8/14/08 Preparing for breeding season

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by StaceyRosado, Aug 14, 2008.

  1. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    We have a lot of newbies here on the board (not offence to you all, we are glad you are hear :grouphug: ) and there was a request for a topic on how to prepare our does and bucks for breeding season.

    So here are some questions to get your started.

    1) how do you condition the does and bucks so that they produce more kids?
    2) when do you dry off milking does, or don't you before breeding?
    3) how do you chart your does in heat?
    4) I dont have a buck.....what do I do?
    5) my doe never bounced back from kidding --- is she safe to breed, what would you do to get her ready?
    6) I can't tell when my doe is in heat, what do I do?

    You don't have to answer all these questions but it should get your brain waves flowing.

    So what do you do to get ready for breeding (remember not kidding, lets stick with the before breeding part)
  2. Muddy Creek Farm

    Muddy Creek Farm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Keokuk, Iowa
    I don't chart heats really...
    My friend over fattened her does before breeding and thay had LESS kids. For flushing you just feed more a few weeks before breeding, not necessarily fatten them up.
    I just see if my does are acting different. Usually I just take a buck and walk them through the pen to see who "falls in love" with them ;D

  3. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    Almost all my does will flag (wag their tail lift it up etc.) when they're in season. I take the bucks out on a leash and like Muddy Creek said...see who falls in love. My bucks and does are seperated so i've put does in with the bucks and they sometimes will bring them into season.

    I heard of a breeder thinning up her goats before breeding season. Giving them a shot of BoSe and I guess they all except for a couple out of 13 kidded with trips and quads!!! I've never tried it so :shrug: ???

    If you don't have a buck you could always post an add looking for what kind of buck you'd like. Maybe on like Craigslist, free goat ads, just free ad places. Or look for links to breeders in your area and see if they do stud service.

    Hope everyone has an easy breeding season and no one gets the buck stink on you to bad!!!! I got peed on just the other day,,,yuck!
  4. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Thanks for this topic!! This will be a great help for me in the future!! :hug:

    And one about kidding would be much appreciated in the future...not too far in the future, preferably before my doe pops!! :greengrin:
  5. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Check through the kidding section as there are great topics in there on that very issue. -- stuff like Kidding supplies, how to reposition kids etc. That is why I said to keep this specific about preparing for breeding as we already have the kidding information started on different threads.

    if you see something we didnt touch, go ahead and ask about it or put the suggestion forth in the "what do YOU want to talk about" in the goat frenzy section
  6. Sweet Gum Minis

    Sweet Gum Minis New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Easley, SC
    Honestly I don't really do anything special. I give all my goats a ration of feed all year round since we are on a dry lot. And I mean DRY! Nothing is growing out there so its up to me to feed them. So I give all adult does around 1/2 cup of goat pellet in the AM and PM and they get about that of alfalfa pellets just in the AM. I give a ration of hay as well. I keep mineral out free choice.

    We freshened a lot of first timers this year so that is reflected in some of the numbers we had.
    We had...
    4 Singles (3 does & 1 buck)
    5 Twins (2 doe sets, 2 buck sets & 1 doe/buck set)
    4 Triplets (3 sets were 2 does & 1 buck, 1 set was 1 doe & 2 bucks)
    2 Quads (3 does & 1 buck and a 1 doe & 3 bucks)

    I don't really feed my bred does specially either, I gradually up the feed as they grow nearer to kidding. Especially the alfalfa. Hay as well. I don't overdue pelleted or other types of feeds like that as they tend to lead to more problems. Once my bred does are close, like a month out I start changing up my feed to my milker ration and they stay on that till they dry off.

    When I dry does I pull them off grained feeds altogether. Speeds up the drying process.

    As for charting heats. Yes I chart heats. I have a calendar I mark as well as the Fiasco Farm breeders spreadsheet. Most of the time though I watch the does. I will check my charts to know a round about time when a doe should be cycling and watch for it. When she does the classic behaviors I take her up to the breeding pen.

