False pregnancy in goats

Were you absolutely sure that goat was pregnant, but she never kidded, and now she doesn’t look as big as she did last week?

It is possible for a doe to get bred and stop cycling and even to get a big belly and develop an udder and appear to be pregnant in every way, yet not be pregnant. “False pregnancy” is used synonymously with “hydrometra,” which simply means water in the uterus. Because the hormones are involved, a blood test shows a false positive. An ultrasound examination is the only foolproof way of determining pregnancy, but blood tests are still popular because they are less expensive and breeders can learn to draw blood themselves, reducing costs further. Because false pregnancy is rare, blood tests are still considered very reliable. A false pregnancy may not last for five months. It usually ends in a “cloud burst,” which is basically a release of all the uterine fluids without a kid or placenta.

Some false pregnancies started with a real pregnancy that terminated very early but the body didn’t recognize there was no longer a fetus. However, in some cases of false pregnancy, the doe has not even been exposed to a buck.

This is an excerpt from Raising Goats Naturally: The Complete Guide to Milk, Meat, and More by Deborah Niemann.

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79 thoughts on “False pregnancy in goats”

  1. I never knew! Love learning about goats as they are something I've been thinking about getting on our homestead! Thanks for sharing your post on the HomeAcre Hop, hope to see you again Thursday! – Nancy The Home Acre Hop

    Reply
    • Can you provide more details? Typically goats with a false pregnancy are not miserable. They just get big and then release a bunch of fluid. Most people don’t even see the cloud burst. You wouldn’t know your goat has a false pregnancy unless you got an ultrasound. If your goat is in misery, perhaps she is in labor?

      Reply
      • My goat looked pregnant for six months now she’s very fat has tits her first time she had twins the first one came out alright the second one was dead I called the people we got her from and she told me how to pull it I did baby was dead could I of messed her up when I went in there?

        Reply
    • I have a Nubian that is 10 yrs old. She has had the false prego look for yrs. I didn’t think anything about until we noticed milk dripping out of her. Thought it would just dry up but when it didn’t and I was actually able to milk about a 1/2 gal. of what looked like milk a day, just to give her some re-leaf. My vets suggestion was to stop milking to let her dry. Left her as suggested and about the 3rd morning came out to feed and found that my poor girls udder had burst in the front. There was a 9′ line of milk from where she laid down. We are almost 8 months treating her blowout and it is still leaking milk plus the other udder is still flowing strong. I decided to continue milking the good side so she didn’t have to go through that again. Weird I know!! Ruby is a P.I.A. but I love her. She lost her bestie, Gregory, this yr. so I got her 2 Nigerian dwarfs friends to help with the loneliness. She is learning to love them.

      Reply
      • Ruby is a precocious milker, which means she started producing milk without being pregnant, and it has nothing to do with her losing her girlish figure. Most precocious milkers have a normal abdomen. Are you only milking one side? I’d suggest milking both sides. Since the one side is leaking milk, she is going to continue producing. It is the feeling of fullness that signals the body to stop producing milk, and since the one side leaks, it won’t ever get full. The only chance — and it is a small chance — that the ruptured side will heal is to reduce the amount of leaking, and the only way to do that is to milk her.

        Reply
        • i have 2 nigerian dwarf goats and one of them has a “udder” look.
          they are both girls and are 1 and a 1/2 , and have not been bred yet.
          they come from good blood lines and are registered.
          can i milk her?
          i am going to milk her tonight, she has been like this for a week now.
          and is it ok to drink the milk?
          thanks
          anna

          Reply
          • If you start milking her, you have to continue to milk her every single day. It’s not something that you can just do now and then. Right now there is a plug that has the teat and udder sealed off from bacteria, but once you start milking her, that plug will be gone, so bacteria could get into the udder. Mastitis is rare, but it can happen, so if you are going to milk, you need to be committed to doing it every day. And if you are going to be going on vacation, you need to get someone else to do it for you.

    • I have a goat that has a false pregnancy and we milked her and couple days we tried to milk her again and nothing came out and she still looks like she has milk but nothing is coming out what do we need to do?

      Reply
      • You don’t need to do anything when a doe has a false pregnancy. If you are going to milk a goat, you have to milk them every day. If you just milked her once and then a couple days later tried again, I’m not surprised she had no milk. She doesn’t have enough hormones to sustain a lactation, so just leave her udder alone. This type of thing will vary form one goat to another.

