Companions for bucks

Discussion in 'Dairy Goat Info' started by kidsngarden, May 5, 2008.

  1. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    I read in a different thread that Vicki thought whethers were not a good companion for a buck. I see wisdom in her reasons - they are always getting bred (I didn't know that - ew!) and it takes as much to feed them as it would a buck. My scenario is this - I have one alpine buck and three does to be bred this fall (provided I keep my nubian doe - we'll see how she produces second freshening).

    I have whether that my stone cold heart as gotten attached too - just 4 days old. I was planning on keeping him to be a companion with my buck.

    I thought a buck needed a companion. And that if you put two bucks together they would fight? I'm wondering what your experiences are with this?

    Bethany
     
  2. Ravens Haven

    Ravens Haven New Member

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    All my bucks are penned together always, but they also have a 15 acre pasture to roam too. They fight some during rut but other than that they leave each other alone they even sleep together.

    Autumn
     

  3. Shykid Acres

    Shykid Acres Guest

    I've gotten attached to my wether too. I know of a breeder who has about three bucks and one wether and they are all together and do just fine. I will keep my wether with the buck. They are growing up together now so I see no reason to separate. I also thought that bucks needed companionship. I too have three does to be bred this fall.
     
  4. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    You will need a second buck for breeding, so when you raise out your own or purchase your second one, this companion wether will then go in the freezer?

    See.....he becomes another mouth to feed that any job you mention you will use him for...hauling wood, packing etc...can be done by a doe who gives you saleable kids, eating kids, and milk. And the same loving companionship, in fact to me does have little dollar signs in their eyes you can't see when you look into your wethers eyes :)

    Goats are already a money pit on most homestead/farmettes, they are subsidized by a hard working man going off to work outside the farm...I just hate to see this sterotype played out further with livestock wethers not going for the meat they are destend to be, and are supposed to be.

    And the more goats you have that are not earning their keep the more apt you are to sell out from the work load or expenses...the unworking goats should be gone. Vicki
     
  5. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    I totally agree with you Vicki. So with only three does to be bred, can I just keep the buck alone or will he freak out and constantly try to get out?
     
  6. NubianSoaps.com

    NubianSoaps.com New Member

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    I don't mean that you can't keep a wether as a companion, but breeding livestock you should be thinking next year already, who are you going to breed this bucks daughters to? So when you buy or breed that buckling you will keep next year know that this wether will then go in the freezer and be replaced by the new buck.

    I like to have two same aged bucks, when I decide to raise a buck out...like when I purchased Nic from Sara, I also raised out a Birdy son to use on my FF also, then I sold the Birdy son as a yearling and as Nic had enough size to play with GE, they were moved together. Next year I plan to keep a son out of Shoofly and likely Bab's, so the bucklings will be raised out in pairs until they are used and then live together until old enough to go out into the buck pen...to live with an older buck my bucks have to be young yearlings. Vicki
     
  7. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    I was thinking I should've had two same aged bucklings too...that they would get along together.

    Ok, so I will keep the whether until I get another buck. and then no more whether "pets" only whether meat!
     
  8. mill-valley

    mill-valley New Member

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    I kept two bucks together for the first time last year, a 5 yr old and a yearling. They did fight quite a bit, and the older buck did pick on the younger one. But the pen was large enough and they were getting fed enough that neither one seemed to suffer.
     
  9. Kaye White

    Kaye White Guest

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    I don't keep bucks together. period. I have individual pens for each buck. I just don't have time to doctor bucks. The pens are ajacent and they have their "buddies" next to them. They can "play fight" with panels between them. The does also go by their pens on the way to browse and "talk" to them through the fences. I just moved a 2 month old buck to his own pen (GASP) all by himself. He's ajacent to the doelings, but not with them. He was getting a little large to be playing with the doelings.
    I've got a 5yr. old Togg buck that's been here since he was 6mo. old...he's NEVER had a companion and so far...I don't think he needs therapy.?

    Besides, most bucks don't stay here long. They're collected and sold. If they're good enough to stay a buck, they're good enough to collect. Cheaper to collect and store semen than to house and feed them. I certainly don't keep wethers. They would take up the space of a producing doe.
    Kaye
     
  10. We have a "worthless wether" that lives with our bucks and yes that is how I refer to him. :lol
    John Henry came with a herd of does from a friend. She was quite attached to him and I told her I wouldn't sell him for meat. Now, that hasn't stopped me from trying to find him another home..lol But a 6 year old Nubian wether who won't even let me handle him isn't a real catch. He is attached at the hip to my Senior Nubian herdsire and that is just fine. He doesn't cost much and when I separate bucks during breeding season he stays with him.
    I currently have 9 intentional bucks on the farm (4 Nubians and 5 Boer & BoerXs). One Nubian is being held for a buyer and I am holding onto him because I am raising him up with the Boer buckling I am keeping. He'll go this Fall when my Nubian buckling is big enough to run with the Boer buckling. I prefer to raise in pairs as well. Usually a Nubian buckling and a Boer buckling.
    My bucks don't really fight much during rut. Mostly they all know to stay out of William's (5 year old Boer/Saanen) way and I keep the younger boys in their own pen and the older boys in their own pen.