    Classic behaviors are hanging out up by my buck pen. Flagging her tail, letting the bucks blubber at her from their side of the fence. Some don't like to flirt with bucks as much in heat. So I watch them around other does and at the feeding line-up. While I'm preparing the trough and feed I try to keep an eye out on the group. Sometimes you'll notice riding behavior out there or someone with a very busy tail. This is a good time to catch flighty does to try to breed. I have a couple who are impossible to catch once they're out so it makes it rough trying to get ahold of them if they do go up to the buck pen. So for me, and those does if I have to I lead them up every morning into the holding pen and pull her chosen buck out and let him do the testing. If she's receptive they go to a breeding pen. If she's not they go back to their regular pens.

    Also, sometimes I take a buck out on lead into the doe pasture. I've had this work well for me and does who hide signs that they're in heat.
  7. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    yeah, the fias co farms breeding/kidding spreadsheet is great, it really helps keep thing organized, if you have goats -you should go check it out!
  8. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    All I do is look and decide who I want to breed with who, an we just make she we feed them really well because they will drop weight because of all the chasing that goes on.
    I just put them in the pen and let nature take its course. I have already done it for this next years kids. I put my does in with the buck the first part of August so I get January babies.
    I have read where you can put Apple Cider Vinegar in the water for more does, but I do not really believe that at all. So they just get lots of free choice hay all the time and clean water and free choice mineral.
  9. kelebek

    kelebek New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    South Texas
    Lets just say - I really don't know - :ROFL:

    My first round of "Spring" babies this year was because I had no where to put the buck so he stayed with the girls 24/7 ( I know not the best idea - but had no fighting or anything).

    I have a "teaser" wether that lets me know when the girls are in heat. He really thinks that he is still intact although he hasn't been for years and years!

    I have had most of my does be very choosy on who they wanted to breed to and who they didn't this past year. I am getting new bucks next week and I am going to create my "first plan" so I am curious about this also!
  10. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    1) how do you condition the does and bucks so that they produce more kids?
    Its not really about conditioning does and bucks, condition means to put on weight, which is something you don't want to do. Well with bucks you sort of do but thats a big no no for does. We flush the does by feeding them extra grain(maybe half a pound to three quarters of a pound extra per day) 2-3 weeks before they are scheduled to be bred, and then for a little bit afterwards. During rut, we feed the bucks whatever they will eat since they usually aren't interested in eating anyway. Bucks get a Bo-Se shot before breeding season starts, and does do to if we feel they need it, but we usually only give the Bo-Se shot to dry yearlings prior to being bred because they did not get it in the spring when everybody else kidded.

    2) when do you dry off milking does, or don't you before breeding?
    If you are milking and milk is your goal, then you should continue to milk your goats up until 2-3 months before kidding, this is [/b]extremely[/b] important for first fresheners that you milk them until 2-3 months before they kid because that way the first freshener knows that she is expected to milk that long in later lactations. If you dry a first freshener off early, she won't be producing as consistently as long as you would like her too.

    3) how do you chart your does in heat?
    We write our doe's heats on the calendar(the one we see everyday, I never write it in my book because I'll forget to check) And we highlight the dates, a day they were in heat gets green highlighted, if they were bred it gets orange highlighted and the due date is wrote down in a book.

    4) I dont have a buck.....what do I do?
    I personally don't do stud service for health reasons but I have taken does to outside studs before(I know, a little bit of an oxymoron) Anyway, I know how to tell when my does are in heat so that isn't a problem. Prior to your doe even coming in heat, maybe even before breeding season, find a breeder that will do stud service and contact them before hand about what bucks they have available, what their schedule's are so that you can bring your doe over, etc. When your doe comes in heat just give the owner of the buck a call and see if its ok to bring her.