        Reply
  2. Hi we aquired twins in june this year…one of the twins has one full udder and is slightly fatter than her sister….she has paired up with our make but he’s been done so it’s not possible has mated with her…I’m baffled as she would be 6 months which isn’t possible….she isn’t ditressed her behaviour is still the same ….any ideas?

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  3. Oh, I hope that’s not the case with mine. She’s huge, should be ready to kid anytime soon, yet her udder isn’t very full. We bred her about Thanksgiving, and she seemed to settle, and then the next month, was begging to go back in with the buck–she did that for 2 months. She’s had several sets of kids since we’ve owned her, but this last pregnancy has been strange.

    Reply
    • It’s also unusual, but sometimes they do come back into heat even though they are pregnant. I always mark all due dates on the calendar and watch closely as she approaches each one. The first time this happened to me I just assumed she was not getting pregnant so was expecting kids in September from her and came from from a July Fourth party to find triplets in the pasture! This is actually much more common than a false pregnancy.

      Reply
  4. I have a Nigerian that was mounted several times by a buck and I thought she was due about two weeks ago. So far I’ve got nothing but a full udder and a change in her temperament to grumpy around the rest of the goats and very clingy when I’m around. I sent a blood sample off to the lab today- if it’s a false pregnancy will the blood sample be positive? Is it ok to milk her? I am really missing fresh milk!!!

    Reply
    • A blood test is not reliable in a false pregnancy because the hormones are there that make the goat’s body think it is pregnant. An ultrasound is the only way to know for sure that a goat is really pregnant.

      If she has a cloud burst so that you know the pregnancy was false, then yes you can milk her. I would not start milking her, however, if she still looks pregnant. It is not unusual for humans (including myself) to have the wrong due date written down.

      Reply
    • Leah, what happened with your goat? My goat is currently at 162 days pregnant and not showing signs of labor. I don’t know what to do with her.

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        • Almost 100% sure! She has never had kids before and has recently developed utters that look full! I can also see the baby moving on her side. Also has the arched back but is not acting any different. I thought I had the date down to a tee bc I saw it with my own eyes unless she didn’t take that time! But I haven’t noticed her coming back into heat since then. The date was January 8

          Reply
          • If she was bred on Jan 8, she’d be at day 145 on May 31 (nigerian and pygmy due dates) and 150 at June 5 (if she is a standard size goat), so she did not get pregnant on Jan. 8. If her udder just started to develop in the last couple of weeks, then maybe she came into heat again 3 weeks later and is due next week.

            Unless she has a full udder, she’s not likely to kid soon. The udder usually fills up before kidding. If it’s been “filling” for a couple of months, then it could be a precocious udder, which some goats will get, even if they are not pregnant, although it is fairly uncommon.

            If she was left with a buck, then you really have no idea when she’s due because it is always possible that she didn’t get pregnant and that he bred her again when she was in heat. Some very rude bucks will try to mate a doe that’s not in heat, and once in awhile they get lucky, but if she was not in heat, then she would not get pregnant. They only ovulate when they are in heat.

            Movement in a goat’s belly doesn’t mean she’s pregnant. Here’s a post on figuring out if your goat is actually pregnant, including a video with goats that have movement in their bellies, but they are not pregnant.
            https://thriftyhomesteader.com/is-my-goat-pregnan/

            Bottom line is that if she is eating, drinking, and acting like a goat, I wouldn’t worry.

  5. Hello..my goat had been run with a buck for some months…and in june she started looking big around the middle. We assumed that she had a progressing pregnancy, however, for the last two days she started looking much smaller and thinner. Today morning, she has been bleating and releasing a bloody water from down there, and she appears to have contractions as well. My vet is very far away..and when i called he said that he isnt sure what is happening, and to wait and watch. Do you think she is having a false labour? Any help is appreciated…

    Reply
    • It’s impossible to accurately figure out whether she is in real labor from what you’ve written. However, I’ve never heard of a goat fussing at any time with a false pregnancy. A couple of days before kidding, a goat’s belly will drop as the kids get into position, which may be why you think she looks smaller. I agree that watching her is your best course of action right now. Looks like you posted about 12 hours ago, so you probably already have a much better idea of what’s happening.

