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How To Know If Breeding The Goats Was Successful

 

how-to-know-if-breeding-the-goats-was-successfulBreeding the goats every year or two is part of keeping backyard dairy goats.  Once you’ve mastered basic goat care, it’s time to start thinking about breeding them.  We had a couple bucks spend a few weeks at our place and we also took the girls out for “dates.” Bucks can be very smelly, so they aren’t good fits for tiny homesteads.  You can find a buck to service you does through networking or through sites like craigslist.

Make sure your does are up to date on their disease testing and ask for the results for the buck you are thinking about using.  Here is a video on how to do blood draws and where to get the supplies from Tiramar Homestead.  Also ask ahead of time about registration, pedigrees, and whether or not you will be needing a service  memo for the breeding.

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We had a few times when I had hoped my does would be pregnant and then didn’t take.  One goat had a pattern of going into false heat.  Once we knew she was likely to do that it was easier to plan around and make sure we could get her back with a buck.  Our other goat even made an udder when she wasn’t even pregnant.  I didn’t realize at the time that goats could be influenced by the hormones of their herdmates!

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How do you know if your goat breeding was successful?

Your first clue is the instant you bring the buck to your doe in heat.  If he mounts her and she stands you should see the buck do a little dip with his back legs.  That indicates a successful breeding.  If she doesn’t stand or he isn’t finish the job I can promise you won’t be getting any goat babies.

A second indicator is if your goat goes into heat again.  If it’s not a full 21 days then the previous cycle was a false heat.  NOW your goat is ready to be successfully bred.  Get that buck back!

Other indicators are much later in the pregnancy.  Your goat may get fatter (which mine tend to do even without being pregnant).  She may develop an udder (which apparently mine do even without being pregnant…).  Nearer the end you can feel the babies kicking and moving in her tummy.  The rumen (on the left side of the goat) can feel suspiciously like baby movement.  Feel on the right side when checking for movement.  Unfortunately, this isn’t foolproof.

If you absolutely need to know which does have taken do a blood test.  If you send in a blood sample to Bio Tracking you can find out in just 30 days whether breeding the goats took or not.

As tempting as the blood test is, we always took the wait and see approach.  Don’t get caught by surprise!  Write down a due date 145-150 days from the last date they were exposed to the buck.  Here’s a due date calculator from American Goat Society.  It is important to know how far along your goats are because they do need slightly different care while pregnant. (Related Post: Basic Goat Care Pregnancy and Kidding).

What signals do you use to tell if breeding the goats was successful?

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Lorinda

Tuesday 18th of May 2021

Do all doelings have wax plugs in teats or only pregnant does have waxy teats?

Kathryn

Sunday 23rd of May 2021

It shouldn't be noticeable on doelings.

KJ

Saturday 6th of March 2021

We put our does in with their bucks for an entire month back in October. All FF. All bucks & does are right around a year old; mini LaMancha's and mini Nubians; each buck with their own does of their own breed. They'd be due between now and April 1st.

Anyway, several weeks later we would have sworn every one of them was pregnant! Hard underbellies, little right side "bumps", vulva's stayed a little more pronounced all winter, no signs of heat thereafter. Up until about a week ago...nothing! No changes, no udders, no additional weight gain. In fact, a few of them even look less plump than they did about a month ago. Even now, their teats seem a little longer but zero baggage and no more "bump". Vulva's still seem more elongated but they've been that way since November. (We did put them I their stalls instead of leaving them in their paddocks or pasture, just to be on the safe side for the next few weeks). I find it hard to believe that in an entire month with 2 different bucks and 5 different does that not one pregnancy has resulted. I'm puzzled. Have any insight?

Kathryn

Monday 8th of March 2021

That's very strange that NONE of them would take. They're Nigerian Dwarfs?

Brooke kooienga

Sunday 9th of December 2018

Hi I've been breeding quite a few does in the area and was wondering if you can see his mucus coming out or her back side is that a sure sign of success. I've been thinking it I'd but I'd like peace of mind that I'm right or if I'm wrong I'd like to correct it

Kathryn

Thursday 13th of December 2018

That's a great sign of a successful mating! Hopefully she's now pregnant. :)

Leila Blair

Friday 21st of September 2018

The Nubian buck has been with my 2 girls for 5 days. Since i didn't see them link up I don't know if they are bred. He was crazy horny at first but has calmed down but is still a little interested. Don't know how much longer I should keep him with the girls?

Dannyelle

Tuesday 4th of June 2019

Oh wow, so I read about the "false heat" and brought my doe back to her buck, but now read on a different site that it is likely that this 2nd heat after breeding is actually the "false heat" and the bodies first sign of pregnancy, before actually recognizing it...

Kathryn

Friday 21st of September 2018

It's a good idea to watch for him to successfully mount when you first put him in. Were your does showing signs of being in heat? If they have a heat cycle within 21 days of when you first put him in you'll know it wasn't successful. If they're not showing signs of being in heat now there's no reason to keep them together.

Kathryn @ Farming My Backyard

Monday 12th of January 2015

Ooooh, good point. The goat's left. Your left if you are standing behind the goat. :D

Brandon S

Tuesday 13th of January 2015

I figured that was the case (when you work in the medical field one of the first things you learn in A&P is the anatomical man so that you know reference points) but I wasn't 100% sure. Thanks!