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Old 08-31-2011, 05:53 PM   #1
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Default When to expect first heat

Hi again
My doe's are almost 4 months old and I was just wondering, at what age should I start watching for their first heat cycle? I'm not planning on breeding them until they are over 80lbs, I just want to start watching for marking the calendar.

Also, I know a buck can reach sexual maturity as young as 2 months old, but at what age should THEY be allowed to breed??



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Old 08-31-2011, 07:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: When to expect first heat

AJ, you shouldn't be breeding them until they are over 100 pounds, especially if you are newer. It takes a lot of nutrition to get a young doe through her first kidding season when she is bred young like this. You may also want to wait and breed in December, so you have kids on the ground in May or so. I don't recommend anyone to breed their does at 80 pounds....for my girls here that would be breeding some of my March kids now. Down here everyone is on the calander already for one heat, two does have had 3 heats.

If a buck will breed let him, if you don't let him breed does he will just waste his semen in his mouth or on his friends anyway, so don't go believing the whole, 'if you use a buck early he will stunt'. Although my young bucklings will mount and play they actually don't get anything pregnant until about 8 months old themselves. When asked to actually breed, although they have been pulling their penis out for months, they simply can't figure it all out. Vicki



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Old 08-31-2011, 08:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: When to expect first heat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicki McGaugh Tx Nubians
AJ, you shouldn't be breeding them until they are over 100 pounds, especially if you are newer. It takes a lot of nutrition to get a young doe through her first kidding season when she is bred young like this. You may also want to wait and breed in December, so you have kids on the ground in May or so. I don't recommend anyone to breed their does at 80 pounds....for my girls here that would be breeding some of my March kids now. Down here everyone is on the calander already for one heat, two does have had 3 heats.

If a buck will breed let him, if you don't let him breed does he will just waste his semen in his mouth or on his friends anyway, so don't go believing the whole, 'if you use a buck early he will stunt'. Although my young bucklings will mount and play they actually don't get anything pregnant until about 8 months old themselves. When asked to actually breed, although they have been pulling their penis out for months, they simply can't figure it all out. Vicki
Thanks for your concern
The information on the bucks is exactly what I was asking.

As for the doe's. I already know that they Must Be OVER 80 lbs before breeding - 100 lbs is preferred!!! (reemphasize the words, Must . . Be. . . Over - more than, in excess of, beyond, etc) I've noticed that even on this site, the weight is debated. It is my plan to breed them in Dec for that exact reason - That is, to ensure they reach a good weight for breeding. However, this discussion has nothing to do with my question.
Back to the original question:
"at what age should I start watching for their first heat cycle?"
Thank you again
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: When to expect first heat

I can give you a for instance on an Alpine doe of mine. She was born in March and she first came into heat this past week. So that is a little over 5 months old. It was a very light heat with just a little bit of tail wagging but the buck in the adjoining pen brought my attention to it. Probably between 5 and 7 months of age. I have noticed that the little doelings first heats are usually very light and you might miss it if you don't have a buck close by to help you detect it.

I remember several years ago I had a buck that jumped the gate and got out of his pen and bred 5 month old doeling. I came out to feed that evening to find him in the pen with her and her back end was definitely messy and sure enough she had twins. I almost decided to abort her but she was pretty good sized doeling and made sure I fed her well during her pregnancy. Not something that I would do intentionally at all but in THIS case it worked out o.k. I was just lucky.

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Old 08-31-2011, 09:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: When to expect first heat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotton Eyed Does
I can give you a for instance on an Alpine doe of mine. She was born in March and she first came into heat this past week. So that is a little over 5 months old. It was a very light heat with just a little bit of tail wagging but the buck in the adjoining pen brought my attention to it. Probably between 5 and 7 months of age. I have noticed that the little doelings first heats are usually very light and you might miss it if you don't have a buck close by to help you detect it.

I remember several years ago I had a buck that jumped the gate and got out of his pen and bred 5 month old doeling. I came out to feed that evening to find him in the pen with her and her back end was definitely messy and sure enough she had twins. I almost decided to abort her but she was pretty good sized doeling and made sure I fed her well during her pregnancy. Not something that I would do intentionally at all but in THIS case it worked out o.k. I was just lucky.
Perfect!! That's exactly the information I need. I don't have buck, but I have a wether. So I may still miss the first cycle, but this information gives me a timeline to start watching. Since the girls are only 4 months old, I'll start watching next month. I understand that I may not catch the first one, just gives me a starting point (so to speak).
Thank you so, so, much!!!
That actually brings me to a curious question. I wonder if their cycle would fall in line with their birth. For example, if I were to count every 21 days from their birth, would that land me within a week of their cycle?? Probably not, things usually aren't that easy.
Thanks again!!
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: When to expect first heat

Never thought about that. You could count it up and mark it on your calendar and then try to watch and see if they come in heat around that time. You'll have to let us know if that experiment works.

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Old 08-31-2011, 09:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: When to expect first heat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotton Eyed Does
Never thought about that. You could count it up and mark it on your calendar and then try to watch and see if they come in heat around that time. You'll have to let us know if that experiment works.
Really?? I thought of something that hasn't been tried?? I'm usually behind someone else when it comes to ideas. I've impressed myself!
The thought reasons though. I mean, if they are almost exact in their cycles and delivery, why wouldn't this theory hold true too?? I'll try it and let you know.
Thank you soooo much - you have been soooo helpful!!!
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: When to expect first heat

Hi AJ - I don't know if your idea about cycling is true or not... but in my herds (sheep and goats) they usually cycle together. This way they all kid or lamb at the same time, approx. anyway - within a few days of each other. Then the next month, at the length of the cycle, I have the ones that did not go in the first batch, go. I think the idea is that they cycle with each other, so that when they kid (or lamb) there are SO MANY kids and lambs, the predators can not possibly get them all, so some make it to the next generation. Possibly, they think this is triggered by smell, and that when you introduce a new animal into the herd, they may cycle "off" from the rest but will gradually change until they are all more or less in sync (within a few days, anyway).

Some people think this works with humans too, and that a large group of women will tend to cycle together. I don't know if that's ever been proven, though.

It would be a great experiment to do, I think you should try it. I'd sure be interested in your results.

Oh yes, and welcome to the forum!

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Old 08-31-2011, 10:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: When to expect first heat

My does have always cycled close together, no matter when born. Lots of things affect cycle, day-length, weather, season, temp. etc. Last year I did have does I held until Dec. and Jan. to breed. These were young does and later in the season their heats were not as noticable to me and I almost missed getting them bred.

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Old 09-01-2011, 12:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: When to expect first heat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anita Martin
My does have always cycled close together, no matter when born. Lots of things affect cycle, day-length, weather, season, temp. etc. Last year I did have does I held until Dec. and Jan. to breed. These were young does and later in the season their heats were not as noticable to me and I almost missed getting them bred.
They only have like a 24 hour window to be bred, right?


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