      Reply
      • Thanks for getting back to me. It turned out to be a late term abortion with two fully formed but hairless fetuses. The problem is, it took more than 24 hours for them to be expelled, and i dont think the entire placenta came out. The second fetus came after four doses of oxytocin….and today morning she is depressed and having a smelly, red discharge. She has a fever but is eating a bit. The vet is still unable to help. I gave her b complex, fluids and probiotics…is there anything else i should do? This doe had been given antibiotics previously…so im afraid to use it again on her. Thanks again…

        Reply
        • You have no idea how long the kids had been dead prior to her aborting, so she could have an infection. A stinky smell is usually a sign of infection. I’d check her temperature, and if it’s more than 102, I’d definitely get on antibiotics ASAP. The vet should give you info on dosing over the phone. If you used antibiotics within the last couple of months, you could use a different one this time just in case there might be some resistance to the one you used before.

          It also sounds like the doe may have a mineral deficiency, which is what would have caused the later term abortion. Copper is the most likely culprit, but could also be selenium or another mineral. Do your goats have a good free choice, loose mineral available such as Sweetlix or Purina? Here is more info on minerals:
          https://thriftyhomesteader.com/goat-minerals/

          Reply
  6. The doe had a fever of 105 yesterday, after which i decided to give her penicillin. However, after drinking a tincture of tumeric and apple cider vineger along with vitamin c tablets..her fever decreased to 101.5. I didnt give her the antibiotics yet, should i still give it? When she passed the kids, they were pink and soft..with no sign of decomposition or smell…it was after 24 hours that her post pregnancy lochia started to smell a bit. I am confused on what minerals she is deficient in…as she routinely gets loose minerals, was given selenium gel last month and copper bolused three months ago. Could she still be deficient? Thanks again..please know that i will definitely give antibiotics if she needs it:)

    Reply
    • If I had a doe with a fever of 105 with stinky discharge after kidding, I would give her penicillin.

      There are a lot of poor quality minerals available that actually have very low levels of minerals in them. Some are much as 80% salt, so yes, it is totally possible to be deficient in minerals if your goat has a mineral available. Selenium gel is a great example of this. It has very little selenium in it. Cobalt blocks are actually 98% salt. Some goats do need copper boluses every three months — but some never need it. Here is more info on minerals, and it includes links to additional articles on individual minerals. You might also want to sign up for my free copper course, which includes 45 minutes of videos and lectures. This stuff can be complicated, depending upon the conditions on your farm.

      The main reasons for late -term abortion are trauma, infection, or mineral deficiency.

      Reply
  7. Thanks alot for your help. Thankfully, the doe hasnt had a fever for today. I had actually signed up and finished your copper course a couple of months ago..and it taught me alot :). Also, i think i sent you a photo in that course containing the label of my mineral, and you did say it seemed to be a good one ( it hardly has any salt, it is a concentrated mineral mix). I will try copper bolusing again, and see about giving her the penicillin.

    Reply
    • I wouldn’t give her copper unless she was showing obvious symptoms. It is possible that something else caused the abortion. Any chance she ate a poisonous plant? Not all infections that cause abortion cause a fever, such as chlamydia or toxoplasmosis. Do you have any young cats in your barn?

      Reply
  8. Actually yes..we have a number of cats who stay regularly and sleep in the shed. Is that a problem? Im not sure about poisonous plants, they have been indoors mostly as it is very rainy. The rain makes me think their might be something wrong with the hay, as i discarded some of it after getting a musty smell. Would she have shown any other signs if she had listeriosis from moulds?

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  9. Thanks alot..i just read the article. Will this keep happening as the cats often go to the bathroom in the pasture, though they never dirtied the barn. Do goats pick it up while grazing?

    Reply
    • The cats only get toxoplasmosis once, then they are immune for life, which is why it is mostly young cats that are a problem. Most of them get it fairly young. But yes, they could pick it up from grass if the cats pooped out in the pasture.

      Reply
  10. Oh dear, i guess i need to put chicken wire around the barn now. Thanks again for the info, i never knew this (still on my first year with goats!)

