How do you decide who is a keeper?

Discussion in 'Goat Management' started by redsticker, May 9, 2009.

  1. redsticker

    redsticker Member

    May 7, 2009
    SE Louisiana
    I know that there are a ton of factors when it comes to keeping one kid and not another, like great parents, great coloring, etc. But when I see kids for sale on websites, and they talk about show quality versus pet quality, is it just experience that helps you know who to snatch up?

    I guess a better way to put it... How can you tell the future conformation of goat kid when they are so small and wobbly? :question:
  2. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    That's SUCH a hard question!
    conformation would mainly come from the dam and sire of the kid...but there are always variables..these kids can look totally different week by week. I guess most of it is experience. I'm still learning the standards.
    that probably didnt help much...LOL :)

  3. Epona142

    Epona142 The farm that Hope began

    May 25, 2008
    Madisonville, TX
    For me, its sort of a process.

    First is confirmation. We wouldn't hold back any goat with major flaws.
    Second is size, we would want to hold back a goat that appears to be growing to conform to the size standards we want.
    Third is temperament. Most goats when raised right are sweet, but sometimes you find better temperaments than others.
    Forth is little certain things. One, as an example, is ear structure. Some of my does have less than perfect ears, so I would want to hold back goats that have good ears like their sire.
    Last of all is color, since its really least important, but I do enjoy having lots of colors!
  4. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    well for me - sell everything - or I should say have in the past due to the fact that i cant keep many goats and the sale of the kids helps me pay for breedings and hay. This year I plan to keep one doe kid from my doe Sweet Pea in hopes that I improved upon her weakness and improved upon her strengths as well.

    If you have a doe you like or a sir you like many times people will keep a kid or two to see how they turn out - may end up selling them later if they didn turn out the way they hoped.

    It really depends on your breeding purpose. I breed for show and milk and pets.

    Goats can also end up with faults like extra teats - if a kid looks to have real loose shoulders they may sell it as pet quality because that kid wont do well in shows. But like was said before a kid can change as it grows, its the luck of the draw.

    If a dam;s udder isnt superb then bucks out of that doe will be wethered (buck passes on udders to his daughters).
  5. 4hmama

    4hmama New Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    No. Central WV
    Does anyone know of websites that you can look at pictures of good AND bad confirmation? Example - it's easy to find pics of good toplines, straight legs, good udders, ear sets, etc., but what about pics of not-so-desirable stuff? It would be great to see pictures of what you DON'T want, or what to avoid.
  6. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    For me, it is really pretty easy. I look at conformation right off the bat. If it is good to start that is a major plus, then I look at fiber, when they are small they start growing it and you can see about the volume of the fiber, then I look at color. I had a nice black doe this year but I have so many black does, I really did not need another one, so I sold her and keep the two that are totally different then the rest of my herd.

    Sometimes it is a WOW good thing I sold her and other times it is a DARN, that was dumb.
  7. goathappy

    goathappy New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    For doe kids, I decide by confirmation and how well the sire is at improving on the dam of the kid. If the dam of the doe kid isn't really nice I know that the sire of the doe kid will usually improve upon any faults. I like to see level toplines, nice heads, good escutcheons, strong feet and nice legs.

    For bucks, it is a very different story. I only sell buck kids that I would consider keeping myself. The dam of the buck must be up to my standards: good confirmation, no faults, a nice udder and good production. If there is one thing wrong with the dam(like she has a really nice body but her teats aren't what I like) then I refuse to sell the buck kid even if there is somebody that wants him. The confirmation of the buck kid is not as important to me as it is for the doe kids. As long as I know that the doe kids being produced from a line are correct then I do no worry about the correctness of the buck. Although it is nice to have a really awesome correct buck, that is not always the case in really nice sires. Some of the best bucks in history were really ugly conformation wise, but they always had the best daughters.
  8. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    with me ...I wait until they are close to weaning age...because they can change so much from birth to weanling.....that way I know... where they are going.....I will look at all of them...from a distance..... and look for the one(s) that stands out in the crowd.....then I check conformation.....I then.... look for faults and if they are perfect in every way or close to it .. :wink: :greengrin: .....then if all checks out there.....they are keepers....... :wink: :greengrin:
  9. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    I have a set of photos, I will try and get them uploaded and post them on the show board a bit later today (we have visitors here now for mothers day)

  10. 4hmama

    4hmama New Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    No. Central WV
    That would be great!
  11. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Yes it sure would Keren!

