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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 8 does bred this year. So far, 3 have come back into heat 5-6 days after visiting my bucks. Does are hand bred once I notice they're in heat, and I take them to the buck approximately every 12-24 hours until they're no longer receptive. Usually this means 2 or maybe 3 visits. So the issue shouldn't be that I just bred too early or too late.

I don't usually offer stud service, but I did allow a driveway breeding to one of my bucks as a favor. Their doe was definitely in standing heat and had been showing signs of heat for about 24 hours, my buck bred her, all was well, and now 4 days later she's in heat again. (Started yesterday, so technically 3 days.) They brought her back out, and she was very receptive of my buck again.

I know I had this issue last year with at least one doe, but I only bred 3 that year. So all in all it's about a 33% rate of false heats. Is this common? Is it a health/management issue? It's driving me crazy because I think I have everyone bred, and then- surprise!- someone is back in heat a few days later. My goats are all well-kept and have good free-choice minerals, grass hay, and alfalfa. I do have a buck next to the doe pen right now (quarantine) but he's been there since September, so it's not like he's just suddenly arrived and thrown all my does off.
 

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Some does do the 5 day heat. I breed on both days, the original and the 5 day (sometimes 4 days or even 6 days after the orig. standing heat day) heat. Some take the first standing heat others on the 5 day. Some hormonal thing. I bred 100 does last year and 85 kidded. (117 kids born, a lot of singles). Probably 20 ( that kidded) were bred on the 5 day heat.
 

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Hormones I tell ya! I don’t know percentage wise how common it is but I think it’s a fairly common thing. I seem to always have a few that do it every year. I’m away from my notebook with all my due dates off the top of my head I had 4 out of 35 do it this year. It’s also common enough that in a AI group that I stalk no one will bother to try and AI anyone on the first heat because they don’t want to risk it being a false heat. I don’t think it’s a management thing, I just think it’s something that sometimes happens
 

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I would also say it's more common than most people think. For the last few years, I've bred 5-10 does. At least one of them have a 5-day heat every year. Usually, it happens when I introduce a stinky buck very suddenly, but it also happens when I have a buck who chases them/flirts with them a lot. So it could be from a lot of sudden stimulation if he was really flirty with them. I will also say most my girls that are bred on 5-day heat will take on the second time they are bred, and not the first time. My only exception was last year I used Fertagyl on 2 does that had a 6-day heat and both kidded on the first due date and not the second. So, I would probably expect your does(unless you used something that induces ovulation) to kid on/around the 2nd due date 5-6 days later.
 

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Several of our does come back into heat 5-10 days after being bred. We've sound that if not bred on that 2nd heat, they do not settle. It was difficult at first but now we know what does cycle back and can plan for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies, everyone! Seems like it is more common than I realized. People always talk about watching for heats 21 days after breeding, but no one says much about the 5 day heats, so I thought they were probably less common. I know not to worry if a doe has a false heat, but didn't know how many had to do it before I should start worrying :p Seems like the consensus is that goats are just inconvenient! ;)

I bred 100 does last year and 85 kidded. (117 kids born, a lot of singles). Probably 20 ( that kidded) were bred on the 5 day heat.
Interesting! So even with such large numbers, your percentage of 5 day heat pregnancies is still in the same ballpark as my herd.

It's also common enough that in a AI group that I stalk no one will bother to try and AI anyone on the first heat because they don't want to risk it being a false heat.
Wow, I didn't realize it was that common! But then what if it wasn't a false heat and they miss their window until the next cycle? Even though they've been getting on my last nerve lately, I'm really glad I have my own bucks and can easily arrange a rendezvous whenever my does are in the mood. I can't imagine the people who have to drive a long distance to bring their doe to be serviced, hope she's in standing heat, hope it's not too early or too late in her cycle, hope she doesn't come back into heat 5 days later, AND have to watch for her coming into heat around day 21 too. What a headache!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We've sound that if not bred on that 2nd heat, they do not settle. It was difficult at first but now we know what does cycle back and can plan for it.
My kidding dates last year indicated that my does weren't settled until the last time they were bred, as well.

My very first year breeding, I thought that if the doe stood for the buck and they had a successful date, she was almost certainly pregnant. So each doe got one trip to visit the buck, and that was it. I only had about a 50% conception rate that year. Live and learn. Now if a doe is asking for a buck, she gets a buck, even if she had a date the previous day :p My conception rates last year using that method were much, much better.
 

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I had it happen twice last year and twice this year. Ironically, one of those 2 each year was the same doe. For me, it happens more with their first heats of the year.

I believe that what happens is they work up the hormones, but the egg never actually pops out, so the hormones build back up and continue getting the egg ready and typically the second time it pops out and goes where it needs to. I always wait at least a week to make sure they don't come back in. Last year one came back 7 days later. This year she was 4 days later. But again, these were her first (noticeable) heats of the season. It doesn't typically happen for me with later ones.