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  11. Actually my barn is a converted balcony extension, with a single large grille gate. Putting woven chicken wire on it will keep the cats out 🙂 (the doe is doing much better now,i wouldnt have known what to do without the advice on your part!) I hope i can gain enough experience with goats to help some other newbies in my area…they are such amazing animals

    Reply
    • I’m glad my info was helpful. If the goats will come in contact with the chicken wire, it won’t last. They will probably rub against, and it will fall apart in a few months and have holes in it. Welded wire will last longer thank chicken wire, but if the goats are rubbing on it, they will eventually break the welds.

      Unless you have a lot of kittens around regularly, toxoplasmosis should not be a problem. That’s one reason I suggest getting your cats spayed.

      Reply
  12. Hi, I was hoping you could give me some advice my goats udders are engorged (we don’t have any males)
    and I was reading about phantom pregnancy but she started hiding in her house yesterday which is abnormal for her. We did have an earthquake that was reported felt in our area and I’m not sure if maybe that’s why she’s hiding?
    Is it possible for a non pregnant goat to have mastitis? Thank you.

    Reply
    • It’s incredibly rare for a goat to have mastitis if she’s never been milked, but I hesitate to say anything is impossible. A goat with mastitis would have a hard, hot udder.

      It is not that uncommon for a doe to get a precocious udder if they’ve never been bred, and it may not be due to a false pregnancy. Precocious udders just happen. It’s not a big deal, and you can usually just ignore it unless it gets so huge that you’re concerned for her safety. You should NOT start milking unless you plan to continue doing so daily. Right now her teats have a plug in them that seal them off so that they don’t get an infection.

      Animals are much more sensitive than humans to things like earthquakes, so it is possible that the earthquake scared her, and as a prey animal, her instincts would tell her to hide.

      Reply
      • Hi, I was hoping you could give me some advice my goats udders are engorged (we don’t have any males)
        and I was reading about phantom pregnancy but she started hiding in her house yesterday which is abnormal for her. We did have an earthquake that was reported felt in our area and I’m not sure if maybe that’s why she’s hiding?
        Is it possible for a non pregnant goat to have mastitis? Thank you.

        Reply
  13. I have seven does — all appear to be going into six months pregnant utters developing- expecting kids any time – is six months normal- there can be no breeding date mistake my buck died in January it’s now the middle of July.

    Reply
    • Goats are only pregnant for five months — about 145-150 for Nigerian dwarf and pygmy or 145-155 for standard breeds. I am not seeing any way that your does could be pregnant if your buck died in January.

      Reply
      • thanks for the reply, but all seven appear to be pregnant developing bags and showing signs of pending birth. our buck died the first of Feb – i’ll get back to you with results pro or con- I’m just as confused as anyone– Just don’t make any sense at all- There’s no way another Buck could get into our herd and we’ve been here all the time . Big Mystery, we’re anxiously waiting and they all seem to be healthy , eating normal and active.

        Reply
        • Depending upon how curious you are, you might think about getting an ultrasound on one of them. That’s the only test that’s 100% accurate. False pregnancies will test positive on blood tests because they have the hormones. I can’t think of any reason why seven does would all be having a false pregnancy. Do let me know what happens!

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  14. I have a 9 year old female goat whom the vet diagnosed as a pseudopregnancy. He has given her several luteolytic shots and even milked her last time. However her udder refilled and is quite large again. I think he is at a loss as to what to do next. She doesn’t seem to be in any distress but I’m concerned her udder could get damaged since it is only a few inches from the ground. We’ve been dealing with this for about 9 months now. If we just let nature take its course will she eventually produce a cloudburst? Should I be concerned about her ? Any suggestions would be welcome thanks. Dave

    Reply
    • This does not sound like a false pregnancy. It just sounds like a precocious udder, which can just happen sometimes. Some people take advantage of that and milk the doe, but if you do, you’ll have to do it every day. You can do it once a day though. If her udder is very close to the ground, that might be the best option. Some will gradually decrease in production and you can just stop milking at some point. I have heard of some continuing to milk for years though. Since she is 9, I would not expect her to milk for very long.

      Reply
      • Thanks, the first vet that came out diagnosed her with a precocious udder also. So he gave her a shot to dry up her milk which didn’t seem to work. So I called out another vet and he thought it was a false pregnancy then treated her for that. This goat weighs about 140 lb and is very ornery so milking her would be quite challenging. After milking her the only time he thought she may have had mastitis and gave her an antibiotic shot. Can you suggest any other options? What would be the outcome if I didn’t milk her?

