Frusterated with Boer goats

Discussion in 'Goats' started by seanmn, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. seanmn

    seanmn Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    I've started raising Boer goats for over a year now and Im just having awful luck getting kids. I started with 1 buck and 3 does and have since added more does. The only does I've been able to get kids from are dairy does (alpine and saanan) that were bred to my boer I know he's good. I also have a few more that look like they'll be kidding in about 4 weeks but those were ones I bought bred....I've talked to other breeders in my area that have been having the same problem with boers, some complained of foot problems but I havent'had any problems with hoofs. One other breeder only got 6 kids out of 32 does due to chaymdia. another breeder I know of bought boers from a reputable breeder but had similar problems of not getting kids and he complained of hoof rot problems..and I know he takes good care of his goats because he's been raising nice nubians for 15 years..he got rid of all his boers. I had the vet look at them and he said they appear to all be happy healthy goats. In the back of my mind I wonder if they dont do as well in northern or wetter climates as there oringnated in the desert....sometimes I wonder if the kikos would be better...
  2. Dee

    Dee Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2002
    Sorry you are having a hard time.

    I have percentage Boers. My does are all 7/8 and 15/16... so they are close to being pure. I also live in New Jersey so we have wet weather and cold, snowy winters. This year, I had 15 kids out of my 8 does. One triplet, two singles and the rest twins. All healthy and doing well.

    I know it is hard to tell when the does are in heat. They are very quiet. I let my buck (which I buy every year as a buckling) run with the does in November for April kids. Maybe that is your problem :shrug:


  3. tulsamal

    tulsamal Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2006
    Yeah, I can't say I've really had that problem. Out of a herd of around 50 does, I usually have 2-3 that fail to get pregnant for some reason or another. Mostly twins, a few singles from the youngsters, and quite a few triplets.

    I also just put my buck in with the herd. He is in a special pen most of the year. October 1st he is released for all the grass, browse, and does he can handle. I leave him out there until around Jan 1st. So he has several chances at each doe just in case.

  4. copperpennykids

    copperpennykids Well-Known Member Supporter

    Sep 5, 2004
    Two things come to mind...

    First of all, I agree with the other is easier to pen breed Boers, although I have successfully hand bred many Boers. Just make sure they are in a pen adjacent to the buck, and when they play kissy-face through the fence, breed them.

    Secondly, if you are feeding your Boers like your Dairy girls, they may be too fat. My Boers really get fat on alfalfa--they only get alfalfa right before breeding (nutritional flush), 1 month before kidding and 8 weeks post kidding. Limited grain, usually given the same time as the alfalfa.
    Fat does are harder to get bred.

    Just a thought.

  5. Milking Mom

    Milking Mom COTTON EYED DOES

    Oct 2, 2004
    I agree with Camile. Fat does are harder to get bred. Also have you had your vet test your girls for Chlamydia? There are some tests you could do yourself if you pull a couple of ccs of blood on them and send it to the lab. How old are these girls? Have they had kids before or are they first timers? Did you buy them from someone who flushes them for their eggs? IF they have been flushed continuously they may not have any eggs left. If you test them and they are clean and after checking with the previous owners and you know they have not been flushed out then you could try Lutalyse. Give them a 2 cc shot IM all on the same day. Within 24-36 hours they should come in heat. Skip this heat cycle. Lute them again in 12 days. When they come in heat again put them with the buck. Let the buck run with your does for a couple of months, just in case one of the does didn't catch. Hmmm... that's all the ideas I have.
    Good luck.
  6. Kshobbit

    Kshobbit Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    I have a small operation on 4 acres and my buck is with them all the time. I take the doelings to another pasture. My firest buck was not very fertile and bred about 50 %. I culled him and got a fullblood buck who bred everything he was exposed to and had lots of triplets and twins that were an improvement on all the does. I lost him thru an unfortunate incident and have a new buck and my good bucks only fullblood buck kid. I suggest getting another buck.
  7. goatkid

    goatkid Well-Known Member Supporter

    Nov 20, 2005
    Are your Boer does getting the proper goat minerals? I've heard does won't conceive if they don't get enough copper. I live in Montana where we have cold winters and all my and my friend's Boers conceive easily. I'd check with the folks you bought the does from to see if they had any problems with them. If you bought them at an auction, this may be why they were culled.
  8. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    North of Houston TX
    There is a huge difference between no pregnancies and no live kids. One can mean disease, spread by the buck from doe to doe, another can mean mineral/vitamin and just plain nutritional defficency. Also when getting local information ask more questions...was the chlamydia diagnosed by a lab or just abortions, was the chlamydia treated? Those does who did abort will not abort again, but their daughters will and all bucks that bred the does will spread this too all does, and herds who use these bucks will also catch it. Just like in humans.

    Was your buck in with the does when they were in heat? Although we all talk about meat breeds cycling year round, heat is brought on by daylight length always, if your property does not have alot of daylight, like my bucks who live in the dense woods, the bucks will not rut without daylight. A young buck may not be able to breed older does when they are first in heat.

    Foot rot is usually a nutritional problem, copper or many other things lacking in the diet...too much protein can cause overgrowth of hooves which then if hooves aren't trimmed enough on soggy pastures, rot grows. It's rarely true hoofrot in the form of the bacteria hoofrot found in cattle, but just neglect. You treat hoof rot/scald with copper foot bathes, which usually means copper needs to be in the diet also. Using the wrong mineral for your area...we can't use red minerals here, they contain iron...we live on an iron ore hill, we need no iron in our minerals or grain vitamins. The beef cattlemen in your area are the ones to learn from on what is an what is not a problem in your area.

    Alot of boers are also just plain fat. Does are only kidding out once a year when they can easily kid out 3 times in 2 years. They are fed heavy molassased sweet feed (molassas furthers binds the copper in the diet) even when not heavybred or nursing, they pack on fat internally way before they have that roll at point of elbow. That internal fat presses on the heart, the reproductive organs, and brings on ketosis symptoms during pregnancy. I am not a fan of huge bucks, I want my bucks lean mean breeding machines, plus once they hit 200 pounds, it's just plain too hard to deal with them day to day (with dairy bucks we have a much more intimate relationship with them, handling them alot more). My bucks only got alfalfa pellets, never grain unless someone was used heavily during rut. I do this exact same thing with my Nubians. Grain is not your goats friend. Yes it will add weight to your kid crop.

    Doing male breeding soundness exams isn't invogue anymore, neither is cleaning the sheath and penis of bucks before they breed your herd....I can't even begin to tell you how chancy it is for your does herd health to purchase bucks who have been used on other herds, and then let him breed your girls before he has been cleaned, checked for disease and had his sperm tested...certainly if you spend more than $100 on your buck these things should be done.

    Also make sure the local guys have your best interests at heart, make sure they aren't steering you in the wrong way because of local price concerns. Nutrition is one of my favorite topics if you want to talk further....with dairy goats I know your area is being copper bolused, that and your animals diet may turn the tied for you. Vicki
  9. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 6, 2005
    Hmmmmmm, this is not a problem I have had. Do your does run with your buck?? How old is your buck?? Do your goats have a loose mineral?? Are they excessively fat?? Have these does kidded before, or are they all young does who have yet to freshen?? Do the does cycle or not??