Dry Does - Goat Breeding

18 September, 2015rodster385Comments (0)

Does in late pregnancy should be allowed a 40- to 60-day dry period to regain condition lost during lactation, to allow the mammary glands to rest, and to prepare the doe for kidding as well as the next lactation. Does bred at 70 to 110 days should be examined for pregnancy before drying off. At drying off, all udders should be treated with dry-cow mastitis antibiotics. This treatment is very important, because many udder infections begin during the first several weeks of the dry period. Teats should be dipped for at least five days after drying off.

The dry period is an ideal time to deworm the goats. Internal parasites increase activity during late pregnancy and can be eliminated if the does are dewormed during the dry period. Goats should be dewormed at breeding and two weeks before kidding; goats should also be examined for such external parasites as lice and treated if any are found.

Late pregnancy is the recommended time to give the yearly vaccination boosters that are used in the herd. The vaccine will both protect the doe and ensure high levels of antibodies in the colostrum, which will subsequently protect the newborn kid. I recommend at least a five-way Clostridium vaccine (C. perfringens types C and D, C. chauvoei,, C. novye, C. septicum, and C. sordellii) along with a tetanus booster three weeks before kidding.

The doe must be kept in proper body condition (i.e., not too fat or too thin). Over-conditioning predisposes pregnant does to such metabolic problems as pregnancy toxemia. This disorder is often fatal to both the doe and the unborn kid.