Pregnant or Precocious?April 23, 2011
So spring is still being cruel. Snow this morning and frost for the last three nights. We had an insane wind storm that blew the top of our composting toilet,
…scattered all the plastic in the garden
….and lifted our solar shower over the goat fence and into their pen. It was one hell of a storm.
But besides all the crazy weather that refuses to warm up we have some excitement to keep our hopes up for the warmer months to come. For awhile now I’ve wondered why my goat Esther was so much rounder than Isla.
They both seemed to eat the same amount of food and do the same amount of exercise but Esther just seemed so much bigger. I’ve been handling my goats since we got them, rubbing their stomachs and sides and getting them used to the idea of having someone milk them. Esther was always harder to handle than Isla but recently she’s gotten much friendlier. So as I was going about my routine I found that her teats were no longer just little nubs sticking out of her belly, they were thumb sized and hanging from an udder that filled my hand.
Not wanting to give into wishful thinking I did some research into the possibilities of udder development in a non-pregnant goat. Turns out it is possible. The term used is a “precocious” udder. It is common among goats especially ones that come from strong milking lines, which would apply to Esther. Usually a goat that has a precocious udder will be a very good milker giving over a gallon of milk a day. However there is no way for me to tell if she is indeed pregnant or precocious. I’ve poked around her belly, much to her disgruntlement, and can’t find anything to determine the verdict one way or the other. We will just have to wait and see. If she is pregnant than she would be somewhere around her 15th week which means in another month or so we should no wether or not we will have a baby or just a good milking goat!
Market starts in two weeks, so far our radishes are about….oh half an inch tall and they are in the lead. Our peas are also poking through the ground we planted some on top of our hugel beets and then the rest along the outside of the goat/chicken pen. Our chickens kept trying to peck the pea seeds through the wire mesh but we were able to placate them with grubs and other goodies found in the dirt. Our onions have been planted, we seem to have over seeded and now are waiting for the ground to dry up a little more so we can build some more beds.
Does anyone out there have any experience with precocious goats or pregnant ones? What is coming up in your gardens? How has this crazy weather been effecting you and your spring plans?