Goat Breeding Schemes

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I was wondering what people find to work better for them. I have two does who are 15 months old and ready to breed, I am thinking of lutalyzing(sp?) them and having them kid right about the same time. My older does are going to be given time off as one had a really rough kidding and the other (I'm still waiting...) got bred soon after she last freshened. Have you found it easier to have a full time job and have your does freshen at the same time? And as for milk, is it better canned or frozen for preservation? Thanks for your input!

-- Doreen (animalwaitress@yahoo.com), July 31, 2001


Can't say which is best or easiest for someone working full time. When we were in Texas, we would breed to have some kid in the spring and some in the fall or early winter(since the winters were so mild), just so we could spread the milk out a little. Goal was just to always have milk. We never did freeze or can, because when we had extra we had a friend we shared with.

-- mary (marylgarcia@aol.com), July 31, 2001.

Doreen, just my opinion, but I would not lutelyse young does their very first time. What I have seen is that somehow the girls tend to synchronize their heat cycles so that 3-4 come into heat on the same day, 2 or 3 more come into heat the next day, etc, and then there will be a week or two when nobody is in heat! If you have only one buck and a large herd, the poor guy can easily get overworked, especially if he's young. Also, breeding at the same time doesn't always mean that they'll kid on the same day. If you want to be sure of that, you then have to lutelyse them again to make them go into labor. I have had does kid as much as a week or more past their due date. In fact with the queen, I now move her due date a full week ahead, and then she kids right on time and I don't spend a whole week running down to the barn in all kinds of bad weather, many times a day. Most of the does kid a day or two past their due date, many wait three or four days. I cannot remember anybody being early! Anyway, lutelysing them to bring them into heat and then to birth as well is too much monkeying around with nature for me. I would almost expect something to go wrong, either an occasional premature birth ( from breeding dates being off or a doe that didn't take the first time), a doe having a hard birth because her ligaments and muscles are not fully softened up yet, poor mothering because the mothering hormones haven't quite kicked in yet, and so on.

I used lutelyse on two does last year and at least one this year. Last fall, there were two does in heat, to be bred to specific bucks. One was going to be AI'd the other bred to one of the young bucks. Well, the senior herdsire broke loose, and bred them both. one was his own daughter, the other one might have been a good breeding but I wanted to try AI'ing her. I waited a week or two and lutelysed them. The older doe did fine, came back into heat, tried unsuccessfully to AI her, andgot bred to the young buck. The other doe, the kid that had been bred by her father, kept coming into heat about every five days. I bred her to the young buck every time and she just wouldn't settle. I began to regret giving her the shot because now it looked like it was going to be impossible to get her bred at all. She must have been rebred on at least 8-10 different occasions. I gave up breeding her when a respected breeder and friend told me that the doe was probably cystic beacause of the hormones in the lutelyse shot, and that even the doe was coming into heat, she wasn't dropping any eggs-that's why she couldn't settle. She said that it was better to reserve the shot for extreme cases and not to use it casually. After all the other does were bred, I let the junior buck out to run with the does, just in case she really did come into heat. I didn't think she had ever settled, but after all the other does had kidded, she presented us with a fine big doe kid.

Another doe was bred way too small. I had a hard time getting anyone to go to town and get the shot for me. By that time, the doe was about three months along. I gave her the shot, and she went into labor, and delivered a fetus with difficulty. She seemed to be in a lot more pain than other young does would be with a full sized kid. Then she cried over the fetus and wandered around looking for her baby. I ended up grafting another kid on to her just to settle her down, she was so upset. In this case, I would still give her the shot, but I'd definitely do it sooner.

As for breeding schedules, you could breed both the 15 month olds early and then the older does much later in the season, which would give you year round milk. I like to breed my old does on the first or second heat cycle ( they seem to have more triplets this way) and then breed the young does later in the season when they are bigger.

-- Rebekah (daniel@itss.net), July 31, 2001.

Thanks for the advice on that, Rebekah. I used lutelase on my doe Slinky last fall because the lady with the buck I had hoped to use was simply not around when I called many times...arggh. It was December when I finally had her bred. She had triplet bucks, but it was really rough on her, so I wanted to give her a season off if that is possible. I now have a really nice young nubian buck here, so if he stays in his pen, I should be able to keep her unbred.;)

Of my young does, one is developing kind of an udder, she is also the one that there is absolutely no doubt about when she's in heat. She had kind of a mini heat last week, and that instigated all the proud buck behaviour in my young buck. Do you think that she will cycle again in the normal 21 days? I would greatly prefer to not lutelase them, especially if it can cause cystic problems, but I do think I want to breed them close together so that the kids can be reared altogether. I think it would be easier on me.

I guess I was spoiled last year. Both of my does kidded on exactly the day they were supposed to and this year it has been late. I am lucky in that I can do work at home as I am somewhat self employed, but the goat checking thing is sure time consuming! And I am trying to learn patience...;).

-- Doreen (bisquit@here.com), July 31, 2001.

Of my young does, one is developing kind of an udder, she is also the one that there is absolutely no doubt about when she's in heat. She had kind of a mini heat last week, and that instigated all the proud buck behaviour in my young buck. Do you think that she will cycle again in the normal 21 days? I would greatly prefer to not lutelase them, especially if it can cause cystic problems, but I do think I want to breed them close together so that the kids can be reared altogether. I think it would be easier on me.

