October 18, 2015

Autumn Goat Action


Even though Kinders are aseasonal breeders (can breed year around), autumn still seems to be a favored time for breeding. I'm not sure if it's because it's a traditional time or if spring is a nice time to have kids, but it seems most Kinders are bred to kid in the spring. I like my kids to be born as the weather is just beginning to warm up, because I'm more concerned about hypothermia than coccidiosis (which is more prevalent in warm weather). According to this article, "The Dual Purposes of the Kinder Goat" by Sandra Mauerhan, preliminary research indicates that Kinders bred between August and December produce more triplets, quads, quints, even sextuplets. Breeding between January and July produces more singles and twins. Maybe that's another reason most breeders prefer fall.

Discussing their wannabe suitor?

Anyway, I've been keeping an eye on my girls in anticipation of them going into heat. I currently have seven does, although five of them are still under one year of age. The recommended breeding age for Kinders is eight months, as long as they are physically mature. (The 80 pounds doesn't apply because this breed is smaller than standard size goats.)

Finally, I found Daphne standing at the fence hollering and wagging her tail for the boys.

Daphne refused to smile for the camera

My observations had targeted her for September 1st, but that came and went with no signs of heat, so I was getting a bit anxious. Her intended for this year is Clark, my younger buck.

Clark. It's hard to get good photos of the boys this time of year. When they're
in rut, they're scruffy, scrawny, and stinky with their minds only on one thing.

They happily spent the day together so I've got Feb. 23 circled as her potential due date, especially if she doesn't go into heat (which would be about now, so far so good). Who else do I have in mind for Clark when they are a little older?

Stella is now six months old.

Jessie is seven months.

This is because my other buck Randy is their sire.

Randy is Stella's and Jessie's sire.

Speaking of Randy, he got put to work as well, because when I checked on Daphne and Clark I found Lini right there at the fence where they were, with her tail wagging like crazy.

Lini is 10 months old. What are they looking at? The raccoon.

So she got to go visit Randy. They were both very interested in one another. I thought all was well until the next time I went outside. Lini had somehow slipped through the gate and was in with the two bucklings destined to become chevon. They were taking full advantage of the situation!

The reason they're for chevon is because they are not breeding quality.

What's the big deal, you might ask? For some folks it might be no big deal at all, but when one is breeding registered goats, the breeder must know the sire in order to apply for registration papers. The advantage to that is a much higher selling price for registered goats.

I had three choices. I could just say "Oh well" and chalk this up as a lost year for my Kinder breeding, I could ask the vet for a prescription of Lutalyse to terminate a possible pregnancy (if there was one), or I could wait and have DNA testing done.

While I waited for the vet to return my call, I researched DNA paternity testing for goats. Apparently it's quite common because a lot of labs offer the service! I learned it can be done with either blood or root hairs. The latter one was the least expensive and is done by UC Davis for $40 per animal (link here, for anyone interested.) That would not be my first choice because it would mean one dam, three possible sires, plus however many kids times $40 each. Why would all the kids have to be tested? Because those multiple births mean multiple ovulations, which means a batch of kids could all have different daddys!

So Lini will get another date with Randy sometime in the future. As will my last two girls,

Violet is six months old. She'll have to grow up a bit to become a mama.
and

Luki, 7 months old. She's one of the hardest to photograph
because any time she sees me she comes to get petted. 

That's my plan, assuming the goats will cooperate!

32 comments:

PioneerPreppy said...

Since we have gotten a couple of very cool nights this week (down into the 30's) the girls have been driving the rams crazy. Teasing em though the fence and nuzzling em. I really am surprised the rams haven't knocked their respective fences down.

Soon the boys will get their revenge though. About two more weeks and I am putting the ewes in. The ewes will not be happy to be separated from their yearlings and the yearlings will be wanting mom. The rams will be happy though.

Leigh said...

Girls can be such teases! Of all species, apparently. :)

You don't breed the yearlings? At what age will they have to be?

