ANZ's Farms

Sunday, December 27, 2009

We're Expecting for Sure! (Part 1)

I am as eager as any expectant grandmother can be. Little One, pictured here, is due January 1. Never having been through a doe's pregnancy before, I am learning alot as we go. First of all, what are the signs of a successful breeding? The books say the only sure sign is that a doe does not come into heat again. This requires recognizing her estrous cycle, which I cannot claim to have mastered. As far as I can tell, she has not been in heat since July. Another way is to feel the kids moving, on her right side. Nope, haven't felt a thing when she would let me probe. Gestation is 150 days, so I have been hoping we would have kids on the ground early in the new year ... but I haven't really been sure. Now I can add another sign of successful breeding, not listed in books: a doe who has never freshened drips milk. Over the last week, I have noticed droplets of milk under where she stands while eating. Woo-Hoo, now I'm sure kid(s) are on the way. There is only one thing that would cause her to produce milk!
Next, what are signs of impending birth? The books give several clues -- toward the end of the pregnancy, as the baby(s) move into position, you can no longer feel the kids on the right side (assuming you felt them in the first place), her flanks become hollow and her tail doesn't lie down. As shown in the picture above, her flanks are hollow and her tail is up more than usual. It is only a matter of hours when her rump slope is horizontal, mucous develops and she becomes nervous.

PS -- I'm sure this one is pregnant! Look at that belly.  Bless her heart ... she isn't due until February 16th! My guess is we're expecting quadruplets, which is not unusal for Nigerian Dwarfs.

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