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What time of year?

  • Late winter to early spring, not concerned much about the cold

  • Around March or April

  • Mid to late spring

  • Late spring to early/late summer, not concerned much about the heat

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Discussion Starter #1
What time of year is best to have goat kids? This is an opinion thread, by the way, no one is right or wrong. But what time of year do you prefer? I personally like around May-ish, but honestly, I don't care too much. If they're in heat, as long as it's in October - February, we're good to go. So far, we've bred Hazel this year to Colonel, and if it took, she'll be due early March. :D I'm excited!
 

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I think there is a wrong time to kid out. If you want to be hands off and expect your does to kid out alone on pasture, don't kid them out in February if you live in Michigan. :p I've talked to people who expect their goats to 'do it without assistance' and blew their mind when I told them that baby goats are born wet and can freeze to the bedding when born in February without assistance, especially if they have multiples. She could be the best mother in the world, but for lack of good management skills, it doesn't matter.

That being said, I'm constrained. I breed my does to kid during my spring break (usually the first week of March - this year it's the 2nd full week of March) OR mid-May after classes let out for the year. I prefer March kids because I *hate* 2 year old FF and it seems I have to work really hard to get May doelings bred the first fall for earlier than May - though I have done it, they're young when they kid. I usually wait to breed and If I do breed them, generally its' for MORE May kids... at least I rarely keep FF kids, so it's pretty much a non-issue, but still. I do like having one batch of kids and for sale reasons and growing reasons, I like March kids better.
 

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I never expect my does to kid without assistance. At least, they usually are fine without it, but we always watch them closely when they're due soon. So far we've had four does kid, and one of them had a large single that was stuck in the pelvis, so we're especially vigilant. But anyway, I do respect the opinion of other people; it's fine if they want to leave their does alone to kid, but it's just not our choice. Our goats are closer to pets than working farm animals, at least until we start milking them. I do not, however, understand how anyone could both let their does kid alone and make them do it in the winter.
 

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In the situations I was talking about, it was people who just didn't THINK about logistics when they bred. They knew people kidded goats out in spring, but they just didn't think that it means you must attend births. I'm all for leaving does to kid out (assuming you're willing to help when necessary) but obviously those kiddings are done in MAY, not MARCH. Sure, on a warm March day they could be fine out in the sunshine - I've let does kid out by the hay bale or in pasture, just going to check sexes (Boer). But in the middle of the night below zero and triplets... you'd be lucky to have one or two make it even with a normal birth. Especially if you're someone like me who doesn't put their does in kidding pens and doesn't use heat lamps.
 

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November kidding. I have several kidding in November and December this year. Most of the rest will kid the first of April. The ones kidding the first of April are January and February kids and the girls I plan to show. If I wasn't showing, I would want them all to kid in November. (Except for the 8 and 9 month olds)


http://www.spottednubian.com/index.html
 

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We have to do Jan/Feb kiddings for dd's fair goats. Fortunately it's only one doe. Dd has to sleep in the barn to make sure she's there. It's often (usually) -20F - -30F that time of year. The time and effort involved in keeping those kids warm and alive is a lot as I will not use a heat lamp in my barn. My animals are bred to kid in May. I always try to be there but by that time of year, if I miss it, they are usually ok. Usually. :D

I breed in December and my babies are always of a size to breed by the December following their birth.
 
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