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Willow Creek Farm
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have been breeding the past 4 years in the "normal time" to have kids on the ground late December through early March...Blood test results are back and 2 does we thought were settled are actually open...
Trying to weigh the Pro's vs Con's of re-breeding...& possibly even flushing one of the 2...to have babies on the ground in the Summer...Thoughts??
 

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I love kidding this time of the year! On our farm we kid from the end of July-early September. Last year however everyone kidded from July 28th-August 12th. Be sure to make sure your does don't overheat. We do hanging fans and giant blower fans. One way to control flies when you kid this time of the year is to use the milk jug method. We use these:

upload_2019-1-12_18-52-18.jpeg
They work great at capturing the flies. If you have anymore questions just PM me.
 

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I prefer winter kids. They grow way better than warmer weather kids. They eat better because of the cold, and the incidence of heavy worm and cocci loads is way less in my frigid state. (I live in Maine). Kids born in late spring and summer are easier to care for when newborns because you don't have to worry about them freezing to death, but I hate dealing with the flies, heavy parasite loads and heat.

However, I have a couple of does that have not settled, one because she keeps coming back in heat (and she's my 2+ gallon a day milker, of course) and the other because she is refusing to come in to a blatant heat and will be thrown in with a buck for a month, soon. She will end up having a summer kid. Sigh.
 

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I so wish it wasn't true, but in my experience the winter kids seriously do grow better. To me, it just doesn't make sense, if you keep up on parasite prevention the spring/summer kids should be equivalent to winter kids, but they just aren't!

I aim for my herd to kid in March which is "late" for many breeders but I just refuse to do it Jan and February. April & May kids just don't seem to be as thrifty on our farm which is crazy.
 

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Willow Creek Farm
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I so wish it wasn't true, but in my experience the winter kids seriously do grow better. To me, it just doesn't make sense, if you keep up on parasite prevention the spring/summer kids should be equivalent to winter kids, but they just aren't!

I aim for my herd to kid in March which is "late" for many breeders but I just refuse to do it Jan and February. April & May kids just don't seem to be as thrifty on our farm which is crazy.
That's what I'm afraid of...we have great growth rates/success with or Winter kids...I just hate to have these open does...
 

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That's what I'm afraid of...we have great growth rates/success with or Winter kids...I just hate to have these open does...
Ya, for me, I would breed them because our main goal is meat production so any kids is better than an open doe.
 

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I like year round breeding. Since I am about Dairy, I want milk all year round. Also I do a Farm Stay Air BNB, and the guests love the babies. Best of all, I get fresh ears to listen to my non stop talking about goats and goat milk.
 

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Willow Creek Farm
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I like year round breeding. Since I am about Dairy, I want milk all year round. Also I do a Farm Stay Air BNB, and the guests love the babies. Best of all, I get fresh ears to listen to my non stop talking about goats and goat milk.
That's a great idea! Who doesn't love baby goats!
(I certainly wouldn't want to hang out with them! )
 

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I agree that kids do grow so much better in the winter. I actually just went back and was looking at pictures of my kids over the years and winter kids were so much better.
I do a lot of thinking lol how to do things different/ better. One of the things I thought about was splitting my does up, and also breeding my doelings at a year instead of to kid at 2. Now this may not effect you, but for me it was pen space. I wouldn’t want does with kids on them bred and really don’t want them with weaning kids so that would be another pen I would need for them. It sounded good till I really thought about my set up and there is no way it would work. I also just don’t see any way with the doelings if I could swing it to get on track with the others unless I bred them right back or I waited a year to breed them, which would put me back to where I’m at so why breed them? Again your set up and management may be totally different then mine but think about pens first.
There are pros though. 1. Of course you wouldn’t have to wait another year to breed them. 2. You would have another time of income. And 3. Because most people kid in the winter you don’t have as much competition if selling privately. If for meat that means you could sell them in September as weaners and that’s usually when the market picks back up. You just need to decide if it’s worth it or not
 

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Willow Creek Farm
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree that kids do grow so much better in the winter. I actually just went back and was looking at pictures of my kids over the years and winter kids were so much better.
I do a lot of thinking lol how to do things different/ better. One of the things I thought about was splitting my does up, and also breeding my doelings at a year instead of to kid at 2. Now this may not effect you, but for me it was pen space. I wouldn't want does with kids on them bred and really don't want them with weaning kids so that would be another pen I would need for them. It sounded good till I really thought about my set up and there is no way it would work. I also just don't see any way with the doelings if I could swing it to get on track with the others unless I bred them right back or I waited a year to breed them, which would put me back to where I'm at so why breed them? Again your set up and management may be totally different then mine but think about pens first.
There are pros though. 1. Of course you wouldn't have to wait another year to breed them. 2. You would have another time of income. And 3. Because most people kid in the winter you don't have as much competition if selling privately. If for meat that means you could sell them in September as weaners and that's usually when the market picks back up. You just need to decide if it's worth it or not
Excellent points, thank you!
 

