Breeding Teaser

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.

Notice how long her dorsal hair is – it’s like a bad comb-over.

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.

A closer look at MaryMan’s dorsal hair

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.

Heidi’s Dorsal Hair

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!

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2 responses to “Breeding Teaser”

  1. Becky Avatar

    I just got some goats and am trying to find out more about AI for them in the future. I also live in Michigan (North of Grand Rapids). Is there someone in Michigan who provides this type of service? I can’t see getting a cryo unit for something I will use only once or twice a year. Maybe once you get your setup you can offer some type of service to us other small herd keepers. It seems like there are others looking for the same thing and having a hard time finding it.

    1. Trase Avatar

      Hi there! Congrats on your new goats. 🙂 To my knowledge, there aren’t any services out there, but you might inquire within the Michigan Dairy Goat Society ( or the American Dairy Goat Association ( to see if perhaps there are members within their directory who might fit the bill?

      We don’t have our own equipment yet, and we still haven’t had the opportunity to take the AI classes – it’s still on the agenda! So I don’t feel qualified to provide the service myself at this point.

      Are you aware of the ADGA convention happening in Grand Rapids in October? It’s going to be a great opportunity – it’s an annual national convention that is being held in Michigan this year (recent years conventions have been in NY and AZ, so quite a travel distance) so you might want to consider attending! I don’t think registration is open quite yet, but you can watch for information on that here: and here:

      Maybe we will have the opportunity to meet there! 🙂

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