Getting a buck/ buckling

Discussion in 'Bucks' started by Shannon Horner, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Shannon Horner

    Shannon Horner Member

    35
    Dec 27, 2018
    NY
    Hi. I'm very new to goats, I've had a wether and pregnant doe only three months. I will be keeping any girls she has and purchasing another doeling in the spring to quickly have my whole herd of does. My original plan was to have only 3-4 does to provide my family all our dairy needs. As far as a buck I planned on finding buck services. However, after doing kind of early research most in my area dont provide services as they want to keep their herd clean and mentioned that i get my own buck to protect my herd from illnesses too. I went online to research owning a buck and finding opposing articles, So here goes my questions:

    What is the likelihood of getting a mean buck? The farms that are trying to sell me bucklings this spring said their bucks are all like lapdogs.

    Would I be better off getting a grown buck with an already known good personality (I've seen quite a number of bucks for sale) or raise a buckling hoping it is a good boy when hormones hit?

    How much time does one need to spend with their bucks? Im researching online and im getting mixed answers. One said spend time with them so they are like puppy-dogs but another said you dont want bucks too comfortable with you as they start looking at you as another herd mate and lower their respect and they suggested too only go in pen with them when needing shots, boluses, etc. ?

    How far should I make a buck pen and shed from house so we don't smell their stink? And how far from my girls?

    Seeing as I only have one girl until spring my research is early on but if i need to raise a buckling I'd like to know early so I can purchase one this spring. Thanks for your advice!
    Shannon
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  2. SandyNubians

    SandyNubians Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2017
    Idaho
    What is the likelihood of getting a mean buck?
    It depends. Who you get him from. How he is raised. How much time was spent with him and his own personality. I have had 8 bucks now over the years (not counting the ones born here) out of the 8, only 2 were really aggressive in a rut or not. Both were pygmy bucks, BUT it was the way they were raised that made them like that. All my other bucks tried me every now and then but I gave them a flip and all that stops. My current buck is sweet as can be (even know tricks)

    Would I be better off getting a grown buck, or raising one?
    Personally, I like getting grown bucks. But i have been told, oh he is just so friendly and that's how I ended up with my 2 worst bucks. But, thats just because i would have too many related does. I plan on bottle raising a kid for my buck next/this year. If you do opt for an adult, make sure he is healthy and actually see him yourself before you get him.

    How much time does one need to spend with their buck?
    In between. You shouldn't spend hours with your buck, making him think you are a part of his herd, but i don't think you shouldn't interact with him. The big thing for me is DON'T PLAY FIGHT WITH HIM! That is such a big thing when you do that you get a buck who thinks that's okay. I bottle raise a lot of my bucks and before i knew that, i would use my hand as another "buck" ramming him in the head. I was so confused when they would become aggressive. Then i realized the ones who i did not play with were perfectly calm and docile bucks/wethers.

    How far should i make a buck pen and shed so i don't smell their stink?
    Depends on how much land you have. I'm going to be honest, I've never understood people saying bucks had the worst smell in the world. I have had really stinky bucks you could smell over an acre away, but even then it wasn't as bad as people made it seem. 6 out of 8 of my adult bucks never had a strong smell (but maybe i am just so used to it now)
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018

  3. Calistar

    Calistar Well-Known Member

    I'm sure it depends on the individual buck and how he was raised. There are probably breed differences, too. I raise only Nigerians. Right now I have 5 bucks (I know, I know!) Three were bottle babies, but I don't know the history on the other two. Of the bottle babies, two are super friendly, in-your-face. One of those two is a little pushy- not aggressive, but not great with boundaries and personal space, which is something to keep an eye on because he's a buck. The third who was a bottle baby is very quiet and respectful, not in-your-face at all but not timid either.

    Of the two unknowns, one is very friendly, sweet, and respectful. The other one is kind of a turd. He's more wild. He's never directly attacked me, but he will rear and prance around when I'm in his pen. I carry a squirt bottle when I can, (or use the hose) and pinch his ears to discipline him if a squirt bottle isn't handy.

    So, even within one breed, I have a pretty wide range of buck personalities. I'm careful not to let the friendly ones walk all over me, because a friendly buck with no respect is even more dangerous than a wild one. I admit that I don't spend a whole lot of time with my bucks. I just feed them twice a day, tell them hello, and maybe bring them occasional snacks. They're pretty self-sufficient as long as they have company.

    As far as buck ages, if it were me, I'd try to get a mature buck to start with. But that's more because I want to know what kind of conformation I'm getting. Of course, with a mature buck you will also know his personality from the get-go. If you go with a younger buck, get one from good bloodlines so you have an idea of what you can expect when he matures. Also with a younger buck, YOU are going to be the one who has to teach him manners and respect, so you'll have to be sure not to let him get away with anything just because he's tiny and cute. And it will be hard- one of my bucks was still on a bottle when I got him, and he was the most precious little thing, I just wanted to bring him in the house all the time. Now he's still precious, but he pees in his mouth when I tell him how cute he is, so the desire to bring him in the House has greatly diminished.

    With my boys, smell seems to vary by season. Even with year-around breeders like Nigerians, they settle down in the summer and the smell isn't as bad. I don't keep my boys super close to the house, but most of the time the smell isn't bad unless I'm petting them or something. Everything in their pen (including the pen itself) will stink like them though. I keep my boys out of eyesight of the does, but close enough that it's not a total hassle to bring them over for breeding.

    And for what it's worth, I definitely recommend keeping your own buck if you're at all able. My boys aren't much trouble at all, and I'd hate to think of what a pain it'd be to track heats and arrange breedings without having full-time access to them.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!
     
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  4. Shannon Horner

    Shannon Horner Member

    35
    Dec 27, 2018
    NY
    @Calistar @SandyNubians Thanks for your reply. I have enough acres and i think I have the perfect spot for them. A lot of the ideas I had before getting goats have already changed so much, in three months. I guess now I have to casually let my husband in on the idea of a buck! Originally I told him I would stay with four goats and no more, oops, lol.
     
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  5. Dwarf Dad

    Dwarf Dad Well-Known Member

    Goat math!
     
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