Well I believe it really depends on the Doe. I had a beautifil doe that just LOVED being a mom, and she had twins at the ripe old age of 14. Yep 14. She had NO trouble at all. I would not of Bred her at all this year because even thought I know she loved being a mom and that is what she lived for. I lose her to Cancer , (That dirty word), in August. She was 15.
I had one kid this year for the first time at 6. I had done a lot of reading the most of what I found said it was harder for them to conceve when not bred younger. It took 2 cycles for her to get bred. Can't say that kidding was uneventful. but it was something that could have happened to any doe. Her and the baby are just fine.
A lot od it depends on what breed of doe you have and how good her cofirmation is. If you have a doe with narrow hips that could possibly have trouble passing kids anyways i wouldn;t do it. But if you have one of those awsome does that you could fit a horse through her hips i would try.
What breed is the doe you're thinking about breeding? And how old is she?
Like Beth said, I've heard a lot of times it just depends on the doe. but I've noticed most breeders will retire an old doe if she can't keep up with her condition, had a hard kidding or just can't breed. But most breeders seem to retire a doe at anywhere from 10-13 years of age.
I have Alpines and I'm thinking about planning for the future. I have a 6 month old that I may not want to breed for a few years, because I'd like to have only one breeding per year. All I really want is milk for home use and don't need to breed more than one. Her mom is only 1 3/4 years old and I'd like to continue to use her for milk, especially since I've learned (from you guys) that her milk production will increase for the first few years. I'm trying to think ahead to decide whether I should breed my 6 month old in a few years or if it would be safer/healthier to breed a little sister of hers when the time comes to "retire" her mom. Does that make sense???
well you could milk mom through for a year and not breed her and by the time she is drying off one of the other does will be kidding. You could do this one year when you think the younger ones are ready and then you will know they had their first kidding when it was healthy for them and you don't have to worry about it.
Does can keep freshioning for years and by then your little does will be old grown does themselves.
I'm unable to milk my doe through because I'm involved in a winter sport that takes me away on weekends. Your idea of breeding the young ones and having mom take a year off is a good one! That's what I'll probably do. My biggest concern was if there would have been problems with the kidding if the doe was older and had not previously been bred. From what I'm reading here, it sounds as if there shouldn't be a problem even if the first-time freshener is a few years old.
I sometimes breed my yearlings. I usually keep four to five kids a year, sinse i show and im only one set of hands i like to break up my classes some. I like to have two dry yearlings and two or three milking yearlings. I have two doe kids that were born in march that weigh about ninety lbs each, so they will be bred this year. I have another doe kid that weighs about seventy five lbs. We will see how she grows over the next couple of months and wait to decided to breed her or not.
My two year olds that didn;t freshen as yearlings i try to breed a lot sooner. like for feb kids.
I donl't like to wait more then three years to breed the does for the first time. I have alpines as well, and they tend to have a harder time kidding after that time. Especially if you have a doe with narrow hips.
I would say your best bet would be to evaluate the hips before you wait too long. You may also find that you do want to breed two does a year and stagger the breedings about three months apart so you can have milk year round. You have to think about those three to four months that the kids are eating the majority of the milk. you can always do more with the extra milk, you can make cheese and soap for your family.
This is just a thought.