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 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.
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.