Determining Age

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by DebMc, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. DebMc

    DebMc Member

    845
    Dec 10, 2009
    I have 2 wild does that came straight from the reservation so I know very little to nothing about their past. One, Katie, has warmed up and tamed down. The other, Allison, is still timid and handshy but very sweet. I managed to examine Allison's teeth last weekend in hopes of determining her age and was shocked at what I found. Three teeth on the right side appear impacted as they never broke through the skin. The other 5 teeth, including the two front, are all either broken off or worn down to the gum line. The way I understand it, this would indicate she's an elderly goat. Yet she doesn't really act or look that old to me.

    One thing kinda' odd is that Allison doesn't jump up on top the cable spools like the other goats. Arthritis? Don't think so as she otherwise is agile and very playful, will leap up in the air to slow-motion ram her playmates and boy can she run! Nice, smooth movement, too. Her skin looks supple and pink. Her eyes are clear. She's active and alert. Overall, she looks in good shape, except for her teeth and what's left of those is sparkly clean. Even her gums are healthy pink - no inflammation - and she doesn't appear to have any problems eating what I feed her - which leads up to my main question:

    Do old goats show any physical signs of their agedness? Could it be my Allison is just in really good shape for an old goat? Or perhaps she's actually younger, just her teeth were worn down prematurely due to poor diet and/or tough browse on the range? Are there any other clues to determining age aside from teeth, that might help me better estimate her age?

    I'm also wondering if Allison isn't Katie's dam. They are very close knit and do everything together. Katie can frequently be seen resting her head on Allison's neck or back and she also snuggles up against her affectionately, almost like a hug. Katie has all 8 of her adult teeth and they look in good shape. So I'm assuming she's at least 5 y.o. Is this the way mother and daughters behave or do unrelated does sometimes develop similiarly tight bonds?

    Just curious. Old or not, Allison's got a home here for the rest of her life. I'm just trying to find out more about her and Katie, and hoping they both have many more years ahead of them. Not that I"m a spring chicken. :laugh:

    Deb Mc
     
  2. goatlover

    goatlover New Member

    25
    Mar 6, 2009
    ID
    I don't know how to determine there age but about them being related. I have to does that were born the same couple days, and they do everything together and there not related. so I guess not always do they have to be related to have that bond, at least thats what I found with my goats.
    :kidred: Antonia :kidred:
     

  3. citylights

    citylights Member

    824
    Jul 3, 2009
    Southern California
    Deb -- good for you for aking in goaties that need a good home! As far as the age thing, it's sound to me like Allison has had some sort of trauma to her teeth for them all to be broken/worn down. But it's hard to tell and if she's in good shape, I'd suspect that she's not as old as her teeth imply.

    I have goats that have really strongly bonded with each other and will lay near each other and rub their heads on each other, but typically it's only familes that I've seen "canoodling." Moms and their grown sons and daughters. My twins, Kip and LaFonda, still sleep together with their heads on each other's backs, and they're 5 yo now.

    I've only had one other goat that bonded like that. Cleo bonded immediately to Maria -- Maria was 4 and Cleo was 3 mos. Maria was a bottle baby and didn't know what a goat was, so it didn't bother her that CLeo climbed all over her. But usually one of the goats will push the other away.

    Plus if Allison is Katie's mom, she could be just a year older -- so maybe 6?
     
  4. DebMc

    DebMc Member

    845
    Dec 10, 2009
    That would be nice. :) Up until I saw Allison's dental nightmare, I was thinking she was possibly Katie's daughter. Katie fawns on Allison like only a mother would, not vice vera. So it's confusing to say the least. :shrug: :dazed: Too bad they can't talk!
     
  5. citylights

    citylights Member

    824
    Jul 3, 2009
    Southern California
    Hey, that could be too -- Allison could be the daughter -- if you ignore the teeth, which really sounds like some sort of trauma.
     
  6. DebMc

    DebMc Member

    845
    Dec 10, 2009
    Trauma is certainly a possibility.

    I wish someone with an elderly goat would weigh in and provide some insight into other signs of agedness if any.

    As far as familial ties go, there is another piece to the puzzle. Kate and Allison were rescued along with a big, handsome buck, who seemed to be quite fond of Katie. They were the only goaties mixed in with a flock of sheep and the purchaser didn't want the goats so was going to "liquidate" them. I'll attach a pic taken by their rescuer before I got them. I passed on the buck, as I have enough "male stink" around here without adding an intact billy. :laugh:

    Deb Mc
     

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  7. DebMc

    DebMc Member

    845
    Dec 10, 2009
    Here's a photo of Katie (left) and Allison (right) side by side, taken last month. They look about the same age to me and neither looks what I would call "old"...you think?
     

    Attached Files:

  8. lissablack

    lissablack New Member

    Nov 30, 2009
    Good grief! look at those horns! Wow. Do horns just keep growing forever? All mine are disbudded, so I have never seen real horns. They look heavy.

    It's neat you took in these two girls.

    Jan
     
  9. DebMc

    DebMc Member

    845
    Dec 10, 2009
    Another reason I passed on him, he wouldn't fit into our main goat shelter as the doorway is too narrow for that spread of horns. And I was also concerned he might tangle them up in the fencing. He was the friendliest of the three.

    Good question - I can't answer it. My two res does are naturally polled but I have a standard Angora yearling who's horned and hers are different than the buck's above. That buck, BTW, is a Navajo Angora, not a standard.

    Deb Mc
     
  10. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    AAWWW, what sweet looking goats you have,

    Now my Liz was 15 when she died of cancer. She had perfect teeth. The vet could not believe how old she was because she did not at all look 15. So I would have to say they were really mistreated at some time in their life. Liz was named the Grand Champion doe at the Estes Park Wool Market the year before she died, and the Reserve Champion at the State Fair.

    now my older goats do not jump up on my spools either, now that you said that. My oldest doe is 10 this year. the next is 8. I have not seen either of them uyp on the spools BUT when I come in with a trailer full of hay they are right there on top of that.

    I have to say I just love those horns on that buck. WOW They are beautiful.

    Now are your girls Pygora goats? That buck looks either Pygora also or maybe a Angora.

    I have a feeling you really will not ever know how old they are. But I would really watch the one, if she is loosing weight and things you have to watch her teeth because she will not be able to graze very well.

    They are just beautiful. :eek:hlala:
     
  11. DebMc

    DebMc Member

    845
    Dec 10, 2009
    Thanks for sharing that.

    They are all three Navajo Angoras, the neanderthal and Adam and Eves of the present day industry or standard Angora goat. It's kinda' like owning a bit of history. I feel so privileged to have them. Here's a link if you're interested in learning more about the NAG. Mine came from the Navajo Res in Northern AZ.

    http://www.navajoangoragoat.org/

    Allison has filled out since I got her and is doing very well. I feed my girls tim pellets cut 50/50 w/a low protein senior equine pellet plus BOSS and goat chow. I can't let them free browse because of how easily their fleeces tangle and matt but I do give them select clippings on a regular basis and Allison does manage to munch those down. Amazing! Must have super strong jaw bones and gum padding to match. :crazy:


    Deb Mc
     
  12. liz

    liz Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    Beautiful!! Tooth loss/wear doesn't always come with age, my almost 10 year old has the teeth of a 5 year old. My guess is the management of her previous life was the culprit.

    And I don't think that horns continue to grow much after a certain age...I have a 6 year old pygmy buck with horns the same as they were at 4 years old....and my "old" doe has 12 inch spikes that have been that way since she was 7, if they do it is a minimal amount.