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I live in Ct... Most people that I have met with goats keep them as pets or hobby milkers, or 4hers.
So asking them any questions I get such opposite answeres from this forum.
Last night I brought my doe to a buck an hour away. These are show goat peeps as well as hobby milkers. Now I never et to talk goat with anyone. So I am looking forward to the visit of asking a hundred questions.
But when I tell them what I am doing they look at me like I am crazy..
We started talking about feed. I told them that I fees alfalfa pellets and boss..{ of course hay and minerals.} They had never heard to feed a goat alfalfa pellets except heavy milkers. I said that some people free choice it. They thought that was crazy! I told them that I don't feed dairy pellets unles I milk they told me that I should still feed them some. Im guessing for the minerals.. but I already give them minerals.

Everything I know about goats come from you all on this forum. I trust you all because you all seem to have the farmer mentality.
They say we like to follow ADGA rules of handling, as they tell me horror stories of all the diseases they have seen from there own heard do to improper feed issues.
My doe I brought to them to be bred was 11 months old. And they remionded me how detrimental it may be to her! And NOBODY breed their goat the first year hear... NOBODY! Even the vet didn't recommend it!
Why is it different here to country livin where you are?
So is what I am doing right?
I feel all alone with know reassurance! When they ask where I get my info all I can say is the people on this goat forum... They think I am nuts, I can tell!
 

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I've always been told to breed the first time between 8 and 10 months of age. This is by the former secretary of the SC dairy goat association. I have never had a problem, and have bred all my does at 9-10 months.
 

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Well, there isn't a "right way" to raise dairy goats successfully. Any feeding system that produces lots of milk, healthy does and healthy kids is the "right" way.

Just for example. My herd is pasture based, with 2-5 lbs of 16% grain and free choice dairy cattle mineral, rumen buffer and an occasional bit of candy. In winter, we feed what hay we can get, both good and indifferent. Sometimes there's alfalfa, sometimes it's CRP.

There's another gal around here who trucks in outstanding alfalfa to feed year round and the best kind of grain and mineral. She does various feed supplements and her barn is much, much better than mine.

We're both getting high producing does with healthy kids. Different systems, both with good results- her does are much, much better looking than mine, though :)

Personally, I like to breed my kids at 7 or 8 months and freshen at 11-12 months. A well fed, big framed doeling is ready to work at 11 months. BUT some lines in a breed are slow to grow and really need that extra year to build themselves up before they are ready.

There's not much of anything in the goat world that is "one size fits all". You just have to keep talking to lots of goat people, learn as much as you can about your goats, and work out what's best for your herd.
 

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I live in Ct... Most people that I have met with goats keep them as pets or hobby milkers, or 4hers.
So asking them any questions I get such opposite answeres from this forum.
Last night I brought my doe to a buck an hour away. These are show goat peeps as well as hobby milkers. Now I never et to talk goat with anyone. So I am looking forward to the visit of asking a hundred questions.
But when I tell them what I am doing they look at me like I am crazy..
We started talking about feed. I told them that I fees alfalfa pellets and boss..{ of course hay and minerals.} They had never heard to feed a goat alfalfa pellets except heavy milkers. I said that some people free choice it. They thought that was crazy! I told them that I don't feed dairy pellets unles I milk they told me that I should still feed them some. Im guessing for the minerals.. but I already give them minerals.

Everything I know about goats come from you all on this forum. I trust you all because you all seem to have the farmer mentality.
They say we like to follow ADGA rules of handling, as they tell me horror stories of all the diseases they have seen from there own heard do to improper feed issues.
My doe I brought to them to be bred was 11 months old. And they remionded me how detrimental it may be to her! And NOBODY breed their goat the first year hear... NOBODY! Even the vet didn't recommend it!
Why is it different here to country livin where you are?
So is what I am doing right?
I feel all alone with know reassurance! When they ask where I get my info all I can say is the people on this goat forum... They think I am nuts, I can tell!
Hey Christie, I'm with you.... Same here. People don't know their own livestock. :stars: no testing, no fecals, ?huh CL.. whatsaaat? So I just say, "Vicki said..." as if everyone who has a goat knows Vicki...:sing:
Paul
 

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There are alot of people out there who don't breed their does until they are yearlings. That's fine, if they can afford to feed a doe for an extra year only to find out she doesn't have the udder they desire in their herd. Then there is the issue of unbred does getting too fat. The only kids I hold over are ones born in mid summer. All my spring kids are bred to kid as yearlings. If they aren't big enough to breed by January, they aren't ones I'd want to keep anyway.
 

