Pregnant or Precocious?

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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?

Happy Easter!

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April 23rd, 2011|

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6 Comments

  1. cyn April 24, 2011 at 7:36 am - Reply

    my spring plans keep sinking in the mud..and are not nearly as exciting as having a goat mystery…happy easter

  2. rainbow April 24, 2011 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    oh my goodness, that was quite the storm wasnt it! jeezy, thats a bummer about the toilet though, and the shower- another thing to fix as always. I love this, its such a great way to keep in tune with whats going on at home and everything. I also like the title “Pregnant or Precocious”, cute, I hope their well though. Sending all my love from Santa Ynez CA, I’ll be home soon 🙂 oh and happy easter to everyone!!

    Love you guys <3

  3. Robyn April 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    No experience with precocious goats just a precocious dog – who even lactated.

    The good news is the weather forcast is nice for the next 5 days. Of course no one was calling for the snow we woke up to yesterday.

  4. laura April 24, 2011 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    You have so many more plants growing in the ground than we do! So jealous…there are barely any signs of spring here. Not even preggers goats. sigh…

  5. laura April 24, 2011 at 11:26 pm - Reply

    Thats so weird that it has my picture from when I was a blogger on another site. The internet is a scary place.

  6. Meadow April 28, 2011 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Cyn- our spring plans are all in the mud too, it is very soggy here especially with these big rains we’ve had!
    Rainbow- Yes the toilet no longer has a roof and it is a bit sad but an easy fix, my goats are well, happy to be grazing in a new pasture.
    Robyn-We got some snow too, it was a bit surprising, but then it’s been so warm here for the last two days and now it’s just raining loads.
    Laura- Spring will come and when it does you’ve got some handy double dug garden beds to use! I think one of them has rye planted on it, you’ll have to ask josh for the logistics, and yes the internet is a scary place.

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