Goat Crying Diagnosis Case Study: Pasqualina
A few weeks ago, I noticed that Pasqualina wasn’t excited to get new hay (very odd), watched me intently as I moved around the garden, and would cry out whenever I was out of sight. All very odd behaviors for her. Normally fresh hay in the morning means “Whatever, maaaaa, see you later” and she buries her head in there. She’s also generally a quiet goat.
But because of the crying and not really eating her hay, I looked for signs of bloat. Her sides looked fine, but I massaged her neck just in case there was something caught in there. She burped and it gurgled (totally normal goat reactions). She was also taking pieces of a banana like nobody’s business, so she did seem to have an appetite — just not for hay. I had opened a new bale that morning, so I thought maybe she just didn’t like the hay for some reason, but Pinta didn’t seem to care and was still eating like normal.
So I was pretty sure it wasn’t bloat at this point because, well, she didn’t look bloated and didn’t really have any symptoms other than crying. But then I remembered something — the goats across the valley seem to be crying lately too. Hmm….
I mentioned something to P, and he clinched it for me. It seems our little Pasqualina was trying to hump her daughter a few days before that, and that, my friends, convinced me that she was in heat. Once I really looked, I did note she was a little swollen in the rear and was flicking her tail more than usual — and both of those also point to a doe being in heat.
So there you have it. If you have a doe that’s eight months old or older and it’s, say, October to January and you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, your crying goat just may be looking for a little love.
I’m happy to report the crying, general restlessness, and turning up nose at hay subsided after a few days — and so did the crying across the valley, no coincidence, I’m sure.
What other signs of does in heat have you noticed?
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