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Goat Heat Cycle: Is My Goat in Heat?

Your goats will go into heat every year and it is helpful to know the signs of heat so you can know when to put your buck in with your does. So, what does the goat heat cycle look like?  This post helps to round out my raising goats resource page

If you want delicious goat milk to give you incredibly good health, then you must endure the kidding process, and love on some cute kids before you get your milk.

But it all begins with a “date”. 

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But how do you know if your goat is ready for a date?

Goat heat cycle, 10 signs your goat is in heat

Watch the video below ↓ or read the rest of the post below!

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Well, here are a few signs that you can look for that will tell you if your goat is in heat. 

All goats are individuals and may display all of them or a few or some more prominently than the others. It’s so important to know each of your goats as much as possible to know what is normal and what isn’t.

And it’s always good to record this information in a health and information binder like this one. Then from year to year, you can look back on your notes from the last year and see each individual goat’s records.

Goat Essential ↓

1. The TAIL-WAG

When your doe is in heat, she will begin to “wag” her tail back and forth. But if she isn’t in “standing heat”, she may not let the buck breed her even if her tail is wagging. 

Goat wagging tail in heat

→Further Reading: Your Complete Goat Mineral Guide

2. Does will become more TALKATIVE

Some breeds, like Nubians, tend to be more talkative than other breeds and some goats are just naturally more talkative than others. But you may find that your does increase their vocals when they are in heat. 

→ Further Reading: Goat Gestation Calculator

3. INTERESTED in the Buck (or a buck rag) 

When your doe is in heat they will show interest in the buck and will want to “cuddle” and rub up on the buck.

Even if you don’t have a buck on the property, the doe may respond to a “buck rag”. You can rub a rag on the nastiness (forehead) of a buck and put it in a zip lock bag or Tupperware and bring it back to the doe to see if she responds. She will respond with excitement. 

Goats "flirting" in heat

→ Further Reading: The (#1) Way to Prevent Pregnancy Toxemia in Goats

4. Does will have VAGINAL DISCHARGE

A doe in heat will also have vaginal discharge. This will be a clear, gel-like substance. Her vulva may also become red, swollen, and wet.

A goat in heat will have discharge. It is one of the signs that they are in heat.

→ Further Reading: How Your Water Source is Affecting Your Goats

5. Bucks will act BUCKY

Oh, boys. The bucks will stink and start to blubber. They pee on their heads and anywhere else they can reach to give their ladies a fine aroma. And they will waggle their tongue in a true, good ol’ fashioned blubber. 

My buck Corin flapping his lips in rut

→ Further Reading: Hay Cost Calculator

6. Tails will be “goopy” from discharge and semen

If you don’t notice vaginal discharge, you may notice that her tail is goopy and the hairs stick together in clumps from the discharge and semen. 

A goat in heat will have discharge and their tails will be wet, gooey and "clumpy"

→ Further Reading: The CDT Vaccination: Is it Necessary or Not?

7. Does will URINATE more often

The does will actually urinate more often which will give the bucks something to put their noses in. The bucks are actually smelling for the chemicals (pheromones) in the does urine that will tell them if the doe is in heat. And then they will lift their top lip in…pleasure?

My buck shadow "laughing"

→ Further Reading: Goat Resource Page

8. The DANCE begins and the doe will stand for the buck to be bred

The doe and buck will “dance” around and then when the doe is in “standing heat” she will stand for the buck and allow him to breed her. 

Goat's "dancing" in heat and breeding

→ Further Reading: What I Wish I Had Known Before Owning Goats

9. MILK PRODUCTION may drop

When your goat is in heat, her milk production may drop. She may not want to go to the milk stand and may not be as interested in eating. 

Milking a goat

→ Further Reading: How to Milk a Goat

10. Does may have a PERSONALITY CHANGE

Do you have a doe that is shy and standoffish? She may become brash and fight more with the other goats. Or maybe the top lady-dog of the herd will allow the other goats to push her around more. 

→Further Reading: Ketosis in Goats: How it Affects Goat Pregnancy

11. Does will go back into heat, on average, every 21 DAYS

Your does will go into heat every 18-24 days, but the average is 21 days. Again, keeping track of this information in the goat health and information binder will help you from year to year. Their heat cycle, or estrus, will last 2-3 days. The peak of estrus is when the goat is in standing heat and will allow the buck to breed her. 

→ Further Reading: Goat Weight Calculator

Seasonal Breeding Goats

These breeds of goats will go into heat seasonally, or once every year, usually in the fall months. 

  1. Alpine 
  2. Lamancha
  3. Oberhasli
  4. Saanen
  5. Toggenburg
  6. Angoras
  7. Nubians (some may go into heat for longer periods of time but my Nubians definitely go into heat in the fall months.)

Goats that Breed Year Around 

These goats will usually breed year around.

  1. Fainting Goats
  2. Kinder 
  3. Boer
  4. Kiko
  5. Nigerian Dwarf
  6. Spanish
  7. Pygmy

These signs will give you all you need to know as you head out to the goat barn to check to see if your goats are in heat. Just remember to plug your nose when you stand next to your precious, stinky buck.

Don’t forget to get complete control over your goat herd records with this goat health and information binder. 

For further reading:

10 Heat Signs

Reproduction and Sexual Maturity

Heat Detection

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