Breeding: When and How?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by Kass, Jul 8, 2020.

  1. Yes. That is fine.

  2. No! That is way to young!

  3. I normally dont, but in a pinch.....

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  1. Kass

    Kass Active Member

    127
    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    I want to know how you guys breed your does!
    What breed do you raise?
    How old/big do they have to be?
    What time of year do you breed?
    How do you breed? Driveway breeding? Leasing a buck? Do you own your own?
    What makes you breed younger or older?Experience? Research?
    Im hoping to get a lot of answers! Feel free to include pictures and stuff!
    Also, I should add that I live in Maine, so we get cooold winters
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
  2. Iluvlilly!

    Iluvlilly! Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2019
    Wisconsin
    I raise Boer's! A few of them are crossed with Pygmy's.
    2 years! So it gives their body plenty of time to grow.
    Late October, so they kid in March!
    I own my own buck, it just seems the best for my set up! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!
     

  3. Kass

    Kass Active Member

    127
    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    Some people breed at 8 months so the does don't get fat before breeding? Have you had any problems with this?
    And I just have a few does, so I not sure what method of breeding I will do... we will have our hogs butchered by November, maybe 4 hog panels would hold a Nigerian buck? probably too short.
     
  4. CountyLineAcres

    CountyLineAcres Well-Known Member

    Jan 22, 2014
    Mineral Ridge, Ohio
    We raise boers.

    Typically, we breed 13-18 months. We will never breed anything under a year.

    We breed whenever. This year, we are breeding 3 groups: Aug, Oct, and Dec for Jan, Mar, and May kids.

    We own several bucks to make breeding extremely easy and to have plenty of options.
     
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  5. Iluvlilly!

    Iluvlilly! Well-Known Member

    Apr 6, 2019
    Wisconsin
    If you feed them according to their body condition, i have never had a problem with them being to fat( i would recommend reading this:https://thegivinggoat.home.blog/2019/04/02/what-to-feed-your-goats-a-detailed-diet-explanation/)! I don't have any experience with Nigerian's, sorry! I do know though that some people prefer leasing buck since they have a few goats, and it's less expensive than buying one!
     
  6. Goatzrule

    Goatzrule Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    New England
    I didnt buy a buck until we had multiple different does to breed. I did driveway breeding for a whileI raised Nigerians and LaManchas for a while. Always bred in the fall so they would kid when I was out of school.
    I know different breeders in Maine, where are you located?
     
  7. Kass

    Kass Active Member

    127
    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    I live in Lisbon Maine. Im planning to breed my Nigerian and Nigerian/sannen to a Nigerian buck this November (for April kids) if they are big enough. A friend has a buck we can use. The Nigerian would be 10 months. the Nigerian/saanen will be 8 months. I have a Nubian as well that will be 8 months. If she is big enough I may breed her. 2 out of the 3 of them will be bred. Depends who's ready.
     
  8. Goatzrule

    Goatzrule Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    New England
    For me eight months just isnt old enough. Someone on hear said that one month equals one year in humans. Would you want an 8-year-old child to have a baby? Is there any reason you want to breed young?
     
  9. HungryFox

    HungryFox Well-Known Member

    262
    Feb 6, 2020
    New England
    We operate first and foremost as a homestead, and so we want milk year round. This was the biggest selling point on Nigerians as they have heat cycles like...well, humans?
    We ALSO are heading into standards and Minis, and so I will be drastically altering breeding schedules. Standards have a window roughly October to February, give or take, for heat cycles.
    Between both breeds, we can have a doe freshening every few months year round.

    I do indeed own our own bucks. Previously, we just shacked him up with the ladies and let him have at it. At this point, one must be more selective as there is not always one pen that can accommodate just the one buck and girl/s to breed due to space, and we have multiple genetic lines to select from. It may come down to scheduled "dates" or utilizing the stall in the barn for the selected duo and observing for a few good actions.

    For Nigerians, I want my does at 12 months of age MINIMUM as well as 40lb minimum. I have culled a few does that were not quite up to growth (they are still growing at that age, but i want to favor genetics that could be ready at 1yr) because the Nigerian bucks we intended to pair with were on the bigger side. Doesn't mean those does at 18 months weren't ready or could be used with a smaller Nigerian than we had. In fact, sold a trio to a friend of mine who just wanted the back yard goat milk experience. That buck is smaller, doe was real petite, and 2nd doe had a nice kid with that buck previously. I'm not worried about that pairing whatsoever.

