Goats/goat in heat?


QUESTION: Hi again,

I hope I am not bugging you! I have a question about another goat, Phoebe. She is a year and a half old Nubian and just started her first heat cycle about 2 days ago. She's been fine - was yelling a lot the first day, had the gooey discharge, was eating fine - until this morning. Now she seems depressed and doesn't want to eat any hay. She did eat grain (not enthusiastically), some pine boughs, raisins, and even straw I put down this morning, but she is still acting depressed and wants no hay. By "depressed", I mean she is just standing around, staring and remaining very quiet and detached from the others. I took her temperature - normal. She does get VERY excited when she sees the raisin container, which is normal for her, but otherwise she is just not herself.

Her lower eyelids look fine, she is pooping/peeing fine, and while I haven't seen her drink water this morning, that doesn't mean she isn't, so I don't know about that, other than to say her vital signs are good.

Is this normal behavior for a first heat cycle, even though she is at the end of it?

Thanks so much.


ANSWER: Not bugging me at all.  Always like to help if I can.  Every goat is different in how they react to being in heat.  The yelling a lot is normal.  The gooey discharge is normal.  But generally they do not stop eating, especially their favorite foods.  When you say her temp was normal, what was the measurement?  If over 102.5 that would be a fever.  If under 100 that is low.  Did she eat more than her share yesterday?  Did she eat any different food yesterday? Any mushrooms in her pen/pasture? Let me know and I will get back to you - Donna

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for writing back.

She hasn't stopped eating her favorite foods - only hay.

Her temp was right at 100.

As far as I know, she ate normally yesterday, and nothing different. No mushrooms - they haven't been out of their pen to be in pasture for a while now - we got lots of snow and they aren't so crazy about being out in it.

So no, nothing different...

ANSWER: Thanks for the update.  It is possible that her heat cycle makes her feel a bit depressed.  But I would still watch her to be sure she starts to eat her hay, and that she is continuing to pee and poop and drink water.  Let me know - Donna

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I just went all over her and discovered that she has VERY chapped little teats; they are kind of white'ish and are crusty at the base of each. They are also painful to her - I got some chlorehexidine (sp?) ointment and put it on her, after I cleaned her off with udder wash, and she went HAYWIRE - I had her in the milkstand, and she actually got it unlatched and tried to jump through the stanchion.

After further investigation, I discovered that there was some crusty white flaky stuff stuck below her butt, kind of trailing below where she pees and continuing down to where her legs split. That area didn't seem painful to her, though. I scraped it off and didn't see any raw skin.

To be on the safe side, I gave her a shot of penicillin and a shot of Banamine, since she is clearly hurting.

As soon as the ordeal was over, she jumped down and started chewing cud - the first I have seen her do this today.

Suggestions?? Thank you!

Thanks for the update.  Re the teats - they could just be dry and also sore from her heat cycle.  Re the chlorhexidine - I would stay away from things such as this around her more tender parts - it stings - could use either human first aid ointment or livestock wound ointment.  Re the "white flaky" item on her rear, that is most likely from the drips of "goo" that you saw earlier that has dried - that happens during heat cycles - usually we don't see it because they have rubbed it off by the time we look.  Glad you started her on the penicilli as a precaution - anytime you give an antibiotic you must also give probiotics to keep the rumen alive as the antibiotics kill the good and the bad bacteria.  Banamine is fine.  It is also possible she has an infection of the cervix or vaginal area or even intrauterine but that would be unusual if she has not been to a buck recently.  Hope this helps - let me know - Donna


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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres


All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.


27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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