        Reply
        • If she’s had an engorged udder for 9 months, you’ve pretty much seen what’s what. No one can predict the future, but it will likely just continue the way it is until her body finally decides to dry up — assuming you leave the udder alone. Do not milk her again. Most do actually dry up after a few months, so it’s odd that her body is being so persistent. Giving a goat a shot of antibiotics for mastitis is worthless. You would give a series of intramammary infusions for mastitis, but I don’t think your goat has mastitis either, so please don’t do that. It doesn’t sound like the vets in your area have experience with milk goats. As long as she’s eating, drinking, walking around and acting like a goat, I wouldn’t worry about her. If she’s had this udder for 9 months and has not injured it yet, then she knows how to work around it. A precocious udder is not usually a big deal.

          Reply
  15. i have 2 nigerian dwarf goats and one of them has a “udder” look.
    they are both girls and are 1 and a 1/2 , and have not been bred yet.
    they come from good blood lines and are registered.
    can i milk her?
    i am going to milk her tonight, she has been like this for a week now.
    and is it ok to drink the milk?
    thanks
    anna

    Reply
    • You can drink the milk, but if you start milking her, you have to continue milking her every single day. You can’t just do it now and then, or she could wind up with mastitis. You need to think about whether you really want the commitment of daily milking.

      Reply
  16. My goat who has not had a kid in four years has suddenly started to produce milk. We do not have a buck so she cannot be pregnant my other two female goats seem to have got fatter also but no milk. We milked Elizabeth today (that is the goat with the milk) and she seemed so relieved . Is it ok to drink this milk?

    Reply
    • I’m not sure I’d drink the milk you got today, but after milking her for a couple of days, the milk should be fine. Sounds like she is just a precocious milker, which is not that unusual. Now that you have started to milk her, you need to continue at least once a day. If you decide to stop, then you need you stop — period. You can’t just decide to milk her once in awhile, as that could lead to mastitis, and her body would be confused about whether or not it’s supposed to continue making milk.

      Reply
  17. Hi my doe what with the buck on September 14 she have never gave milk but she started to give a little now and came back into heat on November 10. can you help me.

    Reply
    • If your doe came into heat, she is probably not pregnant. I don’t understand what you mean about her giving milk. Does do NOT normally start producing until they have given birth, and you should NOT be trying to milk them until they have given birth. If a doe gets a precocious udder, it has nothing to do with being pregnant.

      Reply
  18. Hi my doe what with the duck on September 14th I don’t know if she is pregnant but she came back into heat on November 10th. is she pregnant? she never give milk but she is given a little now.

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    • I have a 13 year old cashmere goat. Although she has never been bred, she has always looked pregnant with a very, very, wide distended stomach. In the last month her udder has become engorged. I milked her out and got about a quart of what looked like colostrum. My vet advised not to milk her. I assume this is hormonal? What is the proper treatment? What can cause it? Is there anyway to get a normal body condition? She has been distentended for many years.

      Reply
      • All of this sounds “normal,” and I agree with your vet. Some goats do get a precocious udder, which means they are making milk even though they have not been bred. I must say this is the oldest that I’ve ever heard of that happening, but that does not mean there is anything wrong with it. She just has not read the textbooks. 🙂 I talk about the goats the look pregnant in my post “Is my goat pregnant?” — again totally “normal” for some goats. It’s not that different from women who have lost their girlish figure. It just happens to some goats.

        Reply
    • If your goat came back into heat on Nov. 11, there is a 99% chance that she is not pregnant. I’m not sure why you thinks he is giving milk, but if she would NOT be producing milk if she were only two months pregnant, and you should NOT be milking her. Goats can get a precocious udder, even if they have never been bred. Here is more information about how to learn if you goat is pregnant —
      https://thriftyhomesteader.com/is-my-goat-pregnan/

      Reply
  19. Thanks for answering my question about my cashmere with a precocious udder. Perhaps the unique thing here is that she is old, (at least 13 years). I have two questions: 1) is there a treatment other than watch, wait and don’t milk? 2) is there any way to improve body condition, i.e. get back that girlish figure?

