Who to keep and who to sell?

Discussion in 'Dairy Diaries' started by Zelda, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. Zelda

    Zelda New Member

    185
    May 2, 2009
    Rocky Mountains
    I need some help making the decision! I plan to stop milking my doe in Sept./Oct., mostly because I want to do other things for Fall and Winter and I want a nice vacation! So I can either keep my doe and dry her off - or - sell her in milk. If I keep her, I need to sell her doeling, who seems like she will be very nice as well (3/4 Saanen and should be a good producer).

    Reasons to keep the doe are that she's a 2nd freshener now, and is extremely easy to handle and milk. She gives a lot of good tasting milk. Even my husband appreciates her milkstand behavior (she's almost perfect, 'cept when the mosquitoes are bugging her). She is not a good mother, but that has worked out OK for milking.

    Reasons to sell her are that she will bring more money than a doeling, someone could milk her through winter, and she does have asymmetrical teats (right side is a little more difficult to milk, teat orifice seems a little smaller and the teat points out just slightly). My left hand has to milk the wonky teat, and my hand gets tired... I can see the value in better symmetry. Also she does not have great ligs. They are not terrible, but could be improved.

    So if I sell her, I would keep the doeling she produced this year in hopes that she would have better teat/lig conformation (she is out of a good dairy buck, but who knows how she will turn out). The downside is that I'd have to train the doeling to milk next year, and obviously she is unproven as a milker and a mother. I have not started a goat milking before, but I have started a cow, so I am not completely overwhelmed (can't be fun, tho)... The other downside is that I plan to keep one of the Saanen doelings, so I'd have two first fresheners next year. Yuck. The upside to that would be that I could start them out with once a day milking, so the schedule could be a little easier...

    I do plan to breed whichever does I keep to a Boer. I don't plan to retain any of next year's kid crop, so I am not working on a breeding program so much as a production program of milk and meat. And I will be keeping my does for two kidding cycles...

    Anyway, please give me your thoughts and recommend a course of action for me. As a newbie to the goat world, I have nooooo idea what is best for my 2nd year in goats.

    Thanks!
     
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    Right now I wouldnt breed any young dairy goat to a boer so that to me a downfall if that is your only option and plan.

    I always sell the ones I am less attached to so I guess I cant help you out there much more then that. :shrug:
     

  3. goatbless

    goatbless New Member

    43
    Jan 10, 2009
    Florida
    If it were me I would probably take my chances with the doeling to see if her udder was an improvement. The fact that a doe in milk will get a better price helps, too. Just my two cents. :)
     
  4. Zelda

    Zelda New Member

    185
    May 2, 2009
    Rocky Mountains
    Is that personal preference or is there some specific reason that it's a bad idea to cross a young dairy doe to Boer? I want to try raising some goats for meat - hence going to Boer next season.
     
  5. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    Its for the health of the doe that it is preferred that you dont breed them to a boer buck unless he is known for throwing small kids.

    if you wait till she is over a year + then it should be ok but I would still worry. Boer kids can be big
     
  6. Zelda

    Zelda New Member

    185
    May 2, 2009
    Rocky Mountains
    Well, that is good to consider, Stacey.

    As well, if we keep the Nubian cross doeling, we may not breed her this year if she hasn't matured enough by Dec. She was born in early April so we just have to see how she finishes growing out this Fall.

    The Saanen doeling was born in Jan. and should be ready to breed in late Fall. She's probably at 80# today (big fat snoogie!).
     
  7. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    NJ
    if you have a picture of her we could tell if she is big and wide enough to carry a boer kid
     
  8. Zelda

    Zelda New Member

    185
    May 2, 2009
    Rocky Mountains
    I have a recent photo of the Saanen doeling's almost-identical sister. I am selling this doeling pictured - the one I'm keeping is just a titch bigger.

    [​IMG]

    My husband is holding her, he is 6' tall for reference. We will not be breeding until late Nov., aiming for April-ish kidding.

    I wouldn't be too sad about breeding her to a nice dairy buck. I think she's going to be a very nice doe.
     
  9. Zelda

    Zelda New Member

    185
    May 2, 2009
    Rocky Mountains
    Might as well post this photo, also. This is the doeling that is 3/4 Saanen x Nubian (Zelda!). I will either keep her or her mother. She is an April kid - 4.5 months old.

    [​IMG]

    If I end up keeping her and If she is a good size to breed in late Nov., I think it's a good idea to breed her to something smaller. Maybe go back to Nubian...
     
  10. Zelda

    Zelda New Member

    185
    May 2, 2009
    Rocky Mountains
    Well, I had listed the two doelings above on Craigslist last weekend not thinking they'd really sell - someone came to look yesterday and took them both!! Wow!

    The people who took them raise percentage Boers, Nubians and have some older Saanens that they need to replace. They said that in their experience, the percentage Boer kids are usually smaller than Saanens at birth (Saanens have bigger heads at birth and more problems 'getting out'). Anyway, it gave me something to think about. They have percentage Boers, so I am looking forward to going to see their farm.
     
  11. liz

    liz Active Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    Shelocta PA
    WOW...That was a quick sale!

    Both does certainly looked big enough for breeding this fall.....I hope you get to visit them soon.