Best breeding age range

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by CDMK, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. CDMK

    CDMK New Member

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    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
     
  2. Theresa

    Theresa New Member

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    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.
    Theresa
     

  3. Nana

    Nana New Member

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    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.
     
  4. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    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
     
  5. Squires

    Squires New Member

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    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
     
  6. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    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
     
  7. buckrun

    buckrun New Member

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    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.
     
  8. Ziggy

    Ziggy Buck

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    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)
     
  9. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    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
     
  10. LMonty

    LMonty New Member

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    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.
     
  11. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    Are you useing prevention or are you waiting for fecal rises to worm and cocci prevent? When we fecal we have to remember that adult worms are what eat condition and suck blood, but we only see eggs on fecal. Not all worms suck blood, so condition eating worms that aren't laying eggs, also don't show as anemia for Famacha. Ocysts from cocci can destroy our does intestines making it impossible for them to assimilate their nutrition we feed them, way before you see bloody diarrhea. And it's stressfull to be bred young especially if she wasn't given her prebreeding routine of worming etc.

    I also think in Nubians G6S may be more of an issue than most realize, have you tested your little nubian?

    It's the problem in accidental breedings, especially of young does. Think about it, a doe isn't mature until 5, so pregnancies before you are 5 you are still growing yourself and growing babies, so it's about twice as much food as normal. If you don't have a good layer of flesh on does going into 100 days pregnant, simply adding food then isn't going to do it.

    If the protein in your meat goat pellet isn't assimlated as protein with fish and feather meal, it's super important you add soy or cottonseed meal, or make sure you know the ingredients of the protein in your byproducts feed tag. Because none of us know the protein in our alfalfa hay in the south :)

    Keeping a tiny handful of kids you can full feed on milk is key, and in the south kids born earilier in the year simply will drink more milk than kids born later in the year.

    I do prevention like religion, if I don't, they won't grow, they can't get bred that first fall and it costs me money.

    Are you copper bolusing? Vicki
     
  12. Squires

    Squires New Member

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    Ummm . . . a few very experienced shepherds have mentioned that in New England and Upstate NY there have been a lot of lamb deaths and also failure to grow. Some of these are bloodlines that have always gotten fat on pasture, on the very same pasture as they were raised in previous years --- and they just failed to grow. People were assuming worms but that doesn't seem to be the problem. Seems related to unusually rainy summers.

    One possibility is that in heavy rains and with overcast days, the grass here grows fast but does not have the same mineral and protein content as it does in normal weather. So we've had two years like that.

    Some people don't like to admit they have problems, for fear that people will jump on them and accuse them of mismanagement, but then some very experienced people spoke up about it.

    BTW, my doe did not go into heat all last winter (I got her over the holidays, and she had lived with her buckling who was about 8 months old at the time and successfully bred another doe there). About a month ago I gave her 3ml of Bose and she came in heat! I was reading something the AI technician wrote about how all the bucks they have collected up and down the East Coast -- every single one - -was selenium deficient -- so to give the bucks 1ml Bose per 40 lbs wt EVERY MONTH in preparation for collection. It may be the vitamin E, for that matter. It used to be more common to give wheat germ oil to all breeding animals (before fancy vitamin supplements and special feeds were invented).

    Mentioned this to my vet and he didn't know what to think -- doesn't object to the extra Bose because she needed something and she does look better.

    This is just a theory -- but what if these past few very rainy years affected forage all over the east, so that our ruminating animals are not getting enough of what they need?

    Just a theory.

    Chris
     
  13. Aja-Sammati

    Aja-Sammati New Member

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    Sometimes it isn't management- it is just the way the genes match up! I have a couple of HUGE does from the kids crop 3 years ago, and they had some 1/2 sisters that have never really grown. The same management, all the same sire. Kids that don't grow as expected for your management you should get rid of....that said, I have adult animals (that I didn't raise as kids) that weigh 125lbs. They are loveley and have bigger kids, so I just don't care how much they weigh.
     
  14. Laverne

    Laverne New Member

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    I just want to say that here in my area we had rain till July and I can't feed apple leaves like I did last year. My goats will not eat well for a few days when they have some. I feel like there is mold or fungus on the leaves this year. Also I never feed whole apples because of the seeds.
     
