Starting my own ND herd... with a buck?

Discussion in 'Mini Mania' started by redsticker, May 9, 2009.

  1. redsticker

    redsticker Member

    May 7, 2009
    SE Louisiana
    I've been doing quite a bit of research on goats and figure that Nigerians Dwarfs would probably be the breed for our family to start with. But I'm getting some conflicting information on some issues and wanted yall's opinions on the matter.

    I guess I should start with my intentions... I want to have relatively docile, small milk goats that won't over power my tiny 4'11" frame and that my kids can help with (they'e 10, 7, 5 and 1 but I think the baby will lend mostly moral support). I would like to be able to show them in adult shows and have my kids show in 4h and other junior comps. I know that I should start small but still have enough to keep each other company, so maybe 2 or 3 does at first. But I'm also thinking I should get a buck to show and breed to them. If we close on the house we're buying, we'll have enough room. It has two pastures and a barn. Plus ample space to build a buck pen/shelter, kidding pens, etc.

    I've been told and have read that Nigerians are so easy to handle that even a beginner can usually handle a buck. But today I read that newbies should avoid bucks at all costs, though this advice wasn't specific to the breed, but to all goats in general.

    So I was wondering, what are yall's opinion on a beginner having a ND buck?
  2. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    the reason most say don't start with a buck is the smell when they're in rut and they can get a bit rambunctious..

    I would reccomend a doe or wether.. they are awesome to start with

  3. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    some bucks... do get a little ....unruly when in rut.....and they do smell when they are....
    They can be very unpredictable......Although ..I have had alot of my boers ...that are docile when in rut....but only one that got I sold someone that could handle him......It is definitely mixed reviews..... :wink: :hug:
  4. ProctorHillFarm

    ProctorHillFarm New Member

    Hmmm we have had a lot of bucks here- and not a one has been aggressive, or hard to handle.
    I love my smelly boys and they are all like big puppy dogs. Even the biggest buck on the farm my 11 year old step son can pull out of the pen and lead around.

    Nigerians sound like a perfect fit for your family-
    I might suggest getting a few does- and hopefully finding a breeder nearby that has a buck you could breed them to, to start out.
    But if you are like most of us- you will eventually outgrow taking your does to a breeder due to numbers of does, you will purchase a buck or two, and you will have a little herd of your own! :)
  5. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    that's what I did.

    The buck can always come later, usually you want 6 does per buck. you dont need a buck for only two or three does; he'll be bored (LOL).
  6. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    If you can get your does over the summer then in the fall you can either look for a buck to purchase (there are usualy plenty of bucks to go around) or use a breeders buck to get the idea of breeding and kidding.

    Bucks tempermant depends on them individually. I never like the oberhasli bucks I borrowed for breeding but so far all the nigerian bucks have been easy to handle and rarely mean even in rutt.

    if you get baby try not to baby him to much - makes for a more demanding buck and they are strong! Make sure to keep him in his place so that even around your kids he knows who is boss.

    If you have the strong desire to jump in and land running then go for it - if you feel leary of the whole buck thing then wait.

    Be forwarnd - they can smell pretty bad. And it is best to get a wether for company -- or do what I did find a friend who wants to own a buck too and house them together :thumb:
  7. smwon

    smwon Member

    Aug 2, 2008
    Northern California
    I'm not really going to be of much help, but thought I would comment anyways. I am not 4'11" But I am only 5'4". So I am not a very tall person. I have one doe, a wether and a buck, all Nigerian Dwarf's. I originally didn't want a buck, but I could not find anyone in my area that I didn't have to travel an hour to breed my doe and then only with driveway breeding. So we finally settled on buying a buck. Like my doe and wether kids, he was not tame by any shade of the imagination. He was terrified of us (just as the other two were when we bought them). Even at 5 months he was very strong! He wasn't aggressive nor was he mean even when he was in rut. He is now 10 months and we still cannot just walk up to him and pat him, although he will allow us to brush him if we corner him. He loves being brushed, but he is still very unsure of us. He is extremely strong though! He is our only horned goat, which is bad with all hornless goats. He does use his horns on the other goats to get his way. But so far except when he was in rut he has a very mild temperament. Even in rut he was mild except to the wether - poor guy!!! I had to actually tie him up while in the barn to keep him away from the wether. That only lasted a couple of days though. I can catch him by his collar and hold him, but if I grab his horns he fights like crazy, so I just don't grab his horns! I could not even start to hold him when he is fighting like that! The collar works though.

