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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, due to some bad management practices that I have since corrected, I now have a sterile boer doe. I want to share my mistake so that others know to avoid the circumstances that caused this loss in my herd. Last summer I had very limited fencing and because of this I had my sheep running with my goats. I also keep my ram with my sheep year round and let them lamb whenever they want, which due to naturally occurring synchronized heat cycles means they all lamb at the same time twice a year. No problems there. The problem lies in that rams are very happy to breed any goat who will tolerate it. I had one doe in particular who had the hots for my ram. She would intentionally, yes intentionally, get her head stuck in the fence and let the ram have his way with her. Then when he was done she'd pull her head out like it was never stuck. Consequently she became pregnant by the ram twice and, the way it goes, had miscarriages both times. Since then I have made improvements to my fencing program and eliminated this from happening anymore. Unfortunately now though she has had 2 miscarriages with the buck covering her. She was rebred yesterday but if she miscarriages again she will have to be culled. Do yourself and your does a favor and keep them rams locked up away from your daughter, I mean does.
 

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I'm not sure there's a connection between the sheep hybrid miscarrying (which would happen 99.9% of the time) and the true goat embryos later miscarrying.

My guess is that she would have done the same even if she'd never met Mr Ram. If it is the ram's fault it'd be due to an STD perhaps? I really doubt a male sheep is going to physically damage a boer goat's reproductive system since male goats and sheep are essentially the same.

Breeding is not my area of expertise but I dont see the connection.
 

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When I first got my sheep, (I had the goats first) the breeder strictly told me that if I got Ewes with having a buck around that indeed it would lead to fertility problems, and eventually lead to death. I'm not sure if this is "true" or not, but if it is I don't see why it wouldn't work the other way around. Needless to say I got to wethered sheep:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Charlie horse, I do see your train of thought on why it might not cause any permanent damage. I am by no means a veterinarian or anything of that nature. The only case I would make to support my concerns are that in any event where an animal has a miscarriage it can cause damage to the reproductive organs. Not necessarily that it "will" but that it "may". I know that the chromosome count of a sheep and goat are very different and it is because of this difference that the goats body rejects the baby. It could be possible(purely speculation) that the goat in question having two such miscarriages could have begun a cycle in her body that hasn't decided to stop. But then again, since this is all speculation for me, I could just be the unlucky owner of a normally incapable goat. I should correct myself too by saying that she's not really sterile because she is conceiving, just not carrying through. I'm still crossing my fingers that she actually makes it through on this one because she's really a great goat and I want to keep her in my herd. On a brighter note, I had an American black belly lamb born this morning. Thank goodness it's a girl, last year we had 7 boys and 1 girl. That didn't make for very good herd growth.
 

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It could be that she has gotten Metriosis from miscarrying so many times and needs antibiotic treatment.

I had a really weird one here. A doe bred to both a ram and buck, yeah, it was a crazy year for fences. Anyway she miscarried a geep ram at 4 months and then gave birth to a healthy buckling at the proper time. Like I said, weird...
 

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Wow i didnt even know a goat and a sheep could have a baby? Or do they miscarriage every time? I thought they had a major difference in chromosomes and couldn't, but i always stunk at DNA in science. I guess if they can cross horses and donkeys, and lions and tigers and other things like that, than a goat and sheep wouldn't be any different. I've just never heard of a goat sheep cross. Sorry about your doe :( , but thank you for putting up this thread it was interesting. :)
 

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They pretty much miscarry "geeps" as far as I know there has been only one case of a true crossbred being born naturally and surviving. They have produced them in labs however.
 

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Sheep have 54 chromosomes and goats have 60. The offspring are not to be confused with geep those are the combining of embryos of sheep and goats (I might have to heck that). Generally sheep goats mixes are still born. I learned about this exact thing in my exploring ah class. I love learning about this stuff! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks goat hiker, I hadn't thought of treating for an infection. I think I will go that route first before culling. I definitely want to try to keep her around. Wierd that some people have had crosses successfully born since I didn't think it was possible.
 

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I agree, I would also think infection an I would treat for that before culling. Maybe take her into the vet an have her checked out run some test maybe? Then you could know for sure what you was dealing with? It could be so many things, maybe its just her an she cant carry a baby to full term who knows. A lot of ideas have been brought up so I would just start checking them off one by one. I know next to nothing about sheep an goat crosses so Im no help with anything that could go wrong with her being bred to a ram. When I think of different animals being crossed I think of buffalo an bovine. With them I have heard that the buffalo has to be the female in the cross cause they carry their babies alil longer. If the cow (bovine) is the female in the cross she will have the baby too early thus a dead baby. Also those crosses have a high % of miscarriages as well. Sorry didn't have much advice in my long spill lol.
 

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i think my female goat is pregnant with a ram. there are no other goats around but there are rams. i have seen her "backing up" to rams in the past when she has escaped. Now her belly is growing and she is beginning to bag up. i can hear and feel the baby in her tummy. All i seem to get back in my research of this, is that it is extremely rare and if the fetus does make it to full term, it is still born. Lacie, i liked your comment about your friend Donna and her little one. i hope ours will be ok too.
Sue
 

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i think my female goat is pregnant with a ram. there are no other goats around but there are rams. i have seen her "backing up" to rams in the past when she has escaped. Now her belly is growing and she is beginning to bag up. i can hear and feel the baby in her tummy. All i seem to get back in my research of this, is that it is extremely rare and if the fetus does make it to full term, it is still born. Lacie, i liked your comment about your friend Donna and her little one. i hope ours will be ok too.
Sue
From what I've been told, they may make it full term and may deliver a live baby but it seldom lives past a few weeks.
 

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Well in most cases a cross between sheep and goats will not survive do to the genetic differences. Yes there have been some natural cases of one being cross bred and the offspring surviving but it is very rare and in those cases the offspring is sterile due to the miss matching of chromosomes. I am sure I can locate some articles later after classes if you are interested.

I would agree with the others to have her checked for infection and possibly flushing (pretty common treatment in horses, but you need a vet to find out what the infection is first in order to know what to treat with) her under a vet's care. If you have the chance to I would have her checked out and then let her take a breeding season off.
 

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I will Ditto treat for infection...Best wishes
 
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