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West Central Minnesota
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Reg FB does kidded Dec and Jan 07. I feed my nursing does well. I have read weaning kids at 3 months. My does are heavy milkers and were producing abundant milk with 3 month old kids. All kids have access to a creep pen where I hand feed grain twice a day. I pulled the buck kids and left the doe kids on the dams. The doe kids nursed till 5 months old.
Later I reduced the quality/quantity of the feed and the does reduce their milk flow, the doe kids were weaned at 5 months at the end of May. The doe kids really grew, have good frames, bone and are large.

At weaning the does were in good shape. On June 6th the buck was put in with the drying off does. I read that after the kids are weaned the does will come into heat in 10-14 days. All does cycled and are bred for November kidding.

So if you would like to kid on a every 10 month cycle--or once a year instead of every 8 months.., let your doe kids nurse longer.

Doelings retained for breeding are exposed to kid at 20 months old. They were born in the first 10 month cycle and will kid in the second 10 month cycle. All does kid in one group and the resulting kids are all the same size/age--- no need for multiple pens with different sized kids.


Jerry
Http://www.fletcherthreeoaks.com
 

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When I dam-raise, I let the doelings nurse for 4-5 months too. I leave meat bucklings on til they are butchered. Bottle-feeding, the same thing...as long as I can humanly stand it....the longer the better. This year, I weaned at 4 months.

A good dairy doe will lactate 10 months, but will come into heat WELL before she weans her kid or you quit milking her. She will cycle when she cycles, independent of the timing of the weaning of her kids. My does started cycling in April at just a couple months fresh. They are cycling like crazy now at 4 and 5 months fresh. So "I" will determine when their next kids will be born, not them. My 16 week old doelings are cycling now....they will be bred in October if they are at least 70 lbs by then and they are well-grown already.

Holding doelings over to kid at 20 months old is expensive and they may get too fat. I raise my doelings to kid at 12 months, not 20 months.

I like having my does kid in groups too, it makes life easier to have all same-aged kids and less penning issues.
 

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Jerry - I LOVE your Cast Iron buck!! OMGosh....he is awesome and at only 7 months!! I'd hate to guess what you had to give for that fella. How'd you get ahold of him...a production sale or private purchase? I noticed you have an AABG/Loid buck too. I'm from Indiana. AABG is located one county over from us. They always clean house at the fair in town. They actually show at the fair in the county I live in. You've got some nice stuff there!!

Wow!! Kidding at 12 months seems early but they do say you should go by weight and not age so I guess that is great that you are getting them to weight by 7 months of age. You must be doing something right!! We are sort of in the middle. We will let ours be bred at 12 months, if they are up to weight and then they'll kid at 17 months. They are definently not fat....just young does, in what I would call "normal" condition for their age. I know another lady that lives near here that raises Boers and she breeds them to kid at around 2 years of age. She believes that breeding too young is hard on them and stunts their growth. She told us that just because they are mature looking enough on the outside doesn't mean that their internal parts are mature enough. Hmmm....everyone has their own ideas I guess. I thought that was an awful long to wait. I wonder if their is a difference also between dairy and meat breeds. It seems there always is!! LOL!!
 

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Our dam raised kids are left to be weaned when their dams decide it is time. The exceptions are the few times I've had an intact buck kid on a doe (the majority of the males are castrated), if a dam/daughter pair are being put into breeding pens with different bucks, or a first here....if Fern, Persephone or Utopia are bred back for September kids. I will be force weaning this December/January kids here soon.
Our does wean their kids anywhere from 6 months to 10 months. Utopia is currently nursing a 7 month old wether. We've had to force wean 10 month old wethers off her in the past. She's 1/2 LaMancha/Alpine and 1/2 Pygmy.
I had never run into a doe that would wean her kids before 4 months until Twyla (basically Boer) joined the herd. I may see more of it as the Boer blood increases. It will be strange, for sure.
Edited to add; Last Fall we had two doelings still nursing their two dams when all four were 2 months bred.
 

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I don't know about the part where the does come into heat 10-14 days after weaning the kids. I let my does nurse their kids as long as they wanted to, and they all came into heat about the same time, both the ones with nursing kids (which were still nursing!) and the ones without kids nursing (buck kids get butchered young). Most of the does weaned their kids as soon as they settled, but continued milking into late fall or winter.

What I did notice is that letting the doelings nurse until they're 7-8 months old made a real difference in their strength of bone and readiness for breeding to kid as yearlings. They grew out more reliably that doelings who were bottle fed or weaned at 3 months old. And I will never, ever wean kids at 2 months again!
 

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The problem I run into is that if I want to put a doe in with the buck and she still has a doe kid on her, she shouldn't go in with the buck at that early of an age so I have to separate doeling from dam. Of course, so far, I just pasture breed. If I pen bred my does, I'd probably be able to leave the doelings on longer. The thought of pen breeding 30 does just stresses me out though!! LOL!!
 

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Oh, I let the doelings breed their first year. If they were born in February (my goal) then by September they're 7 months old and usually big enough. I use A.I. though so I tend to not pen breed. What I do sometimes is to put the does I want bred into the buck pen, especially if they're virgin 2 year olds, want to make danged sure they get preggers.
 

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Me too.

I aim for February kids so the doelings are well-grown by early fall. Then I hand-breed. I chart heats and put the doe/doeling in with the buck the day they are in heat, twice. I visualize the breeding and write it down. Then I know exact due dates and can attend all births.
 

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West Central Minnesota
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Both my bucks were purchased by private treaty. Boomer was purchased from Able Acres last Januar when 7 months old. He is a RRD Guage son out of Eggs Palina....both parents and all 4 grandparents are ennobled. 2 of his full siblings are ennobled. Cost $1200
Cast Iron was purchased from Gate Ridge Boer sin Texas. I was fortunate that friends were visiting family and they transported him for me its a 24 hour drive from Texas to Minnesota. He is a RRD Cannon son out of a Eggsfile doe He was $1000.
I have two first time does kid this June at 13 months old, trouble free kidding..one single and a set of twins. Feeding their kids well and are maturing nicely.
So I have a Dec born and 4 huge January born doelings. I am thinking of breeding them in November to kid in April at 16 months old.
I like having one kidding group..but its not practical to wait till they are 20-21 months old for their first time kidding.
I do like my does big.

Jerry
 
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