    My first goat mentor raised all standard dairy breeds. She told me that in her 20+ years with goats, even if the standards were 80lb minimum at 1yr, they simply didn't produce enough milk to make it worth it vs the toll on their body and tended to have more kidding issues. Waiting to 18 months to breed produced significantly better results.
    Now, I learned much good and bad from this mentor. Knowing what i know now, their nutrition and coccidiosis prevention shoukd have been better (beside failure of disease control.) I imagine other breeders of standards do meet 80lb at a year and have excellent results. But, I will indeed take her advice into consideration when looking to breed my standard gals. My February born MiniSable will likely follow Sable heat cycles and so I won't breed her until the fall/winter after she turns 1, puts her over 18 months.
     
  10. Kass

    Kass Active Member

    127
    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    I would be willing to breed young because I have seen Many people who breed young and have had no problems. They believe that waiting until the second season just grows them up to be fat. I know of farms who have a standard of 8 months and they're goats grow as good as anyone else's. They even took twin sisters and bred one the first fall, and one the second fall, and they had equal results. A few standards that have had good results are 40-45lbs and 8 months for Nigerians, and 80lbs and 8 months for full size. My Nigerian, Tilly, her mom was bred her first fall, and is one of her owners( where I bought Tilly) best moms.
    As a bonus, Tilly (Nigerian) had a half Nubian Mother or Grandmother ( I forget which), so that may boost her size a little. My Nigerian/Sannen, Willow, would only be bred to a Nigerian and should be plenty big enough, being half full-size. So these 2 shouldn't have a problem. If Stella (Nubian) needs to wait until next year, I will defiantly do that.
     
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  11. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    :2c:Other reasons to wait until a year or a little older is they are more mature in the head to care for babies. And it lessons the chance of disowning babies.

    At a year or older, they are grown enough to not have complications with giving birth naturally and will be big enough to grow babies in volume/space.

    Breeding too young can possibly stunt growth, if she does not get proper nutrition.
    To support her and her babies within.

    C sections happen when the pelvis is too small from being too young, her babies may be to big or she may not have enough dilation.

    Youngsters grow the most within 1 year. So if they are Pregnant, most of her resources go into her babies and not her.
    We should feed her good feed throughout her pregnancy.
    However, think of this, if you feed too much, so she can grow at the same time as she has to nourish her babies, we risk over feeding her causing extra big kids, which will create a C section. There is a fine line if they are bred too young.

    Just my :2c::2c:
     
  12. mariella

    mariella Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2017
    Prague Oklahoma
    I breed nubian goats. I wait until they are 18 months old to breed so I know they are done growing and I know they are ready mentally for raising babies. Back when I bred my babies at 8 months I would get a lot of stuck babies and malpositioned babies, when I talked to a friend that had owned goats a lot longer then me she said to think of 1 month as 1 year for a doe, so if your doe is 8 months old she is only an 8-year-old girl when she gets pregnant. It's really hard on their young bodies to have babies that young. I also noticed that the younger the doe the more confused she was when she had babies and a lot of the time it took days for her to fully bond with her baby and that took up a lot of my day trying to get the babies to nurse.

    I own my buck because people around here don't like to shear and I don't trust people when they say their animals are clean of all diseases.
     
  13. Kass

    Kass Active Member

    127
    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    A lot of you are saying to wait to avoid her not being able to push big kids. This is what breeding would look like
    1- Nigerian Doe ( A half Nubian Mother or Grandmother) + Nigerian Buck
    2- Nigerian/Saanen cross + Nigerian
    3- Nubian + Nubian or Nigerian
    So you see the first two have some lineage that may cause them to be big enough to allow them to carry Nigerian kids. The last one may need to wait until next year. That is fine. If they are not ready I will wait.
     
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  14. Goatzrule

    Goatzrule Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2013
    New England
    Toth has a good point of the doe not being mature enough mentally to raise and care for kids. I have experienced that with a doe who got bred accidentally. Its was like a teen mom, wasnt mentally mature enough to care for something that wasnt herself.
    Personally, I have never heard of having overweight does if you wait and I've been pretty heavily involved in showing dairy goats. Even National ADGA recommends waiting.
    Being bred with a nigerian buck doesn't guarantee that the kids wont be too big. The kids could take after the standard breed genetics.
     
