do you keep a buck or borrow one?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by BamaSuzy, Nov 15, 2004.

  1. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    It will be hard for me to tell when my goats go into heat AND be ready to take them to a buck or have a buck come here.

    The man I bought my Nubian and Boat-Nubian cross from has had a couple of gentle, bottle raised bucks that are young with him saying one of them would be great with "my girls."

    Should I get a buck? Should I keep him in a seperate pen all the time? Would it hurt if his fenced area is beside the girls' fenced area?

    Do bucks really smell all the time or just when they are in rut? How many times a year do they go into rut?

    I've read and re-read J.D. Bellenger's book but still like to hear from other "goatie" people with their actual experiences! thanks guys in advance! you know I'll have more questions!
     
  2. GoatTalkr9

    GoatTalkr9 Well-Known Member

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    We have a buck at our place,and will be getting another one this spring. The buck is in with my wethers so that he doesn't get lonely and up to orneriness. He is really smelly during rut,but the smell eases considerably when he's out of rut. I've heard of many who have no problems having the buck close to the girls lot..but also hear the tales of the buck getting into the lot"somehow" and breeding does that weren't ready to be bred. My girls are in field fence till they are bred,then put in a lot with electric fence by the buck and wethers. My two doelings who are only 6 months old will remain in the tall field fencing for safety. The buck will be getting another field fence pen again (he had one when we first got him). That way,when I want to let the girls browse the hillside,I can lock him up away from them. You just have to use common sense and caution with a buck. My buck is very gentle and seldom gets into any trouble.But he IS still a buck..so my kids never go into that lot alone,and someoen always knows if I'm in that lot.It's much simpler to have the buck on your place,just be willing to put up with his "buck" quirks and smell,lol.
     

  3. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i keep a buck. he was a bottle baby too. only problem i have with him is he wants to "love" me too. at the very least, he rubs his smelly head all over me, marking me as his own. doesn't wash off easily either. :eek: :)
     
  4. steff bugielski

    steff bugielski Well-Known Member

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    I also have bucks. Two one is 5 and the other is 2. I keep all of them together. As it would be in nature. In 12 yrs I have had only one doe be bred before 8-9 months old. As it would be in the wild, the kids are born in early spring and go into their first heat in the fall. The young ones usually practice for a few months before it takes.
    As for smell, you either can't stand it or it doesn't bother you.
    I do have 28 does,if I only had a few I think I would borrow.
    steff
     
  5. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    is it possible to borrow a buck? i thought i always have to go with my girls where the buck is.
    susanne
     
  6. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    I borrowed a buck last year, and arranged for this year's in June. They stay for 6 weeks. The goat dairies around here would much rather "lend out" a buck than have does come in to board. It's so much easier to quarantine a buck back from a visit than it is to keep visiting does and their milk & equipment separate from their herds. I breed for May kids so these bucks have done their job for the year at home and are earning a little extra and saving on the owners' feed bill at the same time!
    The general agreement is that the fees are paid up front but the service memos are not made out until the buck is returned.

    I couldn't raise/buy and maintain a buck for the cost of stud fees I've paid. I used a Sunshine Zeanna Zenith son who is also a 2004 USDA Qualifying Young Sire last year for $25. This year, a buck by Chivas Regal out of a 01-04 USDA Elite doe whose first freshening daughters are milking up to 2812 lbs- $20 a head!
    I think if I had a larger herd I'd invest in AI equipment. Even with only 4 head, finding a buck that would improve all of them without detracting their strengths was difficult. Even with $$$ I don't think I could find a "one size fits all" buck.
     
  7. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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    Having our own bucks for the ranch is like having antivirus for the computer; nothing bad gets in and nothing bad gets out.
     
  8. stellie

    stellie Well-Known Member

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    By keeping a buck on your property, you lessen the chance of getting another farmer's illnesses into your flock. You also know exactly how your buck looks, what he eats, how he keeps and, especially, how (and who, if you want to get a tup harness) he mates.

    We currently have... wow. A great deal of bucks and wethers running about with the does. Mostly because we haven't sold last spring's crop, yet. :rolleyes: We'll get around to it, soon. They're all a great standing bunch. They don't fight and they're content where they are.