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Everything I know about goats come from you all on this forum.
It's good to have a trusted source, but it's better to have many. ;)

They say we like to follow ADGA rules of handling, as they tell me horror stories of all the diseases they have seen from there own heard do to improper feed issues.
I am an ADGA member, I have ADGA-registered stock, I have shown in ADGA shows, and I participate in the DHI program sponsored by ADGA (as well as other organizations), but I still don't know what they mean by this and how it pertains to feeding...

My doe I brought to them to be bred was 11 months old. And they remionded me how detrimental it may be to her!
AnnaS gave you a great post on this and I second what she said.

What breed is your doe? Pygmies have a bad reputation for difficult deliveries, so if she is pygmy, this might be why this breeder balked at you.

Is your doe small for her age? Is she particularly narrow in the pelvis? Is she healthy?

It's never easy to start breeding youngsters and be sure of yourself.

This is my first year with a number of coming yearlings and I am not sure if I want to breed some of them while others look ready at just 6 months! Some are slower growing genetically, while others are very fast. Some are wider in the pelvis and others are not as wide as I like and I may sell them as pets rather than breed them if they don't meet my expectations when I think they are mature enough to breed.

I am struggling with the question of whether or not a particular doe is "mature enough physically" to breed and deliver healthy kids. I have a hard time wanting to breed a doe that obviously still has a lot of growing to do on herself before putting that energy into her babies. For one doe in particular, I get different answers from every experienced breeder that looks at her. ;) For now, I am still waiting and watching, but very soon I will decide on her and a few others.

With dairy animals, you have several disadvantages to waiting "too long," including meaty/fatty udders, being a year behind on production & mammary system development, possible lower birth numbers, etc. However, you have the more serious and obvious disadvantages to breeding "too early,
like c-section or difficult deliveries, particularly if the doe still has a LOT of growing to do.

It really helps to know how big her parents are and how fast they grew, etc. On the other hand, one breeder recently told me she has bred several smaller 8-month-old does that actually grew bigger after they were bred than their unbred siblings. Weird. I wonder how much of that is the change in the feeding regimen for the pregnant does vs. how much of that is genetics.

This is a tough one, for sure, so don't feel like you are alone in wondering!
 

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Huh, I've never heard of "ADGA rules of handling", either. I do know breeders who refuse to breed "teenagers" and many more that aim to breed for yearling first fresheners. Talk to 10 breeders and you'll get 10 opinions on how to feed, when to breed, etc. So, I might as well give you a quick opinion of my own. ;)

As long as a doeling is well grown (I aim for at least 70-80# for my does, depending on breed), I want them bred. Just make sure they are up on worming and CDT, well fed and given good basic care, and they should not have any trouble delivering healthy kids and continuing to grow themselves at the same time.

I feed a decent grass hay with some weed content in it (not a bad thing for goats) free-choice. They eat what they want of it, spread the rest for bedding, which is allowed to build into a good manure pack through the winter. The bacteria working to break down the bedding into compost heats the bedding pack and provides them with a warmer bed all winter. In addition, I feed dry COB and small alfalfa pellets daily, spreading it out between different wall mounted feeders so that all does have an equal chance at the feed. If I see that one isn't getting her fair share, I'll put out that doe and let her eat in peace. They have plenty of fresh water, preferably rain water as we have a high iron content in our well water, which binds the copper and makes it unavailable to the goats. We feed a good loose goat mineral, have baking soda available, copper bolus a few times a year - more if I see fish tails, faded colors, or rough coats. I give BoSe before breeding, about 2-4 weeks before kidding, and once more during the year as well as CDT boosters 3 weeks before kidding (annually for bucks, too) and worming as needed. Ivermectin is effective in my area, so that's what I use. If it is really wet and the goats have been on pasture, they get a few doses of Ivomec Plus 10 days apart to get any liver flukes. Hoof trims are done every 4-6 weeks or so, depending on hoof growth. We test for CAE annually through WADDL, and run a totally CAE neg herd. We've tested for CL and had negative results, tested a suspicious lump on one of our bucks and it was neg for CL - had staph, which was treated and cleared. We preg test through BioTracking so we know when to expect kids and we aren't wasting time expecting babies from a doe that's just fat, not pregnant. Even our bucks get a little grain, combined with alfalfa pellets to keep a healthy calcium to phosphorus ratio - we've never had a UC problem. Of course, our does in milk get more dry COB and alfalfa pellets on the milk stand. It works for us - better than some of the fancier feeding programs I've tried. We are less than 2 weeks to the first kiddings of the new year and the does all look wonderful. I can't wait to see what the breedings I planned will produce. :)
 

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They think I'm crazy too. And maybe I am but my goats are healthy and very happy. I don't know any other people around here with goats to bounce ideas off of...only the guy I got Gretta from. The day I picked her up I asked him what feed to give her. He said give her anything...even dog food when your in a pinch :eek: Well that sent red flags up with me and all advice he had given me went straight down the drain..but I didn't say anything, just took my new pregnant goat and left. (I didn't even feed my dog dog food...much less a pregnant goat) I have gotten all the information from this forum and the Fias website. I am constantly "teaching" the Vet I work with about goats...he knows sheep and science, but not goats. Farmer friends think I'm crazy because I treat my goats and all my other animals like my children. Some would say they are spoiled...but believe me, I am the leader and they all know it. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
She is an healthy Nubian.. Probably over 70# by now! Havent weighed her in a while!. She looked the same size as one of the breeders bucks that were the same age.
I don't know what to do If my girls aren't pregnant I can't believe how hard it is to get them bred!!
I really wanted to make sure i was a proper breeder what ever that meens to you! Really being selective w/ my bucks. but Sadly I am starting to think differently. And maybe next time just get any buck, or save a buck from one of the girls and breed them to him! I can't stand that they won't let me leave my doe their! How do I know when she is in standing heat... And they don't ever care for the buck rag.. Never!
So frustrated with this!
 

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christi i'm raising nubians too. here they are at least 120 pounds when they are 11 moth old. most of them have more then that. but mine are coming from fast growing big animals.
you either have one of those slow maturing/growing lines, or she is lacking in something. i would not bred her until you have figured out what the reason for her size is. the breeder you brought her to, might be right in saying you should wait at least until she is a year old. did you look at their animals? how did they look like? well fed and cared for?
i do not allow any out side doe for breeding on my place either. there are so many bucks available in spring and should be easy to get one, raise him till all does are bred and either sell him or put him in the freezer.
i wish you luck and that you will have lots of milk :D
 

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Depends on where you live about buck availability. There just aren't any dairy goats here in my area of South Texas where we are in the winter. I have the ONLY dairy goats in at least a three county area.

When we are in Missouri, we have tried borrowing bucks with very little success. The first yearling buck that I borrowed from the lady down the road never bred any of my does. The second, more mature buck, was graciously loaned to me by another nearby breeder. Only one of the five does he spent more than a month with is pregnant for sure. I'm not sure what happened there, as they all came into heat during that time, but most didn't catch.

I learned through this process that 1) I don't care for full size Nubian bucks and 2) borrowing bucks leads to disagreements and disappointment and 3) I need my own smaller buck.

To address these issues, we bought a Nigerian Dwarf buckling, and we're going to breed for Mini's. The smaller bucks are easier to manage, easier to house, and work for us. We are having to hand breed and provide the buck with a platform to stand on in order to breed the large does. :)

All that to say.... it's a very interesting learning process. You have to try things and reject what doesn't work for YOU. We've only be at this about two years. We've made lots of mistakes. Luckily, we have had many successes, too!
 
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