    Now if we had of worked harder at socializing him once we got him home, his acceptance of us would have probably already been over with. The wether and doe was untame also and actually they were even more afraid of us then the buck is. However, with sitting out there with them and brushing them, it won them over in time. They did not want or enjoy 'treats' at all. So taming them with food didn't work. However, they are nicely friendly now. They even jump up on me like a dog does! They still don't like to be 'caught' but as long as I grab their collar they don't fight me at all. I can pat them and brush them and they come up and nibble on me. The buck will come sniff at us and even sniff our outstretched hand, but will not allow us to pat him yet.

    When I have kids (soon! :)) I will make sure they are socialized even though they will be dam raised.

    I guess the point I am trying to make is that my buck is rather gentle even though he is not tame yet. If the buck you get has been socialized, I can't see having much trouble with him. And like us, keeping a buck, may be the the only viable solution. I would watch him very carefully around your younger kids though, especially your 5 year old. And try not to get horned goats! The horns can be very dangerous!

    P.S. I wanted to add that I had an old huge (for a pygmy) pygmy buck and the only time he was the least bit aggressive was when he was in rut. He was fine toward me, but the smaller children he was more aggressive to and I couldn't let them in his pen at during rut.
  8. RowdyKidz

    RowdyKidz Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2009
    NW Ohio
    My pygmy boys have never shown agression. Ever.
  9. ChestnutGrove

    ChestnutGrove New Member

    Apr 29, 2009
    Having started with bucks for cart goats (the lady we bought them from did not wether them and did not disbud them like she said she would) - it all depends on the temperament of the buck! When we got into registered dairy goats we already had a horned buck angora - so that little Alpine buckling was no big deal - he also had one of the best temperaments I have had in a buck - then when we added Nigerians - we started with a doeling and a buckling from Gay-Mor.

    I love bucks - they have a good personality - I have trained several breeds of bucks to cart and have really enjoyed them.

    The upside of owning your own buck is that you do not have to take your does to an outside farm and take the chance that they may or may not take. The one time I bred to an outside buck my doe did not take (I was so disapointed as I really wanted the breeding) and ended up breeding the doe to my own buck (which was a very good breeding and that doeling turned into a very impressive doe) - which meant I wasted my time and money. But I know people who have taken their does to outside studs and their does settled.

    I showed our bucks limitedly due to lack of shows - but I enjoyed showing them (when I was a junior I showed our Gay-Mor buck in showmanship once at the NDGA nationals which was fun!). The key to making it more enjoyable is - find a good shampoo to wash them in :)

    A buck with a great temperament will make a huge difference - I had some really nice bucks that got along with everyone. But I do not care how nice of a buck it is - when it comes breeding season - they are all hard on fencing (Goat panels are great!). They do smell and pee (just about everyone in the family have been "sprayed" by the bucks) - but they are still good guys :wink: A

  10. HollowbeadRanch

    HollowbeadRanch New Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    NW Alabama
    I started out with Brush goats. Then swapped to Boers, and finally found the breed for me (the Nigerian Dwarfs) in July of 2007.

    For me, while handling the goats by myself the Boers were just too much. The Bucks could over power me, and (like Pam) I did run across one Boer buck when I was breeding them that got REALLY rough with me when he was in rut (needless to say he got sold QUICK to a breeder that didn't mind it).

    I will have to say though, that I have been doing the Minis for almost 2 years now and I have NEVER had a Nigerian Buck get aggressive with me :shrug: As a matter of fact... some of the ones I have had have been bigger babies than the Does! I have never really had any trouble getting mine to come to me, I whistle and they all come running cause they think they are going to get fed :ROFL:

    Like Stacey said, if you are going to get a Buckling instead of a full grown buck then definitely do not baby him too much, because trust me once he gets older and stinky you won't want him rubbing up against you all the time. Just handle him and get him used to you, but make sure he understands that you are the boss (although as I said, I have never had any problems with any of my Mini Bucks).

    If you think that owning your own Buck would be the best thing for you and your family then I say go for it! If you are feeling really uneasy about it then maybe either get a couple of Doelings, see how you like them, and then once they get closer to breeding age you can decide if you want to buy a Buck of your own or try and find a breeder close to you that will breed them for you.

    Either way I can't wait to see what you end up getting! I really think you will LOVE the Nigerians :thumbup: :leap:
  11. rebelshope

    rebelshope New Member

    Sep 20, 2008
    Nigerians are wonderful little goats. I think they are a great breed to get started with. I am only 5'4" and find them easy to handle and milk. Plus they get a good amount of milk.

