The Other Sides of Goat
Goats are members of a diverse group of mammals called Ungulates, they might not seem like the cuddliest animals and even though researchers have found evidence that goats are clever animals and are capable of building relationships with humans, today we want to look at the other sides of goats you’re not aware of.
Most goat hermaphrodites are male pseudohermaphrodites because they have testes. True hermaphrodites have both testes and ovaries. These are much rarer in goats. Goat male pseudohermaphrodites are genetically female. When they are born, they appear female on the outside. But when they hit puberty, they grow larger than the other females in the herd and may act aggressively toward other goats (and people!) during the breeding season. Testes are usually located in the abdomen, although sometimes they can be partly descended and confused for an udder.
Even though the testes in these animals produce testosterone, which causes masculine behavior, they are unable to produce sperm and are therefore sterile.
Dairy goats can have false pregnancies relatively frequently. This condition is sometimes referred to as cloudburst. Due to hormonal imbalances, a doe can look, feel, and act pregnant. Her abdomen will enlarge and she will even produce milk. However, when it comes time to give birth, only cloudy discharge is produced.
This condition is treated by injecting the goat with a hormonal injection called prostaglandin.
The precocious udder is udder development in non-pregnant female goats. There are a few different causes for this condition. The most common cause is directly hormonally related, either because of prolonged exposure to progesterone due to the ovary’s inability to release an egg or because we have a case of intersex. Other times, it is due to the consumption of feeds that have a high estrogen concentration, such as moldy corn or clover.
Although tempting, these udders should not be milked because milking can perpetuate the issue. Sometimes the udder dries up on its own, but usually, we have to interfere by administering exogenous hormones.
When the cervix fails to dilate properly at birth, this is called ringwomb. More common in sheep than goats, this problem is heritable and can be frustrating for farmers to deal with it since it requires a C – section to deliver the babies.
Male goats in some heavy milk-producing breeds can develop their own udders, some even functional Most likely a hormonal issue linked with genetics, reducing the amount of protein fed can sometimes control male lactation, but sometimes it is disruptive enough that a mastectomy needs to be performed.
Are you familiar with any of these conditions listed above? Are there others you are aware of and not listed above? Tell us below in the comment section.