  15. mamatomany

    mamatomany New Member

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    Very intresting thread. I know my Feb. babies are all 90 lbs. the last time I trimmed feet. I think dam raising fattens them up more :) I have already tracked heats in July from these kids too? I will wait until Oct. to breed them. I have one 18 mos. old who looks like a cow she is 170 lbs. probably needs to go into the Jenny Craig pen. She was open last year, but hopefully not this year! She was bred just last week. I don't copper bolus my kids until they are 10 mos. They are also on raw grains and alfalfa hay. I pretty much follow birth to kidding in 101.
     
  16. LMonty

    LMonty New Member

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    this years kids-bo-se at birth. definitely had copper, and on corid every 21 days with a fecal to check to see if it was done right. my Feb 28 to March 23 ;
    kids are taping mid 50's right now (all were 3-6 lbs at birth so i didnt have big kids). soy protein in the pellet.17% alfalfa pellets. wormed with cydectin, and valbazen for tapes. fecals almost no eggs. definitely wasn't feeding as much milk as Vicki does and i upped it, but they are all less interested now and only taking about a qt a day each, more interested in the pellets. last year I used raw grains but dont think I had the protein high enough so I switched to the show goat grower thats higher protein (IIRC 16%, but I need to go outisde to check) and has a coccsidiostat in it. they are eating about a lb a day each plus alfalfa. plastic water buckets. high copper loose mineral, unfortuntely havent found one local yet that has chelated mineral but I'll be looking for one that does. Ashley mentioned she got a good one somewhere by her but I lost the info and maybe i can get it from again. oh UTD CD&T. I would never wait to use FAMACHA because I dont believe in salvage worming. And the adults are all up to date on worming and eating cocci treated feed too. I put the cows/horses in the goat pasture evey 2 wksor so for about 3 days to vacumn up worms. One problem i have is that DH used emminent domain to take over all the extra pens for his darn pigs. SO I have only one pen for bucks and one area about an acre that all the does and babies are on. I take the babies out 2 x day to graze and eat their fill of grain/alfalfa and get their milk so the older ones cant bully them away from it. That I cant change soon because the money for more fencing just isnt there yet. (took in DIL and baby GD and its sucked up the extra money-no complaints, they are worth it and more! just explaining the limits I have right now that might be impacting growth) I dont have a way to keep their lounging areas as clean as many of you do, just cant right now. SO I'm being super cautious about worming/cocci because of it and thats why I am giving the older ones cocci feed too, figuring it might help reduce enviormental loads even if it doesnt impact them themselves because they have attained tolerance.
     
  17. mill-valley

    mill-valley New Member

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    If it's more convenient for you, you could wait a year to breed her but then really watch her and make sure she doesn't get fat. I know I much prefer to have them milking and not feed an extra dry year like Vicki said. I also prefer to have kids born in February/March....late born kids just don't do well for me.

    Otherwise, breed her to kid in one of the windows when you are home...early December would give you early May kids.
     
  18. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    I would not breed a June kid until the following year That of course is my opinion. Especially since you are going to be gone.
     
  19. carlidoe

    carlidoe New Member

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    I had no idea that kids were suppose to put on that kind of weight by 8 months. I bought two doelings a couple of months ago that are now 5 months old and nowhere near 80lbs. Fantastic!!! What should I do?
     
  20. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    I wouldn't breed a purchased kid either. Although the doeling I purchased is very well grown, being born late she did wean early, something that happens frequently in April, May and june kids here, even being fed cold milk. Being moved to a new farm is super stressful, my kids will be left dry. I didn't buy my kid for anything other than bloodline, so it would make no sense to hold her to the same standard as my kids I raised since birth.

    I think most have to get their own management going that works for them. My advice can only take you so far if the HC worms I fight are actually liverflukes in your area, that you can not see most of the time on fecal. Are you not seeing condition eating worms during the winter? Lung worms?

    A minimal goal of 10 pounds a month from their birthweight should be a goal in full sized goats, it should trouble you into looking for reasons why if they don't hit this...but it also means you can't breed these kids until 10 months old. Which means their kids will be summer kids that won't thrive...and around and around you go :) Especially if you only have one kid pen and Feb and March kids have lived in it and you add May or June kids to that pen, no way can these summer born kids beat cocci in this situation. Vicki