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How do I tell if my goat is in heat?

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Date added:
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Last revised:
Saturday, 10 October 2009
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Answer

The goat is classified as seasonally polyestrous. This is a fancy way of saying that she comes in heat several times in the fall. Most goats start coming in heat when the days begin getting shorter in the fall. They will usually behave differently than normal - bleating or calling constantly, flagging or wagging the tail off and on or when you run your hand down her rump, & mounting other goats. Milk production may be down and she may not eat the same as usual. If there is a buck nearby, she might plant herself at the part of the fence nearest the buck and won't want to leave. Of course there is the exception to this rule. Some does never show any signs of heat. This is called a "silent heat" and can be very frustrating. Most does with silent heats will show signs of interest when teased with the buck, but not always. If you don't have a buck, get a "buck rag". This is a rag that is rubbed on the buck until it is nice and smelly and kept in an airtight jar. The doe gets to smell it every day twice a day until she shows interest.

Sometimes, the only way to get a doe bred is to run her with the buck. Do this for a minimum of three weeks after the first breeding, just in case it didn't take and she comes back in heat. For a more in depth discussion, read Breeding Your Goat.

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