Vitamin A



Signs of vitamin A deficiency include poor appetite, weight loss, unthrifty appearance with a poor hair coat, night blindness and a thick nasal discharge. Vitamin A deficiency also makes the animal more susceptible to respiratory, diarrhea and parasitic problems. It may also lead to reproductive inefficiency and urinary problems.

Control: Control includes 2,000 kg International Units per day for a …

Vitamin E



Vitamin E deficiency causes nutritional muscular dystrophy,or white muscle disease. This usually occurs when feeding silage or old hay. Signs include weak kids, respiratory problems, reproductive inefficiency and off-flavor in milk. As a fat soluble vitamin accumulation in the body may occur, prior to supplementation a deficiency should be documented to avoid toxicity. Additional information about Vitamin E can be found …

Goat Reproduction Selection Genetic Animal Evaluation EPDs


Although genetic-evaluation programs are new to the goat industry, producers have used information from these types of programs for many years to make genetic improvements. Most genetic-evaluation programs are managed by breed associations and are used to compare registered animals within the breed. Breeders collect individual animal performance measures and submit it to the breed association managing the program. Then, the information submitted for an animal and all of its relatives can be used to predict future offspring performance. …

Goat Reproduction Selection Breeding and Performance Records

Breeding and Performance Records

Keeping records can provide valuable information about how the animal has performed over its productive life. Keeping records can help producers meet their performance goals and make sound selection decisions. Visual appraisal does not always indicate how the animal will perform or how its offspring will turn out. Basic records should include the following:

  • Animal ID
  • Birth date
  • Birth weight
  • Sire
  • Dam
  • Sex of offspring
  • Number born
  • Birthing difficulties
  • Frequency or number of kiddings
  • Number weaned

Goat Reproduction Selection


Selecting goats for breeding is important. The producer must identify the most desirable traits that their breeding stock will pass on to their offspring. Focus on the few really important traits as this will speed up change in each one.  There are different methods and tools for selecting animals. These should be combined so that the producer is not just going by visual appraisal (what the animal looks like), but also takes into account genetic capabilities as well.  Although …

Goat Reproduction Selection Visual Appraisal


Doe udder.

A replacement doe should exhibit a feminine head and a feminine wedge appearance to the body with a long elegant  neck for a dairy doe (medium in length for the meat doe)  that blends smoothly into a wide shoulder and back. The doe should project good spring of rib and depth of body, which is a good indicator of volume. There should be adequate muscling in the rear leg without losing femininity. The body should have volume …

Goat Reproductive Failure Psychological Factors

Psychological Factors

Any form of STRESS may result in a psychological and physiological causes of reproductive failure. Examples of stressful conditions include but are not limited to:
  • Natural mating (fighting, chasing) or artificial insemination (nervous female)
  • Isolation
  • Transportation
  • Heat/cold stress (can impact sex drive)
  • Trauma/injury
  • Semen collection (discomfort can reduce sex drive)

Regardless of the source of the stress, if an animal is under stress at a critical time, stress hormones including adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol can reduce reproductive …

Goat Reproduction Preparing for the Breeding Season

Below are some suggested management practices:

Doe Management

1.) Provide additional feed to does and ewes one to two months prior to the breeding season. Supplement the females with 0.5 pound of concentrate or grain per head, per day to improve body condition and ovulation rates. For more information: Note: Using a body condition score scale of 1-9 with 1 being emaciated and 9 being obese, if the doe body condition score (BCS) is above 5 or the …

Reproductive Biology Goat Reproductive Physiology

Goat Reproductive Physiology

Female with newborn kids.

Due to the temperature conditions in the United States, most goats are seasonal breeders, with more active breeding happening during the seasons with shorter day lengths and a period of little to no breeding during long day lengths. In females, reproduction is controlled by the estrous cycle. This represents the time from one standing heat (estrus) to the next. This cycle is usually 21 days, with the actual time for standing heat being …

Goat Reproductive Failure Physiological Factors

Physiological Factors

Boer Doe.

Reproductive failure can result when hormones are not produced in the correct amount or in the right pattern or if no egg is produced and released from the ovary. Ovaries can become cystic (both follicular and luteal, so either before or after ovulation). In does with follicular cysts, which are rare, the follicle with the egg grows but there is failure of ovulation, or release of the egg. This type of cyst usually results in females …