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Willow Creek Farm
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree that kids do grow so much better in the winter. I actually just went back and was looking at pictures of my kids over the years and winter kids were so much better.
I do a lot of thinking lol how to do things different/ better. One of the things I thought about was splitting my does up, and also breeding my doelings at a year instead of to kid at 2. Now this may not effect you, but for me it was pen space. I wouldn't want does with kids on them bred and really don't want them with weaning kids so that would be another pen I would need for them. It sounded good till I really thought about my set up and there is no way it would work. I also just don't see any way with the doelings if I could swing it to get on track with the others unless I bred them right back or I waited a year to breed them, which would put me back to where I'm at so why breed them? Again your set up and management may be totally different then mine but think about pens first.
There are pros though. 1. Of course you wouldn't have to wait another year to breed them. 2. You would have another time of income. And 3. Because most people kid in the winter you don't have as much competition if selling privately. If for meat that means you could sell them in September as weaners and that's usually when the market picks back up. You just need to decide if it's worth it or not
Excellent points, thank you!
 

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This is something i have thought about, Where i live we do not see rain for the entire summer sometimes its about 3 months. THe winters here have lots of rain and everything is wet. I am more inclined to get the goats pregnant so they have kids in the warmer(march-April) months when its more dry than right now where its wet everywhere. It hardly freezes here so i am sure parasites are higher right now than when its too dry for them to live in the summer.
Just my two cents
 

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Did the hot weather kidding, it was horrible.
Flies were all over the newborns nose, all over them and mama. It was really hard on all of them.

Mama late term with being heavy preggo was panting and so tired, with the heat and the kids didn't grow as good.
So I told myself I would never go that route again.
 

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I try not to have kids after May. I feel so bad for late term does being so miserable in the heat, and kids just don’t seem to be quite up to their age in terms of growth and vigor. The linear appraiser told me this year, about a June born doe of mine, that summer kids really don’t seem to bloom(in terms of conformation and size) until 3-4 years, vs. most other does starting to look really nice at 2 years.
 

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Did the hot weather kidding, it was horrible.
Flies were all over the newborns nose, all over them and mama. It was really hard on all of them.

Mama late term with being heavy preggo was panting and so tired, with the heat and the kids didn't grow as good.
So I told myself I would never go that route again.
Totally agree with this. 2 day old kids panting because of the heat. I would run the sprinkler up next to the metal barn outside the shelter and they would lean against the wall. Never after May.
 

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Did the hot weather kidding, it was horrible.
Flies were all over the newborns nose, all over them and mama. It was really hard on all of them.

Mama late term with being heavy preggo was panting and so tired, with the heat and the kids didn't grow as good.
So I told myself I would never go that route again.
I meant more like march april. Up here this can be cool coastal weather and not HOT like the summer. around 50-65*

thanks for the hint about the kids growing slowly.
 

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You must consider the local conditions. Here, the daylight length control very much. The does go into heat when days go shorter in October, which gives delivery in March, and so the babies benefit from the summer's rich grass and rich daylight, which latter stimulates the production of growth hormones.

Dwarf goats are known to be rather independent of daylight for going to heat, but the babies still need the growth hormones and the rich grass growth.
 

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I breed year round. I raise for commercial though. I actually like summer births more (again, I am the total weird one.) Hubby used to work pest control so we are have gotten into a system for keeping flies and pest away. This last year with moving though means that we are going to have to refigure everything. I have 16 girls getting bred starting today. Then in 3mo I will have another group going.
 

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I'm sorry the girls didn't take. I agree, I am not a fan of summer kids. I prefer Jan-Mar, although we just had Dec kids and I'm liking that time frame even though it's hectic with the holidays. I'd like to try for Nov/Dec this year for some if we can.

I think the purpose of the kids will be a big part of it. For show? if yes, for breeding or market? if not, then it probably wouldn't matter. However, they wouldn't grow as well as fall/winter kids.
If you bred them for summer kids, you'd really be doing back to back breeding's to get them onto a winter schedule, and that can be hard on them.
 
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