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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a lovely Alpine doe who is on the smaller side, although she is not a mini by any means (she weighs about 120 lbs). Before we got her she was bred accidentally at a young age to a LaMancha and delivered triplets just fine as a yearling. I would like to breed her to a Saanen this fall, but I know they tend to be a somewhat larger breed. In general, is it okay to breed standard-sized dairy bucks to standard-sized dairy does? I realize breeding to a Boer or Savanna might result in big babies and birthing difficulties, but I'm not sure when "bigger" means "too big" in dairy buck terms, and all bucks look big to me! It will be our first set of kids and I'd like it to go smoothly. The other option is a Nubian buck but for various reasons I'd prefer the Saanen.
 

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Shouldn't be a problem. My huge Nubian buck bred my small Nubian doe last year with no problem. She had twins who were just the right size for her.

I even had a Boer buck breed a ND doe one year when my son was farm sitting for me (I was in the hospital). She had 2 beautiful blue eyed mini Boers with big blue eyes and no problems birthing them at all. They were tiny until they hit the ground.
 

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I even had a Boer buck breed a ND doe one year when my son was farm sitting for me (I was in the hospital). She had 2 beautiful blue eyed mini Boers with big blue eyes and no problems birthing them at all. They were tiny until they hit the ground.
wow! did the babies have to nurse lying flat on their bellies??
 

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I love Saanen x Alpine and scoop up any registered tested crosses I can find. We actually purposely cross one generation once in a while because of this reason as well. Their strength, vigor, milk quality, personality, and royal dairy appearance are all to die for.
 

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The ADGA breed standard for Alpines and Nubians is a minimum weight of 135 for does. :) so I guess she is a little small. We have a PB French alpine doe, she's about 130, I think. She's quite a bit smaller than our other two alpine does. I haven't weighed them in a while, but I think they are around 160-165.
 

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The dam is the one that determines the size while they are developing inside her. I've had many foals born out of mini mares that were bred by thoroughbred/ quarter horse cross stallions, the foals were big, but they delivered them without any help.

Its when you overfeed the dam, that's when it causes problems. And Alpine/Saanen cross will be fine, the kids wont be too big.
 

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We have a Saanen/Alpine cross that came from an Alpine doe with a very large Saanen buck. Twin boys that were both decent size. She didn't need any help at all. No issues here. Have one as a pack goat and he's one of my best.
 

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I raise Nigerian Dwarfs and am starting with Mini-Nubians. The Mini-Nubians partly because I won't have a full size buck around for any possible accidents to happen. I'd hate anyone reading this thread to think it would be okay to purposely breed a full size buck to a Nigerian doe. It could, and probably usually would, be a big problem. Nigerian kids are normally between 1.5 and 4 lbs. They seem to do best between 2 and 3.5 lbs. A mini-Nubian on the other hand is, I believe, around 5 to 7 lbs. This is really too big for a Nigerian doe to safely birth. This is why a mini is a cross between a Nigerian buck and a full size doe. I am very happy for lotssagoats that her doe was fine after delivering her kids, but I don't think that is a normal outcome. More of a miracle, IMO. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all, I feel much better about this cross now. Hopefully we will have some cute little white Alpine/Saanen kids this spring!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just a follow-up to this -- the doe ended up kidding triplet bucklings without assistance. It was a long labor though, I don't know if it's because the kids were biggish? They weighed 10#, 9#, and 8# and are thriving. She delivered the first at 8 p.m. and the last at 10, so there was a pretty good gap in between. The first two were in the proper "diving" position, the last one back feet first.

Too bad they're all boys, they are precious! You can see pics here:

http://www.thegoatspot.net/forum/f220/how-many-babies-there-163403/
 

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Just curious, do you feed much grain the last month? Wonder if that is how they got so big, I always thought more than one usually meant for smaller kids. I am still pretty new to this and just trying to learn as much as I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I'm new at this too, so I'm wondering if I did something wrong. Are those unusually big babies? It was my first kidding so I'm not sure if it was an especially difficult one; it seemed tough to me but then having a baby's no walk in the park. I was worried but I thought it might just be because I am a newbie and completely on my own.

I didn't think I was feeding too much grain -- about 3/4 lb a day, plus a handful of BOSS, some alfalfa pellets, and free choice grass hay (not the best quality but all I have). She got selenium/Vit E gel three weeks out and Vit E gel caps every day for the last 3 weeks. I'm a little worried now, I bred another doe to the same buck and she's due April 1. She's a smallish FF and I'm kind of scared she's going to have one big buck kid and have trouble delivering. She doesn't look very big, which is what has me worried that it's only one and maybe a big one. Should I restrict her grain even more for the last week and a half? Is it too late now?

I will say Lily, who just kidded the triplets, is a total pig and generally gets her ration plus a goodly portion of the other doe's if she can, so she likely got more grain throughout than the smaller doe.
 

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They are pretty big for Alpine kids, but not unheard of. I was feeding about 2lbs of grain a day two months before one of my does kidded, then I bumped it up to 4lbs a day the last month. I got twins, and they were about 5lbs each. I was expecting her to have triplets, not dinky bucks. I can't even imagine how tiny they would have been had I not grained her.

Normal alpine kid size is 7lbs, I have had some 13 pounders come out of a small alpine doe, but she was bred to a boer buck.
 

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That does not seem like too much grain, I give mine some also, mostly alfalfa pellets and maybe a little all stock just to make sure they are getting enough, but not too much....I don't know, just trying to learn everything I can. Glad they are doing so well for you.
 

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Shouldn't be a problem. My huge Nubian buck bred my small Nubian doe last year with no problem. She had twins who were just the right size for her.

I even had a Boer buck breed a ND doe one year when my son was farm sitting for me (I was in the hospital). She had 2 beautiful blue eyed mini Boers with big blue eyes and no problems birthing them at all. They were tiny until they hit the ground.
I would so love to see a pic of those kids!
 
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