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Old 08-01-2010, 05:14 PM   #1
CDMK
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Default Best breeding age range

Hi,
This is my first post on this forum and I sure do hope someone can help me with my decision about when to breed my doe.
She is a June yearling, and beginning to come into heat , but my business will mean that I am out of town much of next winter/spring, and I'll be out of country in April and again in late May/June.
I am concerned about the effect of waiting until she is 2 years old to breed her. Does anyone have experience with this?? I'd like to find out the pros and cons.
Thanks,
CDMK



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Old 08-01-2010, 05:28 PM   #2
Theresa
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Default Re: Best breeding age range

Unless there is someone to be there during kidding, I would breed for them go kid when you were going to be there. Especially with this being a fist freshener, you dont know how she will do or if she will take care of the kids.
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Best breeding age range

I am not an expert but my doe 2 years ago didn't get pregnant and she was at the optimal time to breed. This spring she did wonderful as a first time mother. I would also be there if you can.

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Old 08-01-2010, 09:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Best breeding age range

I had two 3 year old first fresheners last year and they did fine. I would be there for the kidding so you can make sure they are nursing their mom well, so while you are gone later on, you are through handmilking to make sure they are empty, and the kids are about 4 weeks old and nursing out all the milk. You will of course have to have someone throw food and hay and keep waters clean, and depending upon where you live in the country worm and cocci treat the kids. Vicki

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Old 08-02-2010, 02:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Best breeding age range

On the other end of the scale . .. I have an opportunity to get a couple of older quality does - - about 7-8 years of age. One of them had triplets last kidding. Do they still have a few good years left to give me quality kids, and, is this fair to ask them to keep breeding? And for how long?

Chris

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Old 08-02-2010, 02:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Best breeding age range

As long as they have had good care does eaisly kid until 10 to 12...into the teens is usually with excellent management and does who are lucky enough to live and die in the same home. Moving to a new farm is super stressfull, especially at that age moving away from your only owner or your only friends. I won't sell them from 8 on, I would rather just put them down, it rarely is a happy story. Vicki

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Old 08-02-2010, 02:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Best breeding age range

Agreed-My elders would not transition to new management and I will not force them to.
It is not a good idea to take on an animal that has to adapt to radically different daily events. They want consistency and one that has lived somewhere under the same management for so long would have a very hard time adjusting. Now if it is an animal that has been shuffled around frequently they might do just fine. But then you have to ask just exactly why they are for sale.

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Old 08-02-2010, 11:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: Best breeding age range

For first time breeding I would go with this "Doelings reach puberty by 6 to 8 months of age and are usually bred at 7 to 10 months of age. At the time of breeding they should weigh about 80-90 pounds (60% of adult weight). If the doelings are not at an optimum weight, breeding should be delayed since puberty is more dependent on body size than age. However, delaying breeding much after 10 months of age decreases the reproductive performance. Growth rates of replacements should be monitored and their nutrition adjusted accordingly. "

Taken from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ds134.

Actually I'd like mine to be closer to 100 pounds but it is tough to get them that big in 8-9 months.

A well respected appraiser told me that although many who show like to wait until the following year to get more growth that they will catch up by 3 years and he feels that it is better to breed them in the first year so you can evaluate udders, rather than feeding them dry an additional year. It is true that you are unlikely to win a grand champions with an under 2 year old milker but you can always wait until the next year to show them and in the meantime they are producing milk and you know (or at least have a better idea) if they are "keepers".

I have a few later born kids that will probably stay dry this year as they probably wont be big enough by breeding season but the majority will be bred late this fall.

All that being said I do agree with the previous posters that you do want to schedule it so you can be around during kidding - but on the other hand I believe that if you are going to keep goats you need to be around all the time (or have someone trustworthy, responsible and knowledgeable that will be). My goats have never gone more than 14 hours without being checked on(usually it is 12 hours)

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Old 08-02-2010, 08:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Best breeding age range

I don't recommend anymore that any new folks breed the first year....yes a January kid, sure let her have kids the follow may, but when you give advice to breed at 8 month or 80 pounds...first of all in any management setting the big breeds should be hitting 80 pounds at 7 months old, we have 5 month old kids weighing more than that. And that is the problem, breed at 8 months old turns into 7 months old, and 80 to 90 pounds is 78 pounds. If you can't get an 8 month old kid to 100 pounds for breeding than you can't keep her growing well to get her though her pregnancy and delivery, healthy and well grown herself.

Someone typical called me this last week, her nearing 2 year old dry doe weighs just over 100 pounds and her doe born last year weighs what my Feb kids weigh...we aren't even breeding her doe from 09 until late winter. These goats were purchased from someone on the forum.

So giving the advice to not breed until they hit 100 pounds is really the best advice for new people, then as you gain knowledge about management of kids, do what you like.

It has turned into one of the few things I do say to new customers...do what I say and not what I do when it comes to this if you aren't getting weights of over 10 pounds a month on your kids. In our area it is always from parasites. Vicki

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Old 08-02-2010, 10:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: Best breeding age range

Vicki, I'm hearing several people in the SE are having problems growing out kids. I'm talking about long time goat breeders with about 20 yrs experience whove never had this problem before. Clean/CAE CL free herds without parasite problems. I know I am, and have been paying excrutiating detail to fecals, worming cocci prevention etc. My 4 mo old are about 55-60 lbs and the largest was 6 lbs at birth so I am barely making the 10 lbs a month. I'm feeding alfalfa in the barn, and MFA Show Goat (cocci medicated pellet) as their only grain. Copper supplemented and their coats gleam like new pennies. Theyre all less interested in milk but still taking some. I'm loathe to wean them completely. Vet in NC and TN on two of these herds are speculating low grade fungus infection in feed or hay after the droughts may be to blame-since they were aware of some horse problems too, increased abortions and mares foaling without reduced or no milk. Hearing this third hand so I dont have more details. Not saying this is to blame for my own situation, I take responsibility for it. But I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I sent a buck kid that i got the same time as these two to NC after he was here on isolation only 3 days (and I started him on cocci treatment on the WAY HOME IN THE CAR, and he was kept on it all last year until freeze) and he went to one the farms having last years growth problems. He just got given to a pet home because he never got big enough to use on full grown does. Breeder kept a doeling from her own farm and she never grew out well either. PLENTY of milk, good worming techniques- its a mystery we havent figured out.

I'm one with a very small first freshener. Shes about half the size of her twin sister who didnt get bred last year. Wasnt an intentional breeding and I didnt realize she had been caught for sure. I should have been a better goat mom and aborted her early once I thought she was, since she hasnt grown well. Lesson learned.

I am not breeding this kid crop this fall for this reason. I am not getting the growth rates, by management just isnt tweaked enough yet. I dont want to ruin any more animals. SO I'm concentrating on growing them out well and once I get that down pat based on my local and farm conditions then i may consider breeding the first fall for May kids. Now I'm not ready. Just telling this embarrasing story if it helps anyone else make decisions that are right for them. I really make lots of goofs so am a good bad example

I really prefer late spring kids, cause i hate going out to milk in the dead winter cold. But I decided I am going to start breeding the big girls this month for earlier kids to try to get better size. Just one more management change to try to improve my growth.



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