breeding age and eye color

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Al. Countryboy, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    617
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Location:
    Alabama
    In a post that I read earlier about what to do with excess bucks I noticed that a number of you had nigerians. After years of having nubians I decided I wanted to try nigerians. I have 3 does and a buck. Two of my does are bred and waiting for a rather small 9 1/2 month and now probably 35 lb. doe to grow a bit. I have 2 questions. I was planning to wait till this small doe was about 11 months old, but saw where they matured very earlier. What are your thoughts on this? My second question has to do with eye color. I know nigerians may also have blue eyes. Two of my does have light yellowish brown eyes and so does the buck. My little girl has very dark brown looking eyes. I believe that if I read the article right that if a brown eyed doe was bred to a brown eyed buck that they would only have brown eyed kids. Is that true. Just wondering if I need not be looking for any blue eyed kids or if I might get supprised? I also read that it was not good to breed two blue eyed animals to each other. Something about possible causing some kind of brain disorder. Know anything about this? Thanks.
     
  2. pookshollow

    pookshollow Pook's Hollow

    Messages:
    4,570
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    The breeder I bought my NDs from breeds his does at six months - but personally I think that's too young. I've got a couple that are close to seven months and they're still pretty small, so I'm going to wait a few months.

    I'm pretty sure to get blue eyes, one of the parents has to have them. I had one blue-eyed kid this year, and the buck was blue-eyed (mom is brown-eyed). I've not heard anything about not breeding blue to blue though - that's a new one on me. :shrug:
     

  3. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,680
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Northeast Kingdom of Vermont
    Everything I've read about breeding Nigies indicates that most breeders wait until they are at least one year to breed them, if not until about 16 months of age.

    I have just bred a Nigie doeling who is 15 1/2 months old. She was way too tiny at even 12 months, and she is still noticeably smaller than my 5 yo Nigie doe. The triplets that my 5 yo Nigie doe had were much larger than this girl at comparable ages, so I may decide to breed them at 1 year old, then again, I might wait until next winter. I look at the individual does and decide based on size and health. The triplets are big-boned too. I have another doeling about the same age as the triplets, and she is slightly smaller than they are, and smaller boned. I will probably definitely wait until next year to breed her, but again, I am playing it by ear.

    The triplets have already had several heat cycles, and the one that is their age has not yet had a visible heat---their fence borders the buck pen so it is easy to tell who is in heat! The tiny girl I just bred didn't have as many heat cycles as the triplets either, and she is 6 months older than they are!

    Edited to add:
    Blue eyes are dominant in goats (opposite of humans) but I believe you do need a blue-eyed parent to get blue-eyed babies.
    I have a perfect little lavendar chamoisee (her color is like milk chocolate with dark chocolate chamoisee markings---one little white snip on her forehead) and she has blue eyes. Prettiest little thing you ever saw!
     
  4. Jillis

    Jillis Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,680
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Northeast Kingdom of Vermont
    This is a very informative site:
    http://members.cox.net/foxcroft/genetics.htm


    Here is a small quote from the site:
     
  5. dap

    dap lilsparrow

    Messages:
    149
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Location:
    Piedmont area NC
    Wow! Great information! Thank you for posting that link!!! :dance:
     
  6. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,370
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    I had a nigerian herd that I recently sold, intact, to another breeder.

    I bred my girls when they were seven months old, with exception given to anyone that was undersize. My first fresheners never had any trouble with delivering. I did have one doeling that repeatedly insisted that she wanted to be bred at the tender age of five months. By that I mean, she performed all kinds of gymnastics and got out of and into pens no other goats ever escaped from! By the time I had heard of lutalyse (this was my first year of goats), she was too far along. She was a dairy (body type) doe, not necessarily tiny, not big either. She kidded with a single buckling, and he was big. She delivered him with a little assistance, but not very much. She was the best mother in my entire herd, and subsequent kiddings, actually would feed babies whose mom's didn't have enough milk. On purpose - luring them off!

    I personally don't recommend Blueberry's breeding schedule to anyone! It was nerve wracking - I was a complete wreck.

    I generally bred them at seven months. My only exceptions based on the individual doeling's body type, and condition, or if the doe skipped for some reason.

    I personally don't want to breed dairy animals that take an extra six months or twelve months to be productive. That's my personal preferrence. I tend to end up with overconditioned goats if they don't get bred, or aren't milking. Then they are harder to get pregnant because fat deposits around the ovaries. Of course, I am now dealing only with nubians.

    I shared this because, I was horrified when I first got into goats, at how young everyone seemed to breed them! That was a shock to me, that there could be any benefit to breeding an animal that young. Now, I've seen goats who ended up overweight, with cystic ovaries due to not being bred and overfed, and I understand a bit more.

    I would be interested in finding statistics about how held over does hold up in the long run - for instance, if their pasterns and legs are better in old age? Not sure if it really lengthens their productive lifespan or not. The breeders (big dairy goats) that I've talked to all seem to feel that the ones bred young (seven months - to freshen as yearlings) end up being the most productive overall.

    Niki
     
  7. Al. Countryboy

    Al. Countryboy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    617
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2004
    Location:
    Alabama
    Website was very good and do appreciate your posts. I have been holding off on breeding my small 9 month old doe, but as we all walked down to the lower pasture today I saw the buck breed her. She was not focal as usual, no tail wagging and I figured that she had about 3 more days until she was in estrus. I was beginning to worry about her possibly have been bred today, but at 9 months old if she bred then maybe she will be ok. I am going to watch her tomorrow and keep her separated just incase. Just would like for her to wait a little longer. There are just not any nigerians to pick from around here and don't want to think about losing her.
     
  8. moonspinner

    moonspinner Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,640
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Location:
    western NY
    As a very general rule of thumb you can breed NDs sooner than many breeds. I've bred a couple at seven months and they did just fine. But I do go by size. I have one line that is notoriously slow to develop and this kid will be held back til she's at least a year. The adage I've always heard is breeding is fine when a doe reaches 2/3rds of adult size. Now how you can predict that might be tough for beginners.
    Most of my NDs I breed at around 9 months.
     
  9. GoatMilkTheray

    GoatMilkTheray Member

    Messages:
    15
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Location:
    Alabama
    Countryboy, I would love to see a picture of your new goaties :) How do they get along with your big Nubian? Can you keep them together?