It's very nice to have those does which are so obvious and predictable! Particularly if you should ever want to try your hand at A.I. I don't know what is normal in your climate with your breed, Vicki would be the better one to ask. Around here, with my Alpines, they do not cycle at all until September. Sometimes( or so I've heard) the first heat of the season will be a false one. But I've had an awful lot of does bred on their first heat, including one that was A.I'd, and they all seem to take. If the heat was not real strong, it may be a false one. I like to flush them for a week or two before they come back into heat, with extra and better quality feed. I don't know if it results in more kids or not, but I feel better nowing that we tried :) The other thing that has worked for me, is to breed the doe only once, right at the beginning of her heat cycle(if using natural service) and not rebreed again. I heard that this results in more doe kids, so I tried it on most of the does last fall. It worked, I got a lot more doekids than bucks!

Here's another thing that I've heard: to deprive the does of the buck, and not let them see or smell him for several weeks. Then, move them to where they can both see, smell and maybe interact with him through his fence. Then the does will all come into heat at once.

-- Rebekah (daniel@itss.net), July 31, 2001.

Doreen, save your lutelyse for when you need it. The doe is due on Monday, you have to go to work, so you give her the lute and she kids Sunday afternoon, while you are home. This is actually how I use lute, so does don't kid while I am at a show, and how I used to handle CAE positive does, well that and super glue!! The only thing you need is the buck effect. Do not give your bucks baths the very best thing is a stinky buck! If you put the does in the pen, I can guarantee you that they will cycle in 4 to 6 days, a doe brought here Sunday, virgin yearling, bred today, actaully while Becky was out picking up Heath, and was admiring E. E wanted Becky to admire ALL of him!! :) Now Lamancha's and some of the swiss breeds, if you are talking about your toggs, you may want to wait until end of August beginning of Sept. when the does really cycle. Kids are lots of work so I usually kid once a year, this from a person with infants on the ground right now :)

I also am a firm believer in kidding every year, if you let them go a year without kidding, and not milking them though, they can build up internal fat, making breedings sometimes difficult if not impossible. Next year you will be wanting to know how to get her bred! Breed her late this year, but breed her. Unless she is dibilatated in some way or older than 9. Poptart who is 11, will be bred again this year to kid in April past her 12th birthday! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), August 01, 2001.

I personally would stay away from lutalyse except in emergencies. It is really nasty stuff and it can take a doe several months to get her cycle straightened out after using it. I believe there is a better way: nature. Trying to plan ahead for freshening like this is like trying to predict the weather five months in advance. Every doe is different. Some go like clockwork on the exact due date at the same time of day every year, and others keep you guessing up to the minute. The risk in using lutelyse is not worth the possible benefit in scheduling kidding times. Its one thing to schedule the season, but I think trying to get them to go all within a day or two is futile. How about a remote monitor that you can listen in on from work?

I've never tried frozen milk so I don't know how it tastes, but canned goat milk is wretched. Both methods will adequately preserve the milk, but canning does not preserve the flavor. Let us know if freezing does.

-- Skip in Western WA (sundaycreek@gnrac.net), August 01, 2001.

Well I didn't mean to imply that I want them all to kid on December 18th at 3:30 pm. Just trying to see if there is a way to get it to be around the week mark. My work is about 6 miles from here and the baby monitor I bought doesn't work but halfway between the barn and the house, so I slept in the barn for a week when Slinky freshened because she had false labor and only being my third kidding, the indications of labor were a bit sketchy for me. I'm in some kind of a strange hollow here where radio reception and transmissions are just not good. I'm not terribly inclined to use chemicals willy nilly, but there are times when they are truly helpful. Breeding at the end of August isn't good because in Mid February I must be out of town, so it must be before or well after....hmmm. I appreciate all of your responses and I think I will try Vicki's suggestion of letting the girls in the buck pen for a bit.

I put Bishop's pen close to the fence line so that the does could sit and moon over him and he could be a show off for them and have some company. I had to move him out from the wethers because he and Flea were just trying to kill each other! I seriously was afraid of cracked ribs because they were side slamming each other into very large trees.It sounded like a field mic on at the Super bowl.

I'll let you know about the freezing of the milk too!

-- Doreen (bisquit@here.com), August 01, 2001.

What is with the italics!!!????!!!

-- (bisquit@here.com), August 01, 2001.

let's see if this works.

-- Rebekah (daniel@itss.net), August 01, 2001.

Hey! How'd you do that? Are you becoming computer savvy?

-- (bisquit@here.com), August 02, 2001.

Not savvy enough, I guess! turned them on, but what usually turns them off isn't working. to make italics, make these two symbols in your message in front of where you want the italics to start<> with an i between them. to turn them off, /i between them is supposed to work, but didn't this time. Maybe it needs to be a capital I.

-- Rebekah (daniel@itss.net), August 03, 2001.

Yep, the capital I with a forawrd slash in front of it worked. Sorry about that!

-- Rebekah (daniel@itss.net), August 03, 2001.

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