe of having cystic ovaries, your feeding program may be at fault. High estrogen levels in sweet clover and some alfalfa, or diets high in calcium and low in phosphorus may cause temporary problems.

    There is evidence to support a hereditary predisposition to cystic ovaries from both the dam's side and the sire's side.

    If a doe has a hormone imbalance, she may exhibit no signs of heat at all, and the term for this is anestrus. The doe's ovaries are simply not producing follicles. A shot of prostaglandin may start her cycling. Anestrus may also be related to cystic ovaries. Silent heats between regular estrus cycles is not uncommon. This is where all the necessary physiologic and histologic events take place but the doe shows no outward signs of estrus. Fortunately, the buck always knows and a successful breeding may be accomplished if they are together. If the time between estrus periods is unusually long, silent heats may be the cause. [Ed. note: Anestrus for several-month periods may signal embryonic mortality if the doe had been bred.] The most probable cause is a lack of proper balance of hormones affecting the onset of estrus.

    Implantation failure in the uterus can create another infertile situation. If a fertilized egg fails to implant in the uterus, it simply deteriorates and a new cycle begins. Progesterone may play a big role in the preimplantation uterine changes. If progesterone is not released to prepare the uterus for pregnancy, the fertilized egg will simply be sloughed off. The uterine lining must be equipped for the egg to implant, like a lush shag carpet. The uterine lining of a doe that doesn't produce enough progesterone looks similar to an indoor-outdoor carpet. This type of uterine problem may be due to a uterine infection after the last delivery or an ageing uterus that finally fails. The prognosis is usually very guarded to negative for either of these conditions.

    The occasional doe may have a retained corpus luteum that tells the doe she is still pregnant. This typically transpires after kidding and can be easily corrected with one or two injections of prostaglandin to restart normal cycles.

    Detection of hormone problems is more difficult in Pygmy goats because of their small stature. With a cow or mare, a veterinarian can periodically feel the reproductive tract and follow its cycle. This is not possible with Pygmy goats. Many times trial and error is the best method. Your decision to pursue differing treatments should be based in part on the value of the animal. Is she worth the cost? Hundreds of dollars can be spent trying to identify the cause of an infertility problem. A series of hormonal screens can be done to either eliminate or identify potential problems, a laparoscopy can be done to explore the reproductive tract, or hormonal treatments can be given.

    This was from an article about pygmy infertility. What I think I'm going to do...(especially since I'm scared my doe is too masculine!!) is I'm going to try to catch her first heat this fall REALLY early. and if she doesn't take the first or second time I'm going to bring her to the vets. (ahem...if my parents say I can!)
  9. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Sounds like you have a plan....and the fact that she has freshened is a plus, could simply be that her heats aren't strong enough or a simple hormone injection could bring her around. Hope it works for you.