    Im still learning who not to keep. This yrs buckling crop showed huge difference between the doe that had quads & her sister with trips. Of course the trips started out bigger and have been growing better, we are a couple weeks before weaning.
    Most everyone is pretty long & level which is what we strive for. Even with a buck who was not known for his length or largeness...our does made up for it. :love:
    I have become very picky about who gets registered. They were tatted today but only 4 of this year's crop are registered. But I have the option later on with a couple of the others.
    Our first year we registered everyone. Short ears, not enough pigmentation you name it. One doe went to a couple shows & was always at the back of the class. Well "Beluga" as we call her, has a short dippy back which is a sign of infertility! 3 seasons, 3 different bucks and she' a happy spinster.
  12. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    no its not :scratch: :?
  13. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle the SA breed standard book they say it is :shrug:
  14. capriola-nd

    capriola-nd New Member

    Jul 6, 2008
    Northwest Oregon
    I base my decisions on dam and maternal/paternal grand-dam's udders, pedigree, overall conformation, and sometimes personality. I've never kept a kid only for coloring. With the Nigerians though, color is just a given! :)

    I also look at the teat structure in both doe and buck kids. If the teats are really far apart and/or really small, I am probably not going to keep them. I won't sell buck kids that have really small and/or far apart teats either. I know that is really getting picky but incorrect teat placement drives me nuts and I figure you can get a small idea when they are young, what their structure will be like when mature.
  15. Sybil

    Sybil New Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Rainier, Oregon
    Conformation, style, production, hardiness, etc. Different blood lines--different style. You keep what is appealing to you. If you like to show then the style has to be correct and competitve. I want a doe that can feed her kids and have enough milk for home use too. I have had a couple does that milked steady for 2-3 years without having to rebreed. If the doe can't reproduce herself or improve on her faults by breeding for improvements, then she has to go. My herd is extremely small so it is hard to prove out a buck. I don't sell buck kids as there are many very nice bucks in the area. I have alpines so personality-- they have to be aggressive. No wimps in my herd or that individual has to go. They have to be a working group. I have a couple does that are hocky and one set of doe kids have nice rear legs and the other doe's kids are a bit hocky. That doe will probably leave after the kids are weaned. The kiss of death is when your jr doe kid goes GCH and freshens with no attachment and that ugly duckling that you never really paid attention to grows up to be Cinderella. Until you know your blood lines--who matures faster or slower it is really hard to decide when you can only keep just a few each year!
  16. keren

    keren owned by goats

    Oct 26, 2008
    Do you mean the SA Boer Goat standard? There are a few things in there that are a little dubious, and a few things that the SAs believe to be a problem that I know for experience doesnt ring true. :greengrin:

    A short dippy back is undesirable, correct, but I have yet to see it correlate with low fertility and I have a number of shortbodied, moderately swaybacked commercials that kid down regularly. Short body is undesirable as it limits the amount of muscle (meat) an animal will carry, it limits the internal capacity of the animal which limits the amount of roughage they can store and ferment in their rumen (this leads to hard keepers which require more nutritious grain and hay/grass) and also limits the space allowed for kids. When they are trying to fit both pregnancy and rumen, things dont fit so well, and these does are more likely to lose weight during pregnancy, are at more risk of ketosis/preg tox, and also appear to prolapse the vagina more frequently. The weak dippy back is a sign of reduced longevity, that back needs to support the rumen weight and the pregnancy weight and if it isnt strong enough the goat will break down over time, shortening her useful life.

    I'm still working on those pictures guys, I'll get them up asap!
  17. sparks879

    sparks879 New Member

    almost always keep all of my doe kids. I only have five or six a year because i have such a small herd. I freshen all that i can as yearlings. So i can see what udders are going to look like. Some does get better with age and all. but if they have faults then most likely those faults are going to stay as they get older. I weed out yearlings normally down to two does sometimes only one.
    Confirmation is the biggest thing when deciding who to keep. Even as young animals you can see whos legs are straight if they toe ahead, shape of their heads ear set toplines, rear legs set and dairy charecter. those things are present even as kids.
    As for buck kids i never keep any of my own stock. They are too closely related to what i have for does to use. As far as selling buck kids for others to use so far i havnt. I feel only the best of the best should stay a buck.