We found out some more news regarding our little intersexed goe doe, MaryMan, a few days ago. Lee Ann the Vet of Awesome let me know that she will probably make a good “teaser” – meaning, she’s going to be a great indicator of who in our herd is in heat. (And yes, if you are giggling and wondering, “What, is she gonna start bumping and grinding on the other girls?” The answer is, probably.)
See, if we had a buck in our herd, he’d be doing that job, but we’ve opted not to have a male, due to the need for separate housing, and the fact that once you’ve bred to that buck, you need to think about getting another the next year so that you don’t create an inbreeding situation. We’re going to be getting some lessons in AI (Artificial Insemination) for goats soon, and we plan to use that method for breeding our girls. One of the biggest hurdles is knowing when your does are…receptive…and so MaryMan will likely help us to discern just that.
I took some photos of MaryMan’s dorsal hair the other day, so that you can see a comparison between hers and one of our other does, Heidi. I thought this could be useful for any other folks who might be hunting for information on the sort of traits to look for in a suspected intersexed doe.
She’s such a funny little goat – I just laugh when I imagine what’s in store – that tiny little goat with the baby voice getting wound up. Oh boy. I suspect there are going to be some YouTube moments in store in the very near future. Rest assured, I will share those with you.
Compare her dorsal hair to Heidi’s, and you can see the contrast between the two – the differences are clear.
Heidi’s will stand up, but it’s not as long and distinct as MaryMan’s – it blends more smoothly into her back. These two closeup photos should help clarify the difference between the two. As always, you can click on the photos to embiggen them for a closer look.
MaryMan’s dorsal hair never fails to make me think of my fourth grade teacher, Mr. Brinley, who had one of the worst toupées that I’ve ever seen in my life. He was a strange one – hated children, but taught in an elementary school. He was simply awful to us, so I hope you’ll understand how vindicating it felt when my classmate Chris Kulik happened to (accidentally) lift that rug off of his head with a yardstick. Ah, memories….
But I digress. Back to the matter at hand.
You can really see the difference while they are play-fighting – I caught this on video the other day. Please disregard my asthmatic breathing, and the poor girls coughing. They’re on antibiotics now, so hopefully they’ll be cleared up in a few days.
They are really amusing to watch when they play, but sometimes they really butt heads so hard that the sound makes our heads hurt!
We’re looking forward to seeing how this breeding season progresses – we are total newbs, but thankfully, we have a great mentor in Lee Ann. I just registered with the American Dairy Goat Association this morning – we are going to be “breeding up,” meaning that we will eventually work the genetics in our herd to have what are called “American [insert breed here].” Not the same as purebreds, but it is recognized by the ADGA. I’m going to focus on Oberhasli (formerly known as Swiss Alpine, until being changed in 1987) and LaMancha as our two breeds.
What breeds do you have in your herds? Have you used AI? If so, what are your thoughts on it? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!