    Reply
  20. Hi there, you seem to know quite a lot about goats so I’m wondering if you can help me. I have a goat that has never had any kids and recently, I’ve noticed her udder is quite a bit larger than it used to be. She seems to be quite happy and her normal self. Her behaviour hasn’t changed, she is eating normally, etc. Should I be worried or is this normal? Should call a vet? I have taken a photo that I would really appreciate you having a look at and give me your opinion. Could you contact me by email so that I can send it to you? Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • If it is impossible for her to be pregnant, she has a precocious udder. It’s not a big deal. It varies from goat to goat in terms of whether it just goes away in a couple of months or whether it gets bigger and bigger until you feel like you need to milk her because she’s miserable. Keep in mind that if you ever do milk her, you will need to milk her daily. You can’t just milk her every few days. Milking her will encourage her body to continue to make milk, but again there are no guarantees in terms of how long she’ll produce milk, if you do milk her. I’ve heard some people say it only lasted a couple of months and others say it lasted for many years.

      Reply
  21. Hello, I’m looking for some information regarding the udder on my lamancha.
    She is almost 3 years old. She has always ( not as a young kid) had what appeared to be a small udder forming. It was an obvious little udder not hard ,but I would say firm. No milk dripping. I tried to breed her last year but she didn’t take. This season I bred her and she had a single healthy doe. The issue is she never developed an udder. She has large lamancha teats, but hardly any udder. The kid is nursing contentedly, and growing. I thought this was a precocious udder but reading these postings I’m not sure. Should I milk her after weaning? I haven’t because I thought whatever she had the kid would need. Thank you!

    Reply
    • If she had an udder before kidding, that was a precocious udder. Having an udder after kidding is normal, but one kid can’t consume that much milk, so under normal circumstances, you should definitely milk a doe that is nursing only one kid. Otherwise, you wind up with a huge kid and a doe with a low milk supply. You didn’t say how old the kid is, but that may be why her udder doesn’t seem very big to you. However, “large” is subjective, so I have no way of knowing if what you’re seeing is normal or not. If she has been unable to get pregnant until now, she could have some mineral deficiencies, especially since she only had a single kid, which is unusual for a 3-year-old doe. She really should have had twins.

      Unless the kid is underweight, you can milk the doe, even if the kid is still nursing. When a doe has twins or triplets, I don’t recommend milking regularly until the kids are at least 2 months old, but it’s a matter of supply and demand, so if you don’t milk when a doe has a single, the body doesn’t produce much because there isn’t much demand.

      Reply
  22. Thank you very much for your reply. I wasn’t very clear in presenting my concern.
    Her kid is 7 weeks old.
    I’m massaging her udder twice a day and hand milking her twice a day. I’m separating her kid at night and milking the doe in the am. I’m getting about 1 1/2 cups in the am. Only a few tablespoons at night of course the kid had been nursing all day , but I thought the milking in the evening might stimulate the udder.
    I agree before she was pregnant she might have had a precocious udder but it was probably the size of your two hands side by side cupped together. Firm, but not hard. Her udder now and after kidding is almost flat to her underside with large lamancha teats with a small area above the teats that holds some milk. She is a good sized gal with great conformation except for her udder. Would milking her by machine be a better alternative than by hand?
    I purchased her at 8 weeks. Now 3 years old as I said earlier. I called the breeder and she said she hadn’t seen that before, she sent pictures of her half sisters with magnificent udders.

    Reply
    • If you have no experience milking goats, it would not be unusual for you to not get much milk from her while you’re still learning. However, if you only started milking her recently, her supply had already gone down to meet the needs of a single kid, so she won’t make much milk for this lactation. So you could be dealing with a double whammy of low supply and inexperience milking. With a single kid, I always suggest starting to milk the day the kid is born because demand is very important for supply.

      You may also be dealing with mineral deficiencies, especially since she had a single kid. A 3-year-old lamancha should have had twins. Plus, infertility is frequently caused by mineral deficiencies. Here is more information on minerals:
      https://thriftyhomesteader.com/goat-minerals/

      Reply
  23. Hi I have a 3 year old Nubian from strong milk lines that developed a precocious udder. She has never been bred no male goats around. She isn’t huge and her udder is not hot or hard. I was wondering how long this could last and how to know when to test for mastitis? Also wondering if breeding her when she is better would help? Thank you

    Reply
    • I have heard of it lasting everywhere from a few weeks to many years. It totally depends on the goat. If you leave it alone, it should be fine. If you want to milk her, you need to keep milking her every day. You do NOT want to milk her at all unless you have plans to continue because right now there is a waxy plug in the teat that keeps out bacteria. If you milk her, you will dislodge that, and bacteria can then get in, so that’s why you would need to keep milking her regularly.

