How many teats should they have?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by Faithful Heart, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    Alright.... time for a dumb question. But I just gotta know.

    Dairy goats have 2 teats usually, right?

    And aren't meat goats suppose to have 4 teats, usually?

    I have a boar/kiko doeling that has just 2 teats. She was born a triplet, so if she has triplets too, won't that be a problem?

    With only 2 teats, IF she's suppose to have 4, does that mean she's got alot of dairy influence in her background? Cause I know they used dairy goats some in the development of the kiko, and I know some people breed dairy goats with boars.
     
  2. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Dairy goats are supposed to have only two teats. Boers can have different amounts. Some have two, some have three, some have four, some have even more than four. Even if they have 3,4, or more teats, many times only two actually produce milk. I do have a FB doe who has four productive teats. Two-teated does raise triplets all the time and do fine. The kids learn to take turns. Just keep an eye on them for the first month to be sure one isn't always getting left out. If that happens, you may need to supplement it. :)
     

  3. Kittikity

    Kittikity Small scale homesteader

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    Wow, I never knew goats could have more than two teats.. I would have been freaking out if I had a goat with more than two.. Something handy to know though.. heehee
     
  4. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think two teats is how many they're all supposed to have, but because Boer goats were so high priced when started here, the ones with extra teats weren't culled. :rolleyes:
    A doe can raise more than two, but like as not, one of them won't be getting her share. Best to pull the extra kids, imo, and bottle or sell them.
    mary
     
  5. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I like Boers with more than two working teats. They can feed trips and quads easier.
     
  6. macfie7

    macfie7 Well-Known Member

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    My half boer yearling was born with 4 teats. Since we don't breed for show, we didn't cull her, although I was told I should. When she was born I did a little research on it. It seems that Alexander Graham Bell did some animal husbandry with sheep and learned that with more teets, the more likely the ewe was to have multiples.

    Anyway, Rainie had her first kid this Spring. She is a good mother, but 2 of the teets turned out to be vestigial.Her little doe is a beauty and has the best temperment. I'm glad we kept her mama.
     
  7. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    four teats is not a cull factor for show in Boers. Its not bad at all. There are certain teat formations which *will* get a Boer culled from the show ring(most of them are types that make it hard for kids to suck, something that anyone *should* cull), but having four teats is NOT one of them. I don't care how many teats my Boer does have as long as the kids can find the teats and suck easily. That is their purpose in life, to raise kids.

    Now in dairy goats its entirely different......any type of extra or spur teats are knocked from showing.....as they should be.
     
  8. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

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    Like Emily said, 2 teats in Dairy..4 is allowed in Boer, just no "fish teats"
    and only one orifice in each teat, no matter how many teats.
     
  9. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    Ok.... I had just thought that the meat goats had 4. :) Guess as long as she has two that are good, then all's well.
     
  10. Milk n' Honey

    Milk n' Honey Well-Known Member

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    Faithful Heart - Boer goats generally have 4 teats. That is the usual amount. They can have 2 teats. Anymore than that is NOT good (for show purposes). An odd number is not a good thing. Many times the second set of teats do not work. Finding a doe with 4 working teats is quite an asset when having more than 2 kids. If your doe has 2 teats, that is probably because of the Kiko influence and the fact that Boers can indeed have 2 teats. When you cross Boer goats with dairy breeds, you never know if you'll get 2 or 4 teats. Boers are the only ones with multiple teats and that is one good way to tell if a doe is crossed with a Boer. We recently purchased a Boer/Alpine cross (we weren't sure what she was at the time). She is all black and 2 front white socks. I liked her color and bought her to breed to my Fullblood Boer buck. When we got her home we realized that she has 4 teats. BONUS!! That means that her kids should have even more Boer characteristics. While they will be registered 50% they will actually be genetically more than that. When we are looking for top quality breeding material, we look for a doe with 4 totally separate teats, making sure that they are not fish teats (2 teats with one base). That is for Boer does. Hope this helps!
     
  11. Muskrat

    Muskrat Well-Known Member

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    My opinion and my opinion only:

    The acceptance of extra teats in Boer show stock stems more from what people have than what the breed should be. Much of the original Boer stock that came into this country was culls, bringing with them recessive gene multiple teats, etc., but no breeder who had paid thousands of dollars for a buck was going to admit that he/she had paid that much for a less than standard animal. When the expensive buck threw kids with extra teats, then that became good and soon became accepted.

    I think, and again this is personal opinion, that the extra teats on an individual animal may work to the farmer's advantage, but within a flock, it is detrimental.

    I have dispersed a couple of flocks from Texas and I culled for extras, not as the sole criteria, but it was frequently the deciding factor. I still have some does with more than two teats, but they are not producing my replacement stock. I can breed for consistently excellent two-teat udders. With the multiple teats, it's a crapshoot as to number, location, functionality, etc.

    I will say that so many breeders out there subscribe to Mr. Bell's theory and/or think Boers are supposed to have more than two teats, that the does with extras had eager buyers while the ones with two teats are sometimes passed by. I've had buyers ask if a buck produces 'full' udders. Number of teats expected is now one of the questions I ask potential buyers. Fortunately there is enough of the recessive multiple teat gene in the pool that I seldom lack for animals to sell them. The smart money would probably move in the multiple teat direction.

    Anyway, Faithful Heart, your doeling is fine. If, at some point in her future, she feels under-endowed, look her in the eye and tell her Mike believes in her. :)
     
  12. Milk n' Honey

    Milk n' Honey Well-Known Member

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    Mike, just wondered if we are talking about goats or sheep?? You mentioned Boers but also ewes?? I am a bit confused. Thanks.
     
