Any Farmers or Veterinarians in The House? A Goat Health Question

Last night Mrs. HeyHomie and were at the Illinois State Fair. We went into a little petting zoo area and petted some goats and lambs and whatnot. Yay.

Amongst the goats of all shapes and sizes was a big female whose udder looked huge, porportional to the rest of her. It looked like the poor nanny’s (is that the word for a female goat) teats were going to explode if a kid didn’t suck at them pretty soon. However, she didn’t look to be in any obvious discomfort, and she wasn’t bleating or anything. There were some smaller goats in the pen (presumably kids) who took no interest in her.

So anyway, are nanny’s udders generally really big? This one seemed to have two teats, and each one was shaped sort-of like an upside down beer bottle (thick at the top, tapering off to a narrow end at the bottom). And FTR, the only person in the pen who looked even remotely responsible for the animals was a little Mexican guy (insert your own joke about “chupacabras” here) whose only job appeared to be making sure none of the beasts escaped.

And apropos of nothing, when I win the lottery and buy my house out in the country, I’m going to have a bunch of goats. They seem to be rather low-maintenance and affectionate, like cats, so maybe they’ll be good pets. Of course, I’ve also heard that they’re foul-tempered and territorial, like, uh, cats. So maybe not.

Goats are purpose bred either for meat or milk (in general). Those breeds that are bred specifically to produce milk have undergone generation after generation of selective breeding to increase production, hence huge udders.

Usually the udder on a goat that has been milked (or is dry) is a little bit “deflated,” but this is not always the case. Deb had a doe (the American Dairy Goat Association uses the terms doe and buck rather than nanny and billy) that used to continue to look as though she was about to explode even after being milked dry.