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Crazy Goat Lady
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering if I should give some of my older girls a "season" off? They have kidded every year. The oldest are 6 years old.

So, do you give your girls a year off? They are all utd on their vaccinations and deworming. They are in good physical shape. I have weaned kids and am milking a few.
 

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Super Moderator
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I've given goats and alpacas a break here and there over the years for different reasons. I don't see that it would hurt.
 

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Although I respect your decision should you choose to do that, I expect my does to breed back and kid every year. Anyone who does not settle after 60 days with the buck is an automatic cull unless there is a very good reason.
 

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I look at it this way, if I don't breed, I am not making money to support my goats. The extra money, when you need to fill that barn with winter feed comes in handy and is a lot out of pocket if you don't sell kids.

It is up to you, but if a goat is healthy, I would breed them 1x a year. ;)
 

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7 does - 2 bucks - 1 wether
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I haven't given a year off yet, but I would if I felt the needed it. I do retire early if I feel I'd be pushing it to keep going.
 

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I have never given a year off either. I want the milk and need the kid sales to keep the herd. My does routinely kid and produce well into their teens. If I think one is too old to kid, I do retire her and let her live out her remaining years in peace.
 

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Look for me in the barn...
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I have a four year old second freshener... I gave her last year off from breeding, as she wasn't in the best condition and I just felt it would benefit her to have a year off. I was just going to milk her until she dropped production significantly and then dry her off, but - she's still producing! I did transition to once-a-day milking, but even then she gave 3 qts all through the winter. She's just now dropping to 2 qts. She gained weight back, even while lactating, and she just seems to be doing so much better, I think the break did her good.
 

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I think that it is perfectly fine to give them a break. We keep dry yearlings, and I plan to dry off our Nubian in October, after our last show. Although the kid sales do bring in some money, going on vacation with does in milk is very difficult. Considering our relatives live three hours away and nobody is jumping up and down to milk our goats on Thanksgiving and Christmas, we can't really have any goats in milk at that time. Plus, one gallon a day is already too much milk for us, and we are counting on three gallons next year. I admit, barely getting 6 1/2 hours of sleep with school, sports, and milking and pasteurizing isn't fun either. I am always tired! If we didn't show and track production, I would dry off after kidding and breed on an every-other-year rotation. Plus, giving the girls a rest is always nice too. I don't see anything wrong with it , if thats what you want to do. :)
 

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Crazy Goat Lady
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I am just looking over my old threads, and found this one. Thank you all for helping me with this decision.

I have been looking at my herd recently with a more "critical" eye. And maybe, with a more "educated" eye. All in all, I think I have a nice little herd. We have made some progress with improvements and I am looking forward to using my new bucks!

That said, everyone is looking very healthy and they have all recovered from feeding kids. I did milk for awhile...but...circumstances forced me to dry them off, darn. I have seen every doe that I did consider giving a rest, out there snuggling up to the bucks on the other side of the fence. So, I will probably breed them, as usual.
 
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