    I've only been around a few bucks that actually stink. They're usually the over-sized boers and really SUPER HUGE 'bush goats' that look a bit like the Bagot -- http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/goats/bagot/index.htm . And when it rains, stay clear. Because they get wet and then its all over.

    And goat 'studs' aren't like horse studs :) Usually its no problem for a neighboring farmer to let the billy come visit. (It is to my understanding, however, that with horses... you put the mare into the stallion's space, not the other way around -- which would mean you take the mare to the stud. Otherwise, she gets cranky and might hurt him...)

    And another plus side to having a buck on the property? Especially when you let him run with the flock, you'll have two crops every year -- one spring, one fall. :D Or.. depending on the weather flux, one winter, one summer. And the winter is hectic enough, oy.
     
  9. stellie

    stellie Well-Known Member

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    This amuses me -- its so true! :haha:
     
  10. TexCountryWoman

    TexCountryWoman Gig'em

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    I have two bucks, a dairy and a meat . One LaMancha and one Boer. They are young and friendly. I don't like moving new animals onto my propery either. Also, I live far out and can't get to the bucks I would like to use. I used to run my goats completely free out here when there were no neighbors. I had Nubians then and got two crops of babies a year. Now I keep my dairy buck with my dairy does and Boer with Boer during breeding season only. Then, after all are bred, the does live together and the bucks live together for the rest of the year. My bucks have grown up together and are friends. Older bucks that don't know each other very well may harm or even kill each other if put together later in age. Right now, my LaMancha out-stinks my Boer!
     
  11. Ark

    Ark Well-Known Member

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    Two crops a year??

    You mean that half the herd kids early in the year and the other half late?
    Surely you dont mean each doe kids twice a year? LOL

    Rachel
     
  12. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    thanks everybody! I may go see the bottle-fed buck this week. My friendly farmer said I could go ahead and get him and pay him when I get paid because he knows where I am.....(bless his heart....he came and helped me give my first shots yesterday....and I gave the shots just fine with somebody else holding the goats!!!)

    Baby has a slight cold and we wanted to knock it out BEFORE it turned into something worse. This GOOFY Alabama weather!
     
  13. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have never used a buck over age 1 1/2 years. Just by coincidence, but the older they are when rut comes the stinkier they are. This year is the first year I am using my own buck on two does and a rented buck for other 3. I have paid as much as $75 to have a buck breed 5 girls.

    Next year I hope to trade for a buckling and send my buck that I'm using now to the table. I like to use a younger buck for managability, less stink. One also must consider inbreeding issues when keeping your own buck from your own stock so often 2 are kept and it is better for bucks to have buddies for exercise.
     
  14. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We currently have two bucks. William and Charlie. They are both half Boer and they were bottle raised by us from a month of age. They will be three in February and I am trying to find Charlie a new home. Next year one of their daughters will be coming in so we need another buck for breeding. Figured we would keep William because he is half Saanen. We are also going to be purchasinga purebred Saanen buck from a goat dairy I will be working on.
    Hand raising them has made a *huge* difference! These two are so easy to work with. They are big baby dolls.

    When Cam was here he was kept in the pen year round with the does and was used for two years. They only kidded once each year.
    Max was kept in the pen year round as well, but we only kept him one year. Had 24 kids out of him and 10 does that one year.
    William and Charlie have been kept away from the girls for more "controlled" breeding. They had a pen to themselves, which was fine with them. They were raised ina pen with a heifer (Crucible) and so they are happier togetehr anyways.
    If you do decide for controlled breeding, then he ought to have a wetehr as a companion. They are herd animals.

    Our bucks generally didn't smell til they were older. William and Charlie reeked to high heaven this year! They loved rubbing their heads on me and marking me with their scent glands. They went into rut in about late August, when the does started coming into heat. We had them seperated out at that point. They are still in rut but do not smell as bad. All our does that are breedable (we have a three quarter Nubian we think is barren) should be bred at this point. They will be left in with the does and the one wether we are wintering and stay there until we seperate them out next year.

    We have 11 breeding age does and 3 doelings.
     