  15. Kass

    Kass Active Member

    127
    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    I got some of my information from Blue Cactus Dairy Youtube channel about breeding Nigerian Dwarfs.
    And for the mental age thing. The breeder I got Tilly from bred Tillys mom her first fall at 8 months. And she is one of her best mothers. But everyone is different
     
    Moers kiko boars likes this.
  16. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    What breed do you raise?
    Boers
    How old/big do they have to be?
    For the most part mine are about 18-19months old. But that’s because when I keep the doe kids are replacements when breeding comes along they will either be 7-8 months old or 18-19 months and 7-8 months old is too young. If I purchase one as long as she is 12 months I’ll breed it. I really haven’t had anything not be big and wide enough by a year to not breed unless they had a rough go of it which are few and far between and defiantly not one that I have purchased.
    What time of year do you breed?
    Now lol I go for December kids but I went ahead and went a little bit before schedule this year.
    How do you breed?
    Every buck has their own field/ pen with their ladies and they stay together for about 3 months
    What makes you breed younger or older?
    Experience. I have done it all, the 7 months 70 pounds all the way up to 18 months old. All is usually fine with the 7 months, they can usually push kids out fine, but if not it is a bit snug to get kids out. They were always great mothers, the issue I had was since they are still growing and then have these kids to support if I didn’t part them off and pour the feed to them then I had thin does with blah kids. I don’t want to have 500 pens with different goats and feeding needs or the extra expense of having to feed them large amounts of grain. I have debated off and on about giving it another go and only letting the doe raise 1 kid and pull the other but I keep going back to if it’s working don’t mess with it lol
     
  17. goatblessings

    goatblessings Fair-Haven Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    Southwest Ohio
    I have done both - and will never breed a doe that is that young. Even though the delivery can go well, the toll on these does both physically and mentally is not worth it. Your does will not get fat if you are feeding properly. I am in no hurry to stress the doe just because I want kids now. Answer yes you can do it - but IMO not what is best for the doe - she is my primary concern to keep healthy and growing - I don't want to be hurrying the doe along just because I want kids.
     
  18. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    California
    A lot of these comments didn’t show up when I posted! So I’ll post some more lol
    Honestly with being new to goats and breeding I say wait to breed them. Try and get some almost for sure easy kiddings under your belt and watch them grow. I am not a judgy person, I know many people that do breed younger and I know many people that wait to breed them. I don’t think anyone is really wrong. But kidding and raising kids, the fruit of all your work, can be the most rewarding thing or it can be the most frustrating thing. And not just the whole kidding part. It sucks when your kids that you had such high hopes for dont amount to much no matter how much you feed, or your doe just can’t keep the weight on. Some people don’t have these issues breeding young, I’m not saying everyone does, but not every place is the same. Some people have awesome genetics that the animals can stay fat on air, some don’t. Some the animals are basically at their full size at 7 months, some are not. So that’s why my suggestion is to just sit back and see what happens first with older does first.
    For the good mothers or not I honestly think they either have that strong mothering instinct or they don’t.......for the most part! I say for the most part because if they do have a rough delivery I think that does play a part in it, and a smaller doe has more of a chance of a rough delivery. Heck this last kidding I had a 9 year old doe that had always been a great and attentive mother, and she was one I bred at about 8 months old, but she had a rough delivery and my attentive motherly doe was a total turd! She never tried to clean the kids, she didn’t care if they cried wanting mom to love on them or even feed them. She was tired and sore and for the first time really just didn’t give a crap about her kids for the first few weeks.
     
  19. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    We care about the well being of animals and are only advising, it is isn't the best for the younster.
    So don't take it wrong.
    We are trying to help. ;(
     
  20. Kass

    Kass Active Member

    127
    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    I understand. I kinda asked for it when I made the Thread! So heres the new plan
    Fall: See if Tilly is ready to breed in November. She will be 10 months old.
    Spring: See if Willow will breed for Fall kids. She might.. she is part Nigerian. She would be 12-13 months old.
    Next Fall: Breed Stella and Tilly if all goes well.
    Now this is a rough guess. Ill probably change my mind a couple times between now and then, but this is what I'm thinking. (scary, I know!)
    Anyway, as it gets closer to breeding season, I will send pictures and updates and stuff.
     
    Iluvlilly! likes this.