Glad I have bucks on the property because it would drive me nuts. Actually the doe that did this to me both years now, last year I had taken her to the buck. And yep....had to do it twice. Thankfully they were only 10-15 minutes away, but still.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well now these goats are just driving me crazy! I have one doe who was bred 19 days ago. She is one who DIDN'T have a false heat. Now at day 19, she's staring across the fence at my buck, yelling, and carrying on. So I rolled my eyes and put her in with him. He was blubbering and pawing until I put her in the pen with him. Then he lost interest. Didn't even try to breed her. Does that mean she's likely already pregnant? He's the same buck who bred her 19 days ago, so it's not that they don't get along!

Meanwhile, a doe who I bred 3 weeks ago, had a false heat, and was bred again 5 days later, was watching this pair and flagging like crazy. But at this point she's only 14 days past the second breeding date, so it should be too early for her to be in heat again. Maybe she's just a perv.

I have a third doe who was acting like she might be in heat yesterday, but she was only bred once (no 5-day heat) and it's only been 14 days since then.

Man do I hate breeding season!
 

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I don’t think the 5 day heat always follows the rules. I lost my second page of due dates (bawling my eyes out at the moment!) but I know I have at least one that is 10ish days apart on her heats.
But the one that the buck showed no interest in I would go ahead and assume at the moment she is bred. The others I guess keep letting them meet the boy and see what happens. Some does are pervs. I have a new doe and I have no due date on her because her and the buck had daily dates. I had another doe years ago that was the same way. But this is why I would never be able to hand breed lol I don’t blame you I would be nuts but now! If you could pull blood in about 3 weeks though that might help your sanity lol
 

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Very common.

There are times, when you just put a buck in with the does, a does comes in season shortly after, but yet does not take, it is a false heat, in which she has not dropped any eggs.

But the second cycle, she indeed drops the eggs and conceives.
I see it from time to time.
 

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Mine are with the bucks for 3 months and I just watch (sometimes hear lol) the signs they have been bred. Of course witnessing it, but also I check for goo on their tails or swollen and red vaginas. Most of the time I have due dates for them all, only when I don’t go out and investigate every day one slips by me
 

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I do hand breed, because I want certain bucks with certain does. I do have a buck pen that is outside next to the girls, so when they hang around the pen and flag they get a date ....
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, the doe who acted like she was in heat this morning (that the buck refused) was still acting like she was in heat this evening after work. I put her in with him again and he was willing to oblige her this time. Probably he was just sick of her yelling and carrying on all day! I'll keep an eye on my other "maybes" At least I'm still within my window for March babies...

If you could pull blood in about 3 weeks though that might help your sanity lol
Oh absolutely, I'll definitely be pulling blood! I can't do the "wait 5 months and see" method :p Just disheartening because the first ones were about 3 weeks along, so I had just over a week to go, and now it's all reset!

Very common.

But the second cycle, she indeed drops the eggs and conceives.
I see it from time to time.
I sure hope the ones that had the 5 day heats ended up pregnant! So much hassle, these ladies better give me some really nice kids next spring!

Mine are permanently with the buck. But predicting receptiveness for breeding or pregnancy would be cool in the future.
I micromanage my poor goats' love lives lol. Your method would sure be easier, but I have to know who's bred to who and when they're due!

I do hand breed, because I want certain bucks with certain does. I do have a buck pen that is outside next to the girls, so when they hang around the pen and flag they get a date ....
That's my management style right now too, except I have a quarantine pen where you have a designated buck pen. In theory it should make things really easy, but then the goats pull shenanigans like this!
 

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I micromanage my poor goats' love lives lol. Your method would sure be easier, but I have to know who's bred to who and when they're due!...
There is only one back with them at a time.

I'll have to manage more, once the herd is bigger and I use various bucks.
 

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Lol I mainly do the wait 5 months and see. But most don't come into heat more then twice, tops, the ones that do those are the ones that I pull blood on, specially if they are ones I'm not willing to keep around it they are still open.
I have 4 bucks, going on 5 and each boy and his ladies get their own pen, with good fences and hot fence with a charger for each pen lol learned that one the hard way when it ground out and not one strand was hot lol. But this is just easier for me. I have quite a few does, and I just could not imagine setting up their date for all of them. Usually I run about 70 does, this year has been the least amount in 8 years at 35. But my friend has a large herd and she hand breeds them, that way she makes sure she doesn't end up with more does in labor then stalls. But again the same as you guys it works best for her.
I would defiantly keep every possible due date on them. As we know goats just LOVE to throw us for a loop! I don't trust anything a goat does lol I am convinced they stay up late at night plotting on how to drive their owners nuts
 
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