As posted in the 'Welcome' area of the forum, I have a couple little Nubian doelings that I hope one day to milk. I am considering options now for breeding and welcome any helpful advice.
I understand that it would be possible to breed them this fall, provided they've reached 2/3 of their adult weight, or about 80 lbs, but I was wondering about the opinions of the many members of TGS. I was hoping for breeding in late November, though I know this rests entirely on the estrus cycle, and the doelings will be 8 1/2 months old or so. Is that too soon? I've also heard some recommend waiting until they're a year old, but then I wouldn't have any milk next spring, as I'd have to wait for them to come into estrus again in the fall if I'm not mistaken.
Also, I have fallen in love with a baby buckling, whom I call Bumps. His picture is posted in the 'Welcome' thread I wrote. I have read that young males are able to impregnate does at a very young age. How soon would I have to keep him separate from my girls if I wished to control the breeding date? What if I wasn't so picky about the date, would I just leave him in with the girls? Would it be possible that he may impregnate them too soon or before they're ready? Or is he just too young this year?
I also wondered, would this buckling be able to impregnate my goats at 5 1/2 months of age, and then be castrated? I read in one thread that someones vet recommends 6 months for castration, and I'm assuming this means surgically. I am in need of a buck for the fall, and while he's a beautiful nubian male from a herd of milkers, I don't really want to have to set up separate winter housing for him. Plus, I'd probably want a different buck next year to breed with this ones offspring anyways, right?
Well, sounds like you've done your research! LOL I think you pretty much answered all of your own questions.
I would agree that breeding at 8 1/2 months old so you have milk next spring would be fine (as long as the girls are big enough as you mentioned.)
A buckling should be able to get the job done by 6 months old no problem...now here's the catch. I'm used to raising myotonics and they start breeding at 7-8 weeks of age and year round...soooooooo.... you may want to wait for someone who raises Nubians to confirm that one.
As far as breeding him then castrating so he doesn't have to be seperate from the girls once they're bred I concur...great idea, You should be able to do it yourself by the banding method or crimping the cords though....you shouldn't need a vet unless you just aren't comfortable doing it yourself.
One thing I'd add is... I would keep the buckling seperate UNTIL a doe comes into heat and you are ready to breed that day. This way you will have a better idea of when to expect babies....especially since it will be the does first kidding. That way you can plan to be there in case she needs assistance.
Do I need to keep him separate right away? He'll only be about 2-3 weeks old when i go get him, and I will have to bottle feed him until weaning. I would like him to socialize with the girls and get to know them before being separated, but would this cause unneccessary stress on them all? If I separate him by the time hes 6-7 weeks old, and then only let him back in when the girls are ready to breed? Or should I keep him separate from day 1? Won't he be lonely all by himself? Should he be kept within sight of the girls? Will they use their great noisy nubian skills to call to each other constantly? If once they're both pregnant and I castrate him, could he stay with them all winter thru their pregnancy and kidding? Will waiting to castrate him until 6 months make him stinky? Will the stinky-ness go away following the procedure?
Can you really still band them at 6 months? I thought for sure it would have to be a surgical procedure by then... seems banding would be a horrible procedure after they were fully developed, causing much pain, which is something I wouldn't like to do. I imagined it being like a dog, although I'm sure that's a far more expensive procedure to have a vet do than watch the little guy squirm for an hour or however long it takes for the area to go numb after you band it..
You need to separate him by about 10 weeks old. And personally at six months old I wouldn't band him or use a burdizzo on him, it would be a lot better for the vet to do it surgically. And it is late enough in the year that flies won't be a problem. You also might be able to sell him to someone who is looking for a young buck.
I always breed my does by waiting until they are in season and then taking them to the buck, they get about a half hour together, and then I know exactly when they are due to kid.
Your girl are probably going to be old enough, but you might want to wait until December. They are going to be in season more or less every 21 days, and a birth in May in Canada won't be blistering hot. I have some early March doe kids and I am waiting until then to see if I am going to breed them or not.
I have two Saanen does, one is a 2 year old and freshened last year as a yearling. The other one was about 10 months old when I bred the older one in Jan. I was hoping that she would not get bred when the buck was here as I wanted to let her grow more. She was of weight, but I still wanted to wait. It was my personal choice. The younger ones full sister, who was much smaller than my girl, they were triplets, was bred in Nov last year..8 mos old...and had a single in April. She did fine. So it is up to you. I bred in Jan and had June babies. You may be able to wait that long for Nubians, I don't know. The buck was a Nubian and still in rut, so that should tell you that a Jan breeding is possible for Nubian does.
I would definitely have a surgical castration done at 6 mos. of age. Less trama for both of you! Or see if you can sell him as a buckling if he is breeding material. You could always advertise him as a buck and explain that he will not be leaving until he breeds your girls. I also agree with Jan..either hand breed or wait until the girls are in season and watch for a breeding. I would want to know the due date on any FF I had. What are your plans for the babies? If you are going to sell them, etc, then you could keep this buck to breed just the milk goats you have now. That is my plan. When I am ready for a buck, he will only be breeding my milkers...the babies will either be sold, given away or butcherd.
Can you get him a friend? Another whether to keep him comapany. If you are always going to have a buck then they will need a friend anyway.
Try to find a vet who knows how to do Calicrate banding. It is the easiest on an older buck and they don't get sore from it at all. If you must do surgical castration keep that boy moving when you get him home. He will be in pain and the more he lays around the worse it gets. Keeping him moving will keep the wound drained and help prevent infection.
It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the hormones to leave their body.
A 6 month old buck isn't into the whole stink factors as bad as an older one usually.
My buck lives with my girls for the winter while they are pregnant so, I don't see a problem with a freshly cut one doing the same.
I tried to be normal once, it was the worst 2 minutes of my life...
I have a nubian doe that kidded with triplets as a FF. She was born 3/11/2010 and I waited to breed her til early January. She still continued to grown while she was pregnant. I grained her one cup twice a day until she got to the last month then I split it into three feedings and upped it slowly til she was a 3 cups a day. He babies were all healthy. The first came out easy, second and third tried to come out together so my husband just stopped one from coming out while I gently pulled the second one. The third came out back feet first. I intentionally waited til I felt she was big enough and I also wanted the weather to be warmer for the babies because I wasn't set up at the time for cold weather babies, especially since these were my first.
I can't comment on buckling since I have no experience with that.
Well, I don't know what to do now, after the discussion in the dairy section about the teat spur on one of my does.
To build a quality dairy herd, I'm guessing I shouldn't start with a pair of twins that carry genetic defects like that. I'm heartbroken, but I have such limited space that I have to focus on finding the right goats to start building a herd from. From what I've learned on here, these are not the right goats.
If nothing else, You could still very well breed them and sell the babies as pets/meat. Just let the buyer know they are not breeding quality. This way you get goat experience.
I have 1 doe who has a teat issue, but because she was my first purchased goat We decided to keep her. She is extremely easy to milk still. We just sell all the kids as pets or meat only and wether all the bucks.
I'll be erring on the side of caution after my experience. I used the 2/3 weight rule and let my nubian breed at about 70 pounds (she was one of a set of trips so she was on the small side). She had one humongous kid and I lost her and the kid in delivery. I'll be waiting till 18 months now to breed.