      I don’t understand your question about breeding making it better. If you breed her, she will definitely be lactating.

      Reply
  24. Hello I was wondering if it was possible my doe is having a false pregnancy? I had put her with a buck in about April and she seemed to gain weight and have an udder developing so I thought she was pregnant and removed the buck in July . But she hasn’t had any signs of labor she was acting like she was going to kid for like a week about a month or two ago. But now she’s just big and has some udder development but she acts pretty normal. I thought it may be a precocious udder because she’s a dairy goat and the breeding season is usually fall and when my buck was in with her it was spring . I also used a p test to test for pregnancy and she was negative . But I still don’t understand why she’s so big and her udder is developed a little ? Is there anything I should do if it is a false pregnancy? I was hoping to breed her about now but she doesn’t seem interested in the buck now?! Thanks for your time!

    Reply
    • Sounds like a textbook false pregnancy. Standard size dairy goats do not normally cycle out of season, so I’d be very surprised if she was indeed pregnant. There is nothing you need to do if a doe has a false pregnancy.

      Reply
  25. I am an ultrasound tech (on people) by trade. I acquired an old but high end ultrasound machine that my ob/gyn could no longer use. I ultra-sounded all 9 of my does predicting the correct number of babies (two does i could not tell if there was twins or triplets and they turned out to be triplets) anyhow i know what i am looking at on the ultrasound. but my one doe who has never been pregnant and is 1 showed signs of being pregnant. so i ultrasounded her.. i could not see the typical look of a pregnancy, no sign of a baby. i chalked it up to her being very hairy from her full winter coat (ultrasound can not see through significant hair- the more hair= decreased visualization) i also thought maybe i was not seeing well b/c the kid inside her was far enough along that it was covered in hair also making visualization not as good. and the fact taht she kicked me many times during the exam (most people dont do this..) But today i went out and she had pink tinted discharge, more than what I see right before labor but not nearly what i see after or during labor. her belly is now flat (she had had a large round belly) her utters are engorged as I would expect of an end of pregnancy or delivered goat. I had false pregnancy in my mind but just kept hoping i was wrong. this article may help confirm my suspicions. I also scoured my meadow for any sign of a stillborn baby with no success.

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    • This pretty much sounds like a textbook false pregnancy. The good news is that if you wanted milk, you got it.

      Reply
  26. Hi! I have a goat that looks pregnant and if she was pregnant, the buck that mated with her has been gone since February and it’s now end of October. There is no way that the pregnancy would last eight months and still not give birth to babies. Something went wrong in May and one of the goats attacked poor pregnant Hope in the belly. She started bleeding from the back, so I thought she may be having her babies. I sprayed her with iodine back there to make sure she won’t catch an infection, but she quit discharging after a day or two. I figured the babies were just not due yet and that she will have them when time comes, yet we are all still waiting. Hope is very healthy, loves to run around and play around here, loves to eat like any goat, so she is normal in every way, except for the apparent false pregnancy for many months now because she is very big around the middle, like ready to have babies. Come to think of it, there may be another false pregnancy in my herd. After all there hasn’t been a buck on the property for eight months now. I don’t know what to think. My does are healthy, but if the two I am telling you about are pregnant, when are the babies coming out? Or the water sac, if that is the case, as you say? They look normal and healthy, but big around the middle, like they will have babies. I have two goats that have birth at the end of May, so if the other two that haven’t given birth back when it would have been 5 months of pregnancy, now at 8 months, it’s definitely way past gestation, so I guess that makes it false pregnancies. Please help me understand what’s going on!

    Reply
    • You didn’t say anything about them developing an udder, so I am wondering if they have simply lost their girlish figure. Since a false pregnancy is caused by hormones, they develop an udder just as if they were pregnant. Here is more information about figuring out if your goat is pregnant —
      https://thriftyhomesteader.com/is-my-goat-pregnan/
      It includes pictures of a doe that has lost her girlish figure so you can see what I’m talking about.

      Reply

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