Is She or Isn’t She

I’ve never worried so much about whether a goat was pregnant, and I definitely never bothered with a goat pregnancy test before. But, things are different now. If Snowflake isn’t pregnant, I won’t be able to breed her until September (due to the fact that goats only go into heat between September and February) and I won’t get milk or gorgeous kids until January or February of 2011. I don’t think I can wait that long for milk and baby goats. Also, if Snowflake isn’t pregnant, I’ll have to go out and buy a new goat to keep her company and she, being sort of a persnickety goat, might not like the companion I choose for her. She’ll be happiest if she has kids in June and gets to keep one for company. So, I have to hope for two things — kids in June and at least one doeling.

To do a pregnancy test on a goat, you need a blood sample. Technically, you can draw blood yourself from a goat and there’s even a youtube video of a nine year old girl drawing blood. But, I’d hate to poke Snowflake in a major artery in some wrong way, so I loaded her up into the station wagon today and took her down to Dr. Young’s, Rainier Beach Veterinary Clinic. He drew blood (and she didn’t even seem to notice) and then I drove the blood to the post office to send the sample to Biotracking, a lab in Utah. Sadly, BioTracking, the goat pregnancy testing company, only runs the pregnancy tests on Wednesdays and don’t give results until Fridays. This means that I have to wait until Friday, March 19th to get the results. BioTracking can also test to see if your bison or elk is pregnant for only $7.00.

A woman who I met in the waiting room of Dr. Young’s said she hoped things went well for me and then asked if I was hoping for a positive or a negative. That was sort of funny, the idea that I might be worrying that Snowflake accidentally got pregnant. Oh no, my goat is pregnant — she’ll never be able to go to college now and her future is hopeless. Anyway, a college education for Snowflake is something I don’t have to worry about, which is good. Phew.

There were a few kids (the human kind) in the veterinary waiting room. They were amazed to see a goat and wanted to touch her. One kid said, “Look, a billy goat!” I couldn’t let that go. I explained that Snowflake is a doe and that the terms “nanny goat” and “billy goat” are out of date, having been replaced by “doe” and “buck.” The kid seemed really nice, so I restrained myself from telling him that “nanny” and “billy” are considered derogatory in this modern age. Sometimes, I manage to rein myself in.

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