how often to breed does?

Discussion in 'Goats' started by garrett, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. garrett

    garrett Guest

    I am a newcomer to goats and have read lots of conflicting info about the breeding cycle of boer crosses and how to market for ethnic holidays. My main question is, what is the best turn around time to breed does? Is it every 12 months or every 8 months? What do you recomend. My main concern is not overworking the does but i wpould also like to increase my production. Any tips would be helpful. Thanks.
  2. Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians

    Vicki McGaugh TX Nubians Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2002
    North of Houston TX
    Here is how I did it. The girls all lived with the buck in the main woods pen. When they would udder up I would move them to another pasture where they kidded and stayed with their kids for 12 weeks, this is also the pen where they received grain and alfalfa pellets. Only heavy bred and nursing does and kids at my place recieved grain and alfalfa pellets. At 12 weeks the dams where put back into the woods with the boys, the bucks where sold, any doelings where sold that I was not keeping for replacments (and honestly if they where replacements I bottle rasied them with the dairy does, so the core of my boer herd was tame, but the kids stayed in this pen until they where large enough to be bred.

    The more boer in your herd and the farther south you are the more year round, and 3 time kiddings in 2 years you will get, the more dairy the more north you move the harder this will be.

    If you do not have pasture/woods/browse for them than obviously they will not be able to keep this up for very long before you see nutritional problems. I hayed heavily during winter, had fee choice loose minerals out and that's it. I had 25 adult does breeding and one buck (in fact for 2 years I borrowed a buck). If you do not have pasture than you will have to pellet feed year round, I am not sure how you would be able to even break even if this is the case.

    My sales had little to do in the end with holiday sales. In our area, north of Houston you can sell meat goats everyday of the year for 1$ per pound. Hands down my 3/4 kids (Nubian X Boer) which means your 1/2 Nubian X 1/2 Boer does bred to a boer buck, gave me the heaviest kids at 12 weeks. More boer and they were slower growing, more dairy and you had taller kids that weighed less.

    Moving the does heavy bred to a new pen also gives you a time to trim their feet and worm them, vaccinate or do anything else you want, then once again doing the same when they weaned their kids. This left only the buck to catch and treat twice a year.

    Having a schedule and sticking to it worked really well for me, when all was said and done her first kid of the year was repay for feed and drugs, all other kids born in that year where cash crop.

    Start with nice comercial stock, don't fall into the purebred/fullblood trap, buy clean CAE tested, CL vaccinated stock with no old sores, bad feet or scar tissue in the udder. Don't let the doe herd consist of both horned and unhorned animals. Trim the bucks feet before you buy him, the more Boer you go the worse their feet are, they can become very claw like as they get older, buy a buck who is manageable, and don't expect to put him by himself, they simply don't have the temperment for this. Everyone will tell you that goats are herd animals so never buy only one doe, but yet they pen their bucks alone!!!! Then complain they are mean.

    Don't go worming monthly, or with things like Safeguard or herbal wormers, go to Cydectin immediatly, and worm the whole group as soon as you get them home. Cydectin is a cattle pouron that you use at 1cc per 25 pounds orally. You will use this for several years before you will move to anything else. Buy from one person if you can, goats do so much better stress wise if they move with goats they know, this way also you are not introducing new disease. Do not buy from the auction barns, go to a farm to purchase a group, better prices that way and less disease coming from the sick goats usually sold at auction or things they catch from the pens and soil at the auction barn.

    See if you can't find someone local to your area who has goats who will mentor you. Join a local goat club, all us dairy goat gals have done boer, and we all have folks who belong to our clubs who have boer goats.

    Don't purchase a bunch of overgrained fat juiggly does thinking they are big, big nice stock down not jiggle when they walk! All that fat at their point of elbow that you can grab handfuls of is unhealthy!

    Sit down put pen to paper and figure out what you can afford...feeding, fencing and barn...then buy goats from somebody who is doing what you can afford to do. It makes little sense to try to start a commercial herd with someone who treats their goats as pets and pampers them and grains them to an early death. Keep the sentimental girls at home when you do go buy :) Vicki

  3. garrett

    garrett Member

    Jan 8, 2005
    Thanks, this definetly gives me a starting point to go from. As a teen growing up on the farm I always had several dairy goats, but they were more pets than anything. I currently have about 80 acres with half of it being overgrown with hedge, locust, and other thorny objects.
    I started looking in to getting some goats to clean the land up, but have read quite alot about meat goats and how they are or can be profitable. Plus with the cattle market out of whack right now there is no way I will be buying any cattle until the prices go way down. I have several breedersthat I plan on buying some 1/2 and 3/4 doelings from next month when they are weaned. I know that I will have to wait a year before any kids hit the ground, but I had hoped that would give me enough time to get my land in order and also allow me to learn along the way. Buying them this young also allows me to buy twice as many compared to buying bred does.
    I am not real sure how the market is in this area so that will be one of my biggest hurdles to overcome. I live in central Missouri and there are not alot of breeders that I am aware of. There is a large hispanic population in this area so that is at least a start.
    I also got a few young Barbados sheep , so I am hoping to diversify and experiment with several different species and breeds. I have a long way to go, but with 80 acres I figure eventually I should be able to make a little something off of my land. Plus my 3 kids are loving the idea of having these animals around. Thanks for all the great comments.
  4. jwcinpk

    jwcinpk Well-Known Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    Vicki I sure like the way you put things. Always to the point. We must think alike because my plan for our herd is largely as you suggested. We are working on a large woody area for ours.
    I too just love the half boer nubian kids, that is a great way to go. We ahve 2 nubians and breed them to our boer buck and the kids from them always outgrow the mostly boer kids.
    Thanks for Cydectin. It took me a while to find it, but this is a good wormer!
  5. Sondra Peterson

    Sondra Peterson Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2002
    Garrett if you are going to keep the sheep and the goats in the same area you have to be very careful with the minerals. the goats have to have goat minerals and the sheep cannot have them because of too much copper. So you need to figure out how to get minerals to both groups.