Monday, February 4, 2013

The Goat Waiting Game

I've been anticipating a date night for Lily for quite some time now.  She's ten months old and I was hoping to have her bred before the winter was over.  But I wasn't happy with her size and weight.  Pickles is three months younger than Lily and is just as big, if not slightly bigger than Lily.

Since I can't breed our Boer buck to Lily (he's her brother), I had to go in search of another Boer buck.  And I finally got in touch with a lady about an hour and a half from here that raises registered and non-registered Boers.  She has a nice buck that is full-blodded Boer, but not registered and she was willing to either let us take her buck, let us bring Lily for the day, or keep Lily there at her place for a month (just to make sure the breeding took).  I could also have her bred to one of her "fancy-pants" registered bucks, but figured since we weren't going to sell the offspring I didn't want to / need to spend the extra money.  I expressed my concerns about Lily's weight to her and she said that she normally waits until the does are eighty pounds or a year old.  So off I went to weigh the girls.

Pickles, born on June 28th of last year weighed exactly sixty pounds.  Lily, born almost three months later than Pickles, weighed fifty-seven pounds.  Not sure why Pickles grew faster than Lily.  Although we did leave bottle feed Pickles for twelve weeks and I honestly have no idea how long Lily was on her dam as we bought her when she was almost six months old.  You know, from the guy who wanted to start raising Boers for a living.  The guy who just let the bucks run with the three & four month old doelings and said that they weren't being bred because they were "too young".  Ugh.  So maybe I just got suckered into buying a runt goat.

Guess breeding is going to be held off for a while.  Which I suppose isn't that bad.  Even if I did have Lily bred now, she'd be kidding in the middle of summer.  Not so much fun when it's a billion degrees outside and the bugs are out in full force.  So I'll wait a few more months and have Lily and Pickles bred around the same time for a late Fall kidding.  Lily to the nice goat lady's buck, and Pickles to our buck, Herman.  I've never planned a kidding other than in the late winter or early spring, so I'm hoping that there's no big disadvantage to it.

Do any of my goat blogging buddies have any experience with Fall kiddings?  I'd love to hear about them if you do!

And speaking of waiting, Annette is getting rather rotund.  She's due to kid in twenty-four days.   And Nettie will kid just shy of three weeks after that.  So we'll be back in milk before you know it!


  1. Fall kidding is great! Not to hot, not to cold. The kids have no problem through the winter either.

  2. I love fall kidding though I can't seem to wait on breeding to have it happen often. Mostly Feb/March kidding around here though when the buck got out once we had summer kidding and that was awful!

  3. Up here near the tundra (!), we always had spring kiddings so the little ones had a chance to be half grown before really frigid weather hit. But with your mild winters (and, by the way, 70 degrees is NOT a winter's day!), I can't see any reason why fall kiddings wouldn't work out fine.

  4. I have only done spring kiddings so I'm no help. It's good that you are waiting until the girls are a little bigger. I'm always surprised and a little dismayed at how young/small some people breed them.

  5. My brother and sis in law have spring kids, so can't help either. But if you want to see some pics of their Boer goats, take a look at my posts 'Brother's Farm'. There are also some posts about their farm that I never dig get put into that category (and probably never will.)

  6. I've never had does come into heat in summer here. I would love to have some fall kids so I could stay in milk all year, but it just doesn't work out that way for me. Maybe if I had Nigerians? I hear they will breed all year.