Farmer Barb said...

I think the only way I can get a decent picture of any of my animals is to be on the other side of the fence with a box of grain! I am curious to see how the breeding goes. I might look into a pair of bucklings for my girls next year. I have to build them a pen first...far from the house.

Farmer Barb said...

Do you think I could put a ram and a buck in together and leave it at that? One boy for each species? I don't want a ton of meat. I only have so much freezer space...

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Around here, ewes are bred for early spring lambs...for the Easter market, I believe. And, here as well as other places, goats are bred to provide kids for the Muslim holy days.

Mark said...

We used to breed our Hereford cattle to calve in the spring, too. We wanted calves late enough that there was little risk of hypothermia (or just having to carry a calf up from the far corner of a pasture) and the before the flies were dense enough they become a health hazard to a newborn. Fall calves were another option, but fall calves usually required some special care and feeding away from the 'adults' to get through the winter. Doable, but there was usually no reason to mess with it if your bull is doing his job.

Erika Keller said...

I didn't know about Lutalyse. Fascinating! Good luck with the breeding.

Caroline J. Baines said...

Leigh,


You're definitely having fun on the homestead!

Question: Why aren't the chevon boys neutered? I thought their rutting smell would ruin the meat.

I've had to use lutalyse on a collie bitch that had pyometria - it's not a fun thing for the animal to go through but it definitely cleans them out and is better than an unwanted pregnancy.

Quinn said...

I used Lute one year when a visiting buck went over a fence at night, and was in with a group including three does who weren't apparently in season the day before, but were showing too much interest in the buck for me to assume they weren't bred earlier that morning. Two were under a year old, and I never breed them under a year. The intensity of the heat cycle triggered by the Lute was not pleasant for anyone. It was a necessary decision, but I still shake my head at how I could have made such a terrible miscalculation of that buck's ability relative to the fence.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

PioneerPreppy said...

I wait until the ewes are past their first year. Since I breed for late March births it usually means they are at least 18 months old before their first breeding.

Honestly I should just call them lambs until they are a year old but at about 6 or 8 months I start calling them yearlings.

Leigh said...

Barb, I have no idea about keeping sheep and goats together. You might also consider a wether, to keep your buck company. I'm curious to see how our breeding goes too!

Leigh said...

That's a good point. Plus, most breeds are seasonal breeders and only go into heat in the fall. I should really find a local meat market for some of my extras.

Leigh said...

You have the same reasons I do. I think it's best to do what works for oneself. I suppose folks do things in hopes of making a little extra cash, but sometimes the extra work negates that.

Leigh said...

Always something to learn. :)

Leigh said...

Caroline, we had actually planned to neuter them, but time got away with us. Fortunately they don't smell like bucks yet, and the plan is to take care of them by the end of the month.

Leigh said...

How long did it take for the lute to kick in like that? So far, nothing! And I gave it two weeks ago. Maybe she wasn't pregnant.

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Oh, my! That sounds way too complicated for me!! LOL Nancy

Chris said...

I do so love your goats. :)

Leigh said...

Well, maybe, but I just consider it a challenge. :)

Leigh said...

I think this is the best bunch I've ever had. :)

Lynda D said...

I dont know about you but im having trouble keeping track of your match making.

Renee Nefe said...

sounds like you need constant surveillance for your breeding...and escape proof enclosures. ;) can't wait for spring.

Renee Nefe said...

and why is it that the girls keep going for the bad boys? ;)

Kirsty Udall said...

Wow that's complicated, my only contribution to this is 'How beautiful is Stella?!'

Leigh said...

This year it isn't too bad, cuz I know who's the daddy. In years to come it will get harder to keep track of. :)

Leigh said...

At least none of these bucks are fence jumpers!

Leigh said...

She is a looker, isn't she? :)

Quinn said...

Did you wait the necessary length of time before giving her the Lute? It's quite a lengthy delay, if I remember correctly. And my expectation is that it should trigger a cycle whether she was bred or not.
Sorry