  13. Muskrat

    Muskrat Well-Known Member

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    Sorry. I was on the telephone about sheep as I was typing the response. I've corrected it now, I think. Serves me right for conducting business on Sunday. I'm against extra teats on sheep, too. :)
     
  14. Milk n' Honey

    Milk n' Honey Well-Known Member

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    Oh, OK. That makes sense. Also, do you have any links on info that would back up the story about the original Boers only having 2 teats? This is the first time I have heard anyone say that the first Boers in our country were culls and had flawed genetics that were excepted as the "preferred traits" in a Boer. I would love to read the whole story if you could list your references. Thanks so much!
     
  15. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

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    Great post Muskrat. It does show you how one recessive gene, frowned upon by dairy goat breeders and rarely seen in good stock, can be used as a plus for meat goat breeders. Bottom line is it's just one of thousands of recessive genes in goats that you have to deal with at your own farm. I never liked them and bred my Boers for two 'correct teats'. I just, as a dairy gal, couldn't stand looking at those extra teats! Course I feel the same way about wattles, horns, poor rear leg conformation, overgrown hooves, unshaved dairy goats :) :nerd: Vicki
     
  16. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    We had the annual Klamath Basin Dairy Goat Club potluck here at our house yesterday, and one of the ladies and I were talking about Boer goats before everyone else arrived. (Before I continue, I should mention that in general, I've found the members of this club to be woefully uninformed about a lot of things, even though some of them have been raising goats for forty or fifty years. I don't think they read much -- it's like something I read once, one year's experience twenty times, rather than twenty years experience.) Anyway, she was telling me the same thing, that the first Boers brought into this country were culls, but also that they were snuck into this country via embryo transplants in Nubian does (hadn't heard that one before, and find it kind of hard to believe that anyone would have gone to that much trouble and expense to bring in culls!). She was saying that there is a genetic defect in the Boers, carried by the does, evidently, that causes kids to be born not fully developed, and of course they die. Said she'd helped deliver triplets that were fully formed and haired on the top half, but the lower half, from the bottom of the rib cage down, had no hair and was semi-transparent, with deformed feet. And she knew someone else who'd had Boer kids like that -- has anyone else ever heard of this? I believe her when she's talking about what she saw herself, by the way. I told her that my part-Boer kids have been very healthy and vigorous, even the 3/4 kids that were born to my doe shortly after I got her, and she said that since it's carried by the doe, and my doe was out of an Oberhasli doe, she wasn't carrying 'it', whatever 'it' is.

    Kathleen
     
  17. Faithful Heart

    Faithful Heart Well-Known Member

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    How did they know they were culls before they were born? :shrug: :rolleyes:

    I'm lost on this one. Still loving what I'm reading in this thread though, interesting stuff.
     
  18. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nope, never heard of it and I have FB Boers and % Boers..........I would have to have a lot more info before I'd swallow that one. Boer kids are extremely hardy. :shrug:
     
  19. Muskrat

    Muskrat Well-Known Member

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    Oh, for heaven's sakes.

    When Boers were first imported, they were selling for tens of thousands of dollars each. When there's that much money around, cheats will appear.

    Because there was such a hysteria, people would buy ANY goat with a dark head and white body as long as the seller said it was a Boer so they could sell Boers, too.

    For those of you who deal in Boer cross-breeds, how much Boer do you have to have in a kid to get a visual Boer? Well, unscrupulous breeders put their Boer bucks on whatever doe, and sold anything that looked like a Boer as a Boer. Those new bucks could produce twenty faux Nubians that disappeared out the door to markets unknown while the one faux Boer produced would bring enough money to run the outfit.

    For those of you who have purebreds, think of the worst kid you've ever had. Did it have the Boer coloration? Then it could be sold for thousands of dollars. Would you have been righteous and refused the money or would you have sold the kid with the parrot nose and bad feet? Would you have killed it before you would let those defects get into the population? Maybe you would have, but too many didn't. They kept the best and sold the rest, and people bought the culls as breeding stock.


    Sure all the breeding stock came in through embryo transfer and strict import guidelines. Except...Mexico does not have quite the same rules about importing livestock that we do, and it's just across the border. Talk with some of the breeders in Texas about trucks bringing goats in from Mexico. And, at least the ones I've heard of, they weren't sneaking in Nubians with Boer embryos, they were sneaking Nubians, or whatever else was handy, bred by Boer bucks, and selling the kids that looked like Boers as purebred Boers.

    Or, ever notice how along that border the animals don't always seem to recognize thier own countries? If there is a flock of goats on this side of the border and a flock of goats on that side of the border, if the ranchers don't object, do you think the Border Patrol is going to spend a lot of time checking on which does were with which bucks on which side of the creek?

    The number of breeders who were trying to establish the breed with standards and care were overwhelmed. And even the reputable breeders sold their lesser quality in order to improve their home flocks and to pay for a very expensive investment. Culls. I don't know of any breeder that was willingly sending any Boer to slaughter if it could be sold as breeding stock at the prices anything was bringing.

    Things have calmed down over the years, but the effects of that first goldrush are still being felt. Look at the breed association pages and such--notice how the emphasis is now on "quality"? Yes, work is being done to bring the breed under a control. Yes, I'm sure all of you have quality animals and that any animal culled as not being what you want in your breeding flock is sent to slaughter rather than sold as breeding stock. There is also the point that when all is said and done, the papers that came with your goats are only as good as the person who sold them to you, and his/her goats are only as good as the person who sold the goats to THEM.

    Again, this is my opinion, based upon experience, reading, and talking. I could be one hundred percent mistaken, wrong, and delusional. I'm willing to live with that. :baby04: Your opinion is your own.
     
  20. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Is anyone argueing this?? I didn't see it if there was....... :shrug: