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.....

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Moers kiko boars

    Moers kiko boars Well-Known Member

    Apr 22, 2018
    Hey I breed Boer xs , Boers & Myotonics(fainters). I dont breed before 1 year old. Sorry..but to me thats the magic age. And then only if that doe is a body score of 3.5 to 4. I cant say 80lbs..cause my myos some are minis
    They top out at 60 lbs. Lol
    My question are YOU ready? What catastrophes are you ready for? What building do you have for the worst kind of weather and worst case birthing? To be fair..the does depend on us to be ready to help her and keep the little ones alive.
    I watch my does and how they grow and intereact with.the buck
    Yes I put him in with a few does and aproned for a day or two. He will bring them in..and he gets them for a month. Some does & bucks dont do well. Ive had to pull a doe and put her with a different buck. I dont like any one hurt.
    My does go into a paddock with my buck for a month. He gets 5 at a time. For about 3 months. That way if any doe doesnt take the 1st month..she gets a 2nd try. By the end of 3 boys are ready to be put back.into their the women have worn them out. They get thin and the boys need to go get cleaned up and put eating first. Lol. And for me..I have groups delivering about 2 to 3 weeks apart. 5 does at a time. Thats how I am set up.
  2. HungryFox

    HungryFox Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2020
    New England

    Well that makes sense.
    Blue Cactus does a few "things". She takes excellent care of her herd and I do not write this with disrespect.
    Her genetic lines are on the bigger side for Nigerians. With the exception of that one little black doe, they hit 40lb by her 8ish month mark.
    Blue Cactus pulls her kids at day 3. She does not have her does raise kids. Her kids are literal cash cows for the breeding program. Their mothering abilities do not matter whatsoever, and she is unintentionally or otherwise breeding out mothering instinct.
    Her does are milked from freshening to breeding only, approximately Feb/March to Sept/Oct. I haven't worked with her lines personally so I don't know if their lactation could be sustained much longer, although it seems they easily could head to 1yr lactation. Standard breeds can hold 2yr.
    Her goats must be retired earlier due to the stress placed on their bodies.

    So, I like Blue Cactus. Her videos are far more informative and correct than any other goat related YT I have watched (looking at you, Weed em and Reap!) But, her practices are not necessarily mainstream, or perfect, and they are absolutely 100% different than the more holistic approach taken on my farm.

  3. Kass

    Kass Well-Known Member

    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    I see!
    I am guilty of getting my information from Weed em and reap and Blue cactus!
    When I found that video I thought I had hit the jackpot! I couldnt find the breeding size, weight, hight, age requirements for breeding ND's anywhere else! No direct answers on Youtube, websites, or this forum (no offense). Everyone just said "older is better" and "8 months is too young!" She was the only very comprehensive answer I could fine, so I stuck to it!
    Now that I know that they are not 100%, Is there anyone you would recommend? I have looked on websites, but they generally are vague, and directed at the very goat-ignorant cant-goats-eat-everything people. Can you recommend trusted sources?
  4. Jessica84

    Jessica84 Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    You are actually on a very good source of getting good information. There are quite a few Nigerian breeders on here, plus the one thing that I like about this group is you get a lot of different point of views and you can pick and choose what would work best for you and your setup, management, and goals. Everyone on here is willing to help ;)
    HMNS, Kass, GoofyGoat and 2 others like this.
  5. NDinKY

    NDinKY Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2019
    We breed NDs and prefer to wait until they are a year old. However, we make our decisions on an individual basis. This past year we had two does we bred at under a year of age. They were both quick maturing does, both physically and mentally. Both were the size of their dams when bred (one was 11 months, the other was 10 months). They both are excellent mothers. The one had kidding issues, but I think it was related to a hard hit she took a couple days prior to kidding (two DOA, one live, had bloody brownish discharge and I should have called my vet out).

    Our other yearlings were not as quick to mature. We held off on breeding them until they were a year old.

    As far as our breeding set up, we keep bucks and does separate. When the doe we want to breed comes into heat, she goes on a date with the buck. Usually it is a quick date, then they’re rebred 12 hrs later. Works well for us and we have exact breeding dates.
    HMNS, Kass, Iluvlilly! and 1 other person like this.
  6. Nigerian dwarf goat

    Nigerian dwarf goat Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2017
    I have mostly nigerians, with a few nigi/nubian crosses.
    I bred a 23 month old doe to a very small Nigerian buck. Ended in 3 dead babies, and I will probably never breed her again, because she literally has PTSD, and will not step FOOT in (or near) the kidding pen. She was bred with a very small Nigerian buck, he is 1.5 years old and barely 40 pounds. She is my baby, so she will just get to live out her days here on the farm.

    I usually tell people 18 months though, because personally, I don't think Cricket had problems because she was too young, because she most certainly was not. I just think she had bad luck. Something just wasn't right.

    Just keep in mind that every goat is different. Personally I think 8 months is WAYYY too young and could end even worse than Crickets birth. DEFINITELY wait until at LEAST 18 months.
    Iluvlilly! and GoofyGoat like this.
  7. GoofyGoat

    GoofyGoat Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2018
    My herd is Nigerians. Personally I will never breed before 16-18 months and it depends on the doe. I had a 14 month old doe have an oops breeding and I luted her because she wasn't ready physically or mentally. She'll be bred this august or September if I am able physically able to care for my herd. Otherwise she and my two others will wait till I am.
    My suggestion is breed the one but leave the two younger ones grow and mature.
    HMNS, Kass, Moers kiko boars and 2 others like this.
  8. goatblessings

    goatblessings Fair-Haven Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    Southwest Ohio
    I breed Nubians. I have bred in the beginning at the 8months and 80 pounds - won't do it again. Very hard on does that are not mature, bone development can suffer. Pic of a doe I held over from 2019- she will be bred in October - she will be 17 months and is not fat.

    Attached Files:

  9. lottsagoats1

    lottsagoats1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Middle Maine
    I, too, live in Maine.

    What breed do you raise? Nubian, Lamancha and Nigerian Dwarf right now. Have had Alpines, Oberhasli, Saanens, Pygmies, Boers and a grade Toggenberg in the past.

    How old/big do they have to be? 60+ pounds, 1 year old for Nigerians, though I normally wait until they are in their 2nd fall. Standards- 80 pounds minimum, age depends on their size. I have some that are HUGE their first fall and I breed them to my Nigerian buck. Others, I wait until their 2nd fall. Before I got my Nigerians, I would breed them to a buck of their own breed. I never had kidding issues when I bred them their first fall.

    What time of year do you breed? Fall. I used to breed starting in August, but my job hours changed, so I could not always be there when they kidded in January or February, so now I wait until mid to late October to breed.

    How do you breed? Driveway breeding? Leasing a buck? Do you own your own? I own my own and hand breed each doe so I know roughly when they will kid.

    What makes you breed younger or older?Experience? Research? Experience/Judgement . I have been raising goats for 38 years. Back when I started, it was common practice to breed their first fall. Now, I just go by the does size and genetics. If she is from a line that are late bloomers, they are skipped over that first fall. Likewise, if she is on the smallish size even if she is 80 pounds, she will wait until her 2nd fall. My huge behemoths are bred their first fall, though at the tail end of her heat cycle, as in January/Feb, and I now breed them to my Nigerian bucks because I am changing over the Minis, anyway.
    Kass, Moers kiko boars and Iluvlilly! like this.
  10. Spidergoat

    Spidergoat New Member

    Oct 10, 2018
    The ADGA does not recommend waiting to breed doe kids when they are older. It states: “If breeding doe kids is postponed much beyond 10 months of age, they will be less productive. Older kids are not as easily settled at first breeding and may have lower lifetime productivity.”
    I personally have tried waiting until kids are a year or older and have tried 7-10 months. I haven’t had any better success with the older kids. I always wait breed my does until it is late November because I live in a cold place over 6000 feet above sea level, and the snow leaves around the middle of April.
    Moers kiko boars, Kass and Iluvlilly! like this.
  11. CecilandNellie

    CecilandNellie Kalopa Mauka

    Aug 16, 2014
    Big Island, Hawaii
    I have mixed dairy. Mixes to provide the best milk for cheese. We have used one year or 90 pounds as time to breed, but I am much more comfortable with waiting until 15 to 18 months. The dairy girls seem a little delicate for kidding when bred at 90 pounds and take a little time to come in to good milk. I usually bring the does to the barn to kid and take the kids immediately (which means bottle feeding). Eight does kidded this spring. I love my goats, but if anyone sees me talking about breeding more than 3 this fall - please say STOP! Cute is not a reason to have 30 goats and no commercial use for the milk. (Hard to sell dairy for meat).
    Moers kiko boars, Iluvlilly! and Kass like this.
  12. Kass

    Kass Well-Known Member

    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    Yes! I thought I read that somewhere, but didnt want to say it in case I was remembering incorrectly.
    Moers kiko boars and Iluvlilly! like this.
  13. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Not true.