    As to the buck question, the question that pops in to my mind is have you handled livestock before? My buck is a sweetheart, but he is a buck and he is strong. He is much stronger than my does. I don't think that he would hurt me on purpose and I have handled him during rut, but he is strong and if I were not confident, he would walk all over me . He could easily over power me if were not used to handling strong animals. My background includes handling stallions and 1500 lb horses, cows, and all types of dogs, cats, etc.

    So some questions I would think you should ask yourself is are you confident in being able to handle a strong animal with strong instincts?

    If you have not handled livestock before, I would find a good breeder in your area. Ask lots of questions and ask if they could show you how to handle a buck. If they would let you handle one that would be great. Now my buck is a pet as well as a breeding animal. He get time just wandering the yard, but lives a separate life from my does until it is time to breed. I handle him regularly and am teaching him to lead with a halter, a much easier way to lead him. He gets groomed and played with. When Mazie is running around the yard and he sees me he comes running for pets and treats. I have a wether who is just a baby now, but when he grows up will keep Mazie company.

    You may consider getting a few does that are bred. Then you don't have to worry about a buck for a year. That year will allow you to gain some knowledge handing goat does, which are much mellower. It will also give you time to really start to know about what you want in a buck. Remember he is half you herd. Good luck with your choices!!!
  12. ChestnutGrove

    ChestnutGrove New Member

    Apr 29, 2009
    That is a great question about handling livestock. I come from a family that was/is very good at training dogs and my mom has always been an active horseback rider :horse: with a knack at training horses so growing up I learned to train from her - so a goat to me "is no big deal" no matter how strong headed they are (though I keep the easy ones as life is just to short)- as they are a lot smaller than a 1200 pound horse. So a lot of things to me that are "no big deal" maybe for someone else. I find the Nigerians very easy to handle - but before having standard dairy goat bucks and Nigerian bucks - we had a 200 pound horned Angora buck - so everything is relative :) It does help if you have a strong personality - I had one buck that one owner was scared of - I never had a problem with the buck - but the buck also knew if he was a problem I would set him straight - he was a very nice buck but had learned by acting like a tough guy (he never did touch the previous owner) the person would let him do what ever he wanted - he saw right off the bat that I was not afriad of him and he was super nice buck.

    I had an Alpine buck and a Toggenburg buck that were large and they had the best temperaments in the world - anyone could have owned them as they were just NICE and very easy to handle dispite their large size (even in rut - they were very easy to handle).

    I agree - find a breeder that can mentor you - when I got into registered Alpines I had a wonderful breeder that mentored me and I learned so much from her. I was sad when she retired (she had been breeding for over 20 years) - but even after she retired I knew I could contact her.

  13. redsticker

    redsticker Member

    May 7, 2009
    SE Louisiana
    Thanks for all the input and advice! :) I'm going to try to find a mentor in my area, but it's hard because it seems most don't have websites. I'll have to start going to some local shows since I know nigerians won in the dairy category in at least three.

    And if I can't find anyone nearby... I'll follow yall's advice on how to handle a buck. :hi5:
  14. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    there are 4 breeders in the AGS member book that are active who live in Louisiana

    I can pm you their info if you would like
  15. countryboy

    countryboy New Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    Stacey, can another Louisiana person get that list also.
  16. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    are you asking for yourself?
  17. countryboy

    countryboy New Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    Yes Mam, I live on the southwest side of the state.
  18. mnspinner

    mnspinner New Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    I too am just an elf - 4'11" - and the only time I ever had an aggressive buck was one I brought in for stud service. He was a huge dude and sweet outside of rut. But when he wanted the girls he would butt and shove me pretty good. All my own boys have been even more docile than the does.
    I always recommend for those starting out - if you have fewer than 3 does and access to stud service I would go that route.
    Beware - NDs are highly addictive!
  19. HummelHill

    HummelHill Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Montville OH
    mnspinner, I am only 4' 10"! :) ... so I would consider you tall :wink:
  20. Sweet Gum Minis

    Sweet Gum Minis New Member

    Oct 6, 2007
    Easley, SC
    The best advice I can give is to buy good does to start with then when you've gotten the does you like and are confident with them, buy a buck who is a million times better than your does. That way he can improve them. If you start with a buck, it'll almost always happen that you'll find better does and he'll drag your herd down. I think that's a common mistake.