    We kept our wethers the first two years....Only once since have we kept a wether beyond the next Fall. All buck kids born on this farm are destined for meat except the select few left in tact. They are wethered and sold that Fall/Winter.
     
  11. Shykid Acres

    Shykid Acres Guest

    This particular wether does have a purpose here at this ever growing farm. He is my husband's only goat. His boy. The rest are mine. Or so he says. :) Since he is the one paying the bills for the goats I don't mind a bit. I am attached to this little guy too.

    The wethers that come from now on will be sold for meat. That's the way it goes.
     
  12. J-Basqo

    J-Basqo New Member

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    I totally agree with a wether not being economical in a "farm". It is one thing if you have the $$ for "pets" but my "farm" animals earn their keep because that is why I have them in the first place.. I started out with wethers thinking I would pack..like I will ever have time! And if I ever decide to take a goat packing, I will just bring my favorite doe in milk, she is then packing food too!
    I started with 2 wethers, one being my husbands. He was very attached to him and thought he was the best goat in the world and "he doesnt eat that much" but I was feeding 3 goats the same amount of food and only getting milk from one. So I survived the "fit" (as if he would have even noticed it was gone if I didnt tell him), got rid of the wethers and bought my boy a cute little doe to call his!! So at least now if I have to be stuck with a goat "forever" because its "his" at least I can milk her and and use her offspring. Not so much with a wether. I was even willing to let hubby pick out a different breed if he wanted as long it was a DOE.
    As always tell my husband: "Dogs are pets, my livestock serves a purpose".
    Patina
     
  13. Corky

    Corky New Member

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    I also had a wether in with my bucks.
    The first one almost bled to death when the buck beat it up while I was at work. This was after they were together a year.
    The wether was sold for a brush goat to a guy that later went into dairy goats.
    The second buckling also had a wether companion and the same thing happened after a year. That wether became hamburger. YUM!

    That buck now has a tire swing for a companion and it beats him up!

    Him and that swing get into some real battles and if he has a scurr it comes off and I sometimes have to get the Furall out.
    Sure does keep the scurrs off. :lol
     
  14. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    :biggrin this just makes me go back, when I first got goats 2 unregistered ND supposedly's, Does were for milk and bucks would be meat. OK 2 does ea had 1 baby buck, NOW they are so darn cute you can't eat them so wethers /pets they became. 4 yrs of feeding the worthless grandkid toys, which of course after the first 6 mo the cute worn off and grandkids wanted more new babies. I finally said enough and to the butcher they went. I don't even band bucks going to butcher anymore. And this year decided NOPE am not feeding out any for meat yesterday took 8 doelings/bucks at 5/6 wks old dam raised milk only
    should be very tender meat and will roast whole. NO feed costs at all.
     
  15. mill-valley

    mill-valley New Member

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    Lol, I bet that's a sight to see!! Good idea though...might have to try that one. :rofl:
     
  16. We will keep Demi John for Lindsey's sake. She is so happy with her wether. This summer he gets to go camping! We are taking the cart and everything when we go camping so we can get some training in :biggrin.
    However I agree that all bucks and wethers do is eat money away from the working herd. At least the bucks contribute to oh about 2% purpose. Tammy
     
  17. stacy adams

    stacy adams New Member

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    Sondra, do you take yours that young somewhere? or do you do it yourself? or have someone at home do it? If I could have someone do it here, let's say if DH were a hunter :rofl sorry, then I'd have more baby goat in the freezer. That said, I guess I'm happy we got 'em all sold instead! :biggrin
     
  18. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    Not Sondra, but last year I fed mine out a bit 2 were four months, and one was sixth months. (now seeing how much milk they eat as we are bottle raising this year - UGH! I wish they would have gone earlier) We butchered them ourselves using feral nature's tutorial. It really is not very hard at all. Little ones would be really easy - more like a rabbit. Not worth getting a butcher out for them I think.

    The whether we have now we will get rid of first chance we get to get another buck, but I can't eat him. I'm still a baby about eating them if I bottle raised them. now if their dam raised I have no issues eating them at all!
     
  19. Sondra

    Sondra New Member

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    Stacy DH won't let me butcher here or I would do it myself at this age but these I let the dams feed and then took them over to Hamiltons in Weatherford they butcher /wrap /freeze for $10 a piece. on these little guys a large goat they will butcher /grind /make sausage or cut up to your order /wrap and freeze for $25
     
  20. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden New Member

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    $10??? holy cow you lucky duck! Here you can't take anything to the butcher, they need to come to you and the kill fee alone is $45 EACH. 40 - 50 cents a pound cut and wrap is additional to that!