    I cannot express this enough, do not breed before 1 year old.
  14. goatblessings

    goatblessings Fair-Haven Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2015
    Southwest Ohio
    Kass - if you reach out to breeders who show, you will find the majority hold over kids.... if they weren't productive, they wouldn't be able to have the placings, LA scores, DHIR milk production records that they have. Being pregnant just sucks the minerals out needed for growth in many (not all) cases. If you don't have to breed, I wouldn't...... I'm not a commercial dairy nor do I want to be.
  15. HMNS

    HMNS Active Member

    Jul 15, 2019
    Brown County, Ohio
    Hi Kass...
    I'm a bit late to the thread but, since I'm here... :)
    We have 2 Nigerian Dwarf does...they just turned 3 years old (June/July) and this spring was their 2nd freshening. We got them as bottle-babies. When we got them, we were really new to goats (read: knew nothing!) so...I read a few 'goat books' and I asked A LOT of questions...scoured thru the internet and learned some stuff the hard way.

    In the case of when to breed the girls...we pretty much went with our "gut-feeling"...

    We waited to breed our girls until they were 18 months old and the reason is two-fold...1. When they were a year, they just didn't seem mature enough physically or mentally (to us)...they still seemed a bit "young". Since we gave them another 6 months, they filled out a bit more physically and matured a bit to the point that we felt confident about the timing. 2. Waiting until they were older also worked out timing-wise for us. We bred them in November/December (both times) and had April/May kids so the weather would be nice. We dam-raise the kids until they are 10 weeks old (so much fun!!!!), then they go home with their new families in early summer.

    We are fortunate enough to know people that have great bucks and are willing to do "driveway breedings". So far, that has worked out really well for us and we have no plans to change methods at this time.

    Hope this helps. :)

    Here's a couple of pics of my girls with this year's babies... :)

    PS: Make sure YOU are ready for the babies and all that comes with them. We had no issues last year but, this year gave us a "baby-house-goat" (last pic)...
    Due to birthing complications, she had to be brought in before her dam was able to bond with her so...she was our first lesson in "baby-house-goats" (and what NOT to do). We have a couple of good dogs that helped raise her, she thinks she's a dog! ;)

  16. Spidergoat

    Spidergoat New Member

    Oct 10, 2018
    I have researched a few more organizations and they all say the same thing 7-10 months, depending on size. It’s more about size than age. Penn State, ADGA, Fias Co farms, etc. Nutrition is extremely important both macro and micro requirements need to be met.
    Kass and Moers kiko boars like this.
  17. I have done both. I like how my older does are (second summer/fall of their life) body-wise when I breed them. I have 2 that were held over, that just got bred and I like the condition and body size they are at. Same with the one last year. I prefer to wait until at least a year. But the ones that were on the younger side, I never had issues with them. They grew fine, kidded fine. My older doe didn't care to mother her babies, the young were excellent. SO it's dependant I think on the doe.

    For us now, I prefer to be a minimum of a year, but I tend to hold over til the next season. Also because I like everyone to be in ONE breeding group. All of mine just bred this month, minus the 3 that are young and probably will wait until next year. 7 kidding and milking I'm thinking is about my limit.

    Oh, I also prefer to go by bone structure as well. Looking at the width of their hips/thurls.
    HMNS, Kass, toth boer goats and 2 others like this.
  18. Kass

    Kass Well-Known Member

    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    Are those hog panels? If so, did they hold the does well? Have you tried keeping bucks in them? I feel like they would be too short to keep them in, but we have 4 panels, so it would be nice if they would.
    Also, how tall are/were your does? Weight? Im trying to get a sense of how much more my does need to grow before I breed them. I will measure and weigh mine tonight and try to post the results.
    And thanks for answering! It is so fun to read the responses!
    Moers kiko boars likes this.
  19. Riverside Fainters

    Riverside Fainters Active Member

    Feb 6, 2013
    What breed do you raise? Myotonic
    How old/big do they have to be? We breed our does at about 18 months to 2 years
    What time of year do you breed? We were breeding in fall for January/February kids (too cold, frostbite). However, switched to breeding in spring and having does kid out in September/October.
    How do you breed? Driveway breeding? Leasing a buck? Do you own your own? I own my own bucks, but have rented a buck from a good friend of mine.
    What makes you breed younger or older?Experience? Research? I find breeding for fall kidding works better for us. No risk of frostbite and the does/kids are in better shape for show season.
    Kass and Moers kiko boars like this.
  20. Kass

    Kass Well-Known Member

    Apr 26, 2020
    Lisbon Falls ME
    So here are the results. As of this afternoon
    Tilly: Nigerian dwarf - Age: 6.5 months. Height: 18 in. Length: 18 in. Weight: 29 lbs
    Willow: Nigerian/Sannen - Age: 4 months. Height: 21 in. Length: 19 in. Weight: 32 lbs
    Stella: Nubian - Age: 3.3 months Height: 24 in. Length: 25 in. Weight: 53 lbs

    PS. Height is from bottom of hoof to top of withers. Length is from base of neck to base of tail.
    We'll see who's big enough to breed by November! Don't worry, if they are not ready, I will wait!