My life in the country with my goats.com site

Nanna’s Time to be Bred


This was Nanna’s second heat in less than the expected 21 days. I had no idea until  I logged on to my life saver Goat Forum and found out that goats can have shorter cycles than the usual 21 days. One owner reported her goat was recently cycling,  every 6 days!  For as long as we have been goat owners, and as many books I had read in preparation for my goats and since, I had never come across this short cycle concept.

Well short cycle or not, our little Nanna was in heat again and this time I accepted the fact that she was now ready and able to be bred. She was now 1 yr old and had grown to her required size which means, she is at the size she needs to be to be able to carry her babies and to give birth safely . This is both exciting and a frightening. You never know what to expect with a first time fresher, which Nanna is. First time to be bred and give birth. Nanna will be our second first time fresher; Pumpkin was our first. We had no prior breeding and birthing history with her. So here we go with Nanna. I feel a bit more apprehensive due to her tiny size. She is a Pygmy where  my other recent mothers are Nigerian Dwarf and a bit larger and sturdier.

My first thought was to bred her with Baby Boy because of his size. He is tiny like she is. Balder is a bit larger so I made the choice for her.

It was really something to witness. The two goats go through hours of several elaborate stages prior to the final breeding, which takes a matter of seconds. Nanna or the female will not act interested initially and actually may act a bit aggressive toward the buck. After the aggressions tapers, the dance begins. This is the most beautiful to watch. They circle each other as they bury their noses in each other’s fur. Some times there are cooing sounds coming from both the  doe and buck alike. This continues for as long as the doe will allow. The buck just follows her around the box while trying to nuzzle her and get as close as possible to her. Sometimes  the circling will slow down and the doe will want a little space. The buck is very obviously confused by this so then he starts “talking ” to her. I guess he tries to get her back in the mood. He lets his excitement get ahold of him and he just can’t control himself. The sounds he makes is a cross between “barking” and actual human like yelps to get her attention, all the while flapping his tongue at her.  As his excitement increases, so do the sounds. They can sound a bit comical and yet at the same time they are really a wonder on nature. This is my little Baby Boy who is now in the goat world, a man. He knows what is expected of him when he is placed  in with a doe in heat and he is ready for the task. No experience is necessary; he,  like the doe,  will act purely on instinct. An instinct that has brought does and bucks together for centuries. It’s just amazing.

Here is the mating dance of Nanna and Baby Boy;  December 16, 2011:

Nanna feels safe in her favorite place, on her hay rack

Nanna feels safe in her favorite place, on top her hay rack

Baby Boy looks up at Nanna very confused. He is sure she should be down with him.

Baby Boy looks up at Nanna very confused. He is sure she should be down with him.

Baby Boy tries to join Nanna in her "safe" spot

Baby Boy tries to join Nanna in her "safe" spot. Nanna was not too happy about that idea.

The chase is on. Nanna does not seem to want his attentions

Once Nanna is off the hay rack cover, the chase is on. Nanna does not seem to want his attentions, so off she goes!

After several minutes of chasing her around the box, Baby Boy decides to start the circling dance with Nanna

After several minutes of chasing her around the box, Baby Boy decides to start the circling dance with Nanna

The circling went on for quite awhile , making me a bit dizzy

The circling was fast and furious and went on for quite a while , making me a bit dizzy

Time for a break from circling; maybe they got a bit dizzy like me.

Time for a break from circling; maybe they got a bit dizzy like me.

Nanna seems to have lost interest in Baby Boy

Nanna seems to have lost interest in Baby Boy

Baby Boy tries to get her scent while "barking" at her

Baby Boy tries to get her nuzzle Nanna while "barking" and flapping his tongue at her

Nanna like to play hard to get! One moment she is interested and the next she looks like she would  just like to eat some hay

Nanna like to play hard to get! One moment she is interested and the next she looks like she would just like to eat some hay

Nanna likes to keep Baby Boy guessing, now she interested and now she not. Now she lets him get close again

Nanna likes to keep Baby Boy guessing, now she interested and now she not. Now she lets him get close again

Well after a little nuzzling, she's off again. Poor Baby Boy!

Well after a little nuzzling, she's off again. Poor Baby Boy!

Nanna ran right to the side of the box where she could see Balder through the bars.  I had no idea that what I was witnessing was actually a possibility. It seems that Nanna had a crush on Balder and I think she would have preferred him to join her in her box. I contacted my Goat Forum for information about what I was seeing. I thought alright I will just put this in and see if anyone responded. Well I got my response. Female goats do have favorites! So what I was witnessing with Nanna and her “crush” on Balder was actually happening.  What I was told was yes, a doe can have a favorite buck and if this breeding did not  “take” I should try her favorite.

Nanna thought the Baby Boy was ok but she seems to have a "crush " on Balder

Nanna thought the Baby Boy was ok but she seems to have a "crush " on Balder

A little more dancing, circling, tongue flapping and barking

A little more dancing, circling, tongue flapping and barking

After an entire day of the mating dance, Nanna finally "stood " for Baby Boy.

After an entire day of the mating dance, Nanna finally "stood " for Baby Boy.

 

Now as far as we know, Nanna has been bred.  We really have to wait till her next heat. Normally, we would have the 21 cycle days to wait, but with Nanna’s short cycles, we just have to keep an ear out for her signs of heat.If all goes well, somewhere between 147 – 157 days, Nanna will give birth to 1 – 3 tiny kids.

We will keep you posted on Nanna’s progress.

 

3 responses

  1. Sarah Wenig

    They are lovely! It was very nice being stuck in Amsterdam…or wherever we were…with you! I finally made it to Manchester, after another delay. I hope you get home safely! Let me know when you are next in Glasgow since I go through there a lot. Best, Sarah!

    December 30, 2011 at 12:17

  2. oh wow! How spiffy – they’re such small little goats, and I love that you described what went on, I’ve never studied it. Cool post, and good luck!

    January 2, 2012 at 06:13

    • Hej from Sweden!
      First thing Kaitlin, I want to wish you a wonderful New Year! Thanks for viewing my blog and I love your word “spiffy”! Yes my little herd is made up of West African miniature dairy goats. They are the smallest in the goats to be found. Their tiny size makes them really easy to house, care for and of course to cuddle. Please feel free to wander through my blog which started in May. You will even be able to see photos of Nanna when she first came to Gullringstorp. Wow was she tiny!
      Welcome back!

      January 2, 2012 at 10:35

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s