  15. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    In the past, when I only had 1 doe, I took her over to a neighbors (where I bought her) to have her bred. When there were 2 does, the neighbor brought the buck over to my place after all her does were bred (In November & I kept him until February).
    Last year I did the same thing even though 2 of his daughters were in the herd and could get bred. The daughters didn't get bred, so I'm not sure if there is something wrong with them, or if they were just too young.
    This year, I decided to buy a buck at the auction (yes, I know, I know, I don't know the history of this buck & always have the possibility of disease) but since my friend still has the same buck, I figured it was time for new blood. I paid $67.50 for this buck and am hoping to be able to take him back to the auction in January and get back at least what I paid for him or more.
    Currently I have 7 does, 3 of which were born this year and may still be too young to breed.
    Good luck in whatever you do!

    P.S. The bucks I borrowed before were always friendly and wanting to rub against me and get attention. This auction buck while not entirely scared of me, usually keeps his distance from me. As for the smell, I'm one of those strange people who don't mind the smell of a buck!!! :eek:
     
  16. Honeybee

    Honeybee Well-Known Member

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    We keep a buck because I am trying to slowly, gradually, start a herd that will be my/our retirement job in the future.

    I think whether you keep one or borrow one depends on what your goal is. How many does you have. Whether you have enough room. How far away is the buck you'd use or borrow.... Just a few things to consider.

    Ours always have a little of that buck smell but it only gets really bad during breeding season. When everyone is bred and settled he settles down as well, and stops urinating on himself all the time. Then when breeding season/rut is over he seems to settle down a bit more again. If it's not sub zero here and he can spend some time out in the outside or in the rain that helps too. If he's stuck in the barn a lot he's stays smellier.

    I think getting a bottle baby is a good thing as well as dehorning him and handling him a lot from the start. We don't allow any rough play from bucklings.

    Borrowing a buck can work out nicely I've got a neighbor who does that but I wouldn't do it unless I knew the people and knew their goats were free of disease, illness etc.

    I have never been organized enough to keep track of who's coming into heat when to be able to drop my girls off with someone who's got a buck. We also live a long ways out.

    I know people who just don't like keeping one and have only a couple does so it's not a problem for them to make arrangements once a year. We only have 6 does right now and don't see keeping a buck as a problem.
     
  17. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    I would have my own buck if I even had one doe. I would maybe try an outside breeding now and then, but they are a huge headache. I would bet that 50% of the does who show up for outside breeding to my bucks are not in heat. Since I don't board that means they run back and forth, sometimes for 3 days in a row.

    I am a huge fan of new folks purchasing a young buck in the spring, raise him up to breed in the fall, then sell him after the girls have all kidded or butcher him. I sell soaking wet bucks for 50$, you have to pick him up as soon as he is born, this is with his purebred Nubian paperwork, they are bucks out of first fresheners, who would be slated for meat otherwise. Certainly not something the typical show person would want, although some have been VERY good deals with the dam showing well as an older doe, but certainly a great deal for someone looking to improve their milk. I would rather put a buckling like this into herds than have them coming here wanting to breed for the same price.

    I own 7 bucks, 3 on extended lease at other farms for periods of 1 to 2 years, 3 which live here and 1 that I own in halves who lives in the town over. Vicki
     
  18. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here in Texas, the Nubians will, in fact, have two kiddings a year if you let them. I sometimes do.
    mary
     
  19. susanne

    susanne Nubian dairy goat breeder

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    i would like to do that next spring instead of guessing when the girls are in heat or bring a full grown buck that i don't know very well.
    so pitty you are in texas
    :waa:
     
  20. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I have one buck, six months old (Kinder) and he stinks. Yes, he's a sweetheart, but I make sure when I reach through the fence to pet him that he doesn't rub me with his head, LOL!!

    I would also keep a buck even if I only had one doe (I have three right now, but two are only five months old and won't be bred this fall). My problem is that I would really like to breed my milker about now, but I haven't seen any signs of heat in her yet. Maybe she's just really quiet about it. I am thinking about putting her in the buck pen for a while. I don't want him in the doe pen, because I don't want the babies bred. But I'm really dubious about having my milker living with Mr. Stinky while she's still in milk. I wish she'd come in heat and be quite obvious about it -- have had goats for years and never had this problem with a buck on the premises.

    Kathleen in Oregon