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All information provided in these articles is based either on personal experience or information provided by others whose treatments and practices have been discussed fully with a vet for accuracy and effectiveness before passing them on to readers.
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Goat Breeding Information Print E-mail
Written by Administrator-GL   
Saturday, 30 June 2007
Article Index
Goat Breeding Information
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Staggering your Dairy Goat Breeding:

If you figure out when you want your first kids to hit the ground, and then stagger your breeding accordingly for does to kid over a period of 3-4 months, there is no reason you cannot supply your family with year round milk.  

Say you breed some of your does in early September, Kids from this breeding session will be hitting the ground in Late January or Early February. The kids will nurse for at least 3 months.
The does should lactate (produce milk) for 10 months. Milk production fluctuates during the entire lactation period, peaking in approximately the 3rd month of lactation. Ideally these does will produce milk until sometime in November. You will want to allow them a drying off period of  at least 2 months before you rebreed them . This would mean re breeding them in January, giving you May kids and a 10 month lactation period lasting until the following March.

Just because they can hold a 10 month lactation period, doesn't mean they need to. If you would like to dry them off before the 10 month period is up for a more convenient kidding  season, this can be done easily.  

If you breed some of your does in September, some in October, November and possibly December; your kidding season will extend from Late January until Early May and the milk supply should last you just about year round.

How We do it Here

As a rule of thumb I always allow the doe and buck to breed at least  3 successful times during a session to make sure she is bred. This means 3 mountings, three times he has thrown his head back and three times she has crunched. After they have spent a bit of post-courtship, I return the buck back to his pen.

I personally have a buck pen with 14 mature bucks housed together. I see no reason to keep a single buck alone, as they get lonely too. If you only have one buck, placing at least one wether in with him for company is always a good idea. When he returns to his pen, the others WILL smell the breeding and will more than likely torment him some. They may mount him, chase him or head butt with him. Keep an eye on him to make sure he isn't being beat up too badly for the first 24 hours after a breeding session. As you could well imagine, they are jealous that he got to breed and they did not.

I personally use the standing breeding method. I decide which buck to use for which doe, I place a collar on him and a lead rope and remove him from the buck pen and take him to the doe I have already removed from the doe pen to a neutral area - preferably out of vision from either yard. I place them together and watch. If I were to leave the area, I would not know for absolute that they had bred. I make sure he actually enters the doe when he mounts her (sometimes they miss). I watch for doe crunches. If there is a particular breeding I would like to have happen and there is a size difference with the doe being taller than the buck, I will guide them to a place where he can stand on a hill or uphill from her so he can reach her successfully. I don't breed a buck to a doe who is considerably  smaller than he is - I fear an injured back during breeding  and too large of kids during kidding. After they have bred, I do offer both of them a treat and some electrolytes in the water. They do use a lot of energy breeding , even if it doesn't seem like it takes very long (time wise).

A successful breeding will bring about a quiet lifestyle. Once all of  the does are  bred and they have "settled" meaning they are bred and beginning the process of growing fetuses, the bucks will settle down and spend the rest of the cooler months in quiet mode. The does will also settle and begin to act "normally" again.  If peace and quiet is important to you.. get everyone bred the first cycle or two of the season. BUT I warn you..  January and February can be quite cold. SO you will be having babies hit the ground in possibly the coldest months of the year.. which is another article completely!

FYI: The lip the bucks make is called the Flehman Response. Does also make this lip when they check the young kid's urine. The goats are able to smell certain hormones in the urine when they use this response. It makes sense that they are checking the urine for health on their kids.

 Flehman Response

There you have it... Goat Breeding Season.. in 5 long months you will have kids hitting the ground healthy and beautiful!


Last Updated ( Sunday, 18 January 2009 )
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