    5) my doe never bounced back from kidding --- is she safe to breed, what would you do to get her ready?
    It depends upon the breed, for my dairy girls, if I have a doe that is under condition because she is milking heavily, had a hard kidding, had to many kids, or just can't put weight back on properly, if she is still milking I milk her through. Milking through is probably the best thing you can do for under conditioned goats. I know I know, you really want kids from her again. It is more important to think of the welfare of the doe than it is getting kids from her, so if she isn't fit to breed, milk her through. Milking through is better than drying a doe off and leaving her dry for a year because when you have them dry(esp. adult does) they tend to just gather weight, milking helps to keep that bad weight off, but still allows them to take a break and build up their own condition. It is easier for a doe to be milking than it is for her to be carrying kids.

    Now for those of you with other breeds, if you have a doe that hasn't bounced back by breeding season, feed her little or no grain and let her rest for a year. Now, I personally have a doe that was became out of condition a couple months after kidding(she was pretty bad) but I got her on some herbal stuff and I'm drying her off because she isn't milking much and she is really starting to turn around. She still isn't at the weight that I would like to see her at so she will be bred this year, but it is going to be later. I decided to not milk her through because she does not milk much and milking her hurts my hands.

    6) I can't tell when my doe is in heat, what do I do?
    Find a breeder with a stinky sticky buck, have them rub a rag on him and put it in an air tight jar. I've had several people tell me in my area that is does work, but I have never tried it personally. If you suspect your doe is in heat, her rear end looks a little swollen, maybe red or pinker than usually, she might have a little bit of a discharge, mounting and fighting with the other does, let her smell the jar and see how she reacts to it. Personally, when a doe is in heat that I"m not sure about, I have a buck suit that I wear out with the bucks during rut that has quite a lovely odor to it. I walk out through the does to my doe in question and she will either: a) rub on me; b) pee; c) do the buck thing to me; or d) wag her tail non stop. a, b and d are the most common.
  11. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    Oh don't you worry, I've gone through and read almost every thread in the kidding section! :)

    I've got a couple questions!

    What age should a doe first be bred? Or what weight, if that's more important? Nigerians are what I have, but I'm interested in other breeds as well.

    How long should it be between kidding and being bred again?

  12. Muddy Creek Farm

    Muddy Creek Farm New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Keokuk, Iowa
    PReferably you wait till the next year to freshen the doe again. Sometimes people will rebreed just a few months after kidding, I have done that once and really don't plan on doing it again. But this doe is old enough to have had two litters already soo...

    I just look at how big the doe is, and how wide her hips are, remember they still grow for 5 months after you breed. But you still wantr to make sure that they are just about large enough when you do breed them..

  13. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Also, the biggest thing to remember when breeding kids is that you want to breed your steady growing kids, you don't want to breed your kids that have growth spurts now and then.
  14. Ivy

    Ivy New Member

    Aug 9, 2008
    We do meat not milk.
    First time Boer does have to be at least 1 yr and at least 150 pounds before they get bred.
    Pygmies have to be at least 1 1/2 yrs old and 45 pounds before they are first bred.

    After that I dont breed any doe more than once per year. I dont like the 3 kiddings in 2 years.
    I like giving my moms a good rest and I let them wean their own kids which if allowed, can be as long as 6 months that the kids still suckle even though they are eating a full adult diet.
    For us it works great, our kids go from teat to pan.

    We look for meat growth and meat maintenance so it may be different from dairy or pet.
    A kid left with the dam grows better with better meat development.
    A dam that is not bred more than once a year holds that meat quality better.

    This is our experience with raising just for meat for ourselves. We dont do production meat because we just dont want to. We are happy keeping it slower and more spaced out for just our own freezer.

    We do add grain only 2 weeks before breeding for all breeders. Grain isnt fed again till the last month of PG and during nursing. The only exception is in winter when temps are consistently below zero.

    We are not heavy grain feeders. Its light amounts, maybe a cup a day during those special times.
    Our goats are pasture raised and in winter high quality hay blends is the norm.

    Minerals are always available and we use 2, loose goat minerals and in a separate bowl, selenium salt. Thats available all year. We dont need nor use BO-SE.
    We do use Bcomplex and an E shot a few days before kidding and right after kidding.
    Mostly to give mom a boost.

    We always keep 2 bucks per breed. They are penned and kept separate except during our designated breeding times. We put the buck of choice with does of choice at specific times and watch for the breeding so we can calender the due date.

    We know when the does are receptive because they flag the bucks at the fence. We use pallet fencing in between the doe and buck pens. Regular wire fencing can result in breeding through the fence, and we don't want that.
    Standing heat is easy for us to tell because when we see a doe flagging by the bucks fence we go and scratch her rump and she will cock her tail like a dog.

    Fiber goats are the same but their diet is different as fiber goats, Angora, need a lot more nutrition to grow that mohair and maintain good condition.
    Pygoras are also done the same as the meat goats but with a littler better feeding regimen than the meaters but not as rich as the Angoras.

    We tried all the different seasons for kidding and found spring kids to be the easiest for us.
    We breed for April/May kids. :)
  15. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    About two weeks before breeding we worm, do CDT & BoSe and trim feet. Then they get a little grain till breeding. After that they wont get it till a couple weeks before kidding.
    We like to have our Boers at 10 months and 100 lbs. All yr they get Sweetlix loose minerals. They also get good quality alfalfa yr round.
    This past year two open yrlings didnt take. Im convinced they were overconditioned.
  16. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    What I have done is :
    1. Dry off my does, personal preference here as I feel that milking during pregnancy isn't good for them...they freshen, milk for 8-10 months then breed again for the following year...they are putting alot into growing babies and me milking them just adds to the "strain".
    2. I try and choose my buck for each girl, though most of the time the girls choose him.
    3. Cut out grain to dry them up a month before breeding, then gradually start back graining 1/2 cup a day til they are into the 5th month then it's upped to 1/2 twice a day and after freshening a full cup 2x a day.
    4. I always have mineral salt out for them.
    5. Wormings and hoof trims a week or so before breeding...bucks and does.
    6. I start to try and track heats so I know when to put them together.
    7. I watch carefully for signs of over or under conditioning. Right now, I think Angel is just a bit too chubby so I cut her grain yesterday for a planned October breeding.
  17. farmgirls

    farmgirls New Member

    Jul 28, 2008
    1) how do you condition the does and bucks so that they produce more kids?
    I don't usually change anything in their diet. However, once a doe is bred, I will put her on a very strict diet, different for each doe.
    2) when do you dry off milking does, or don't you before breeding?
    I always dry of my does 2-3 months before they kid. Our does are used to milking(it is what they are bred for)so I belive that it doesn't hurt them any.
    3) how do you chart your does in heat?
    I keep track of who is in heat on our family calander hanging in our dinning room. :greengrin:
    4) I dont have a buck.....what do I do?
    I currently have 5 bucks, but I would love to get into AI. Much cheeper and you can get lots of really good lines into your herds that way.
    5) my doe never bounced back from kidding --- is she safe to breed, what would you do to get her ready?
    I would dry her off way before breeding and really pump her full of food. Really pamper her and give her the best of attention to get her back on track. I wouldn't let it go until breeding time, make sure she is doing okay all summer.

    I might try "slimming off" and giving Bo-Se to a few of my does and see what happens.

    Has anyone had a FF give birth to quads?
  18. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Yes I did --- not to uncommon in the nigerian dwarf breed at least. My first set of quads came from my ff nigerian doe this year
  19. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    Yes, I have as well. One of our does (ff) that we purchased bred kidded w/ quads two times in one year. She kidded once in the spring for the lady we bought her from then was bred back and had quads in the winter. A breeder friend of mine had a doe (she was mature though) have quints twice in a year.
  20. farmgirls

    farmgirls New Member

    Jul 28, 2008
    Do you know if there was something you did that made them more likely to have quads? We didn't with ours, however, she was 3 of 4 years old when she first got bred(someone gave us the doe and we wanted her to work hard for her living :wink: ). I was just wondering if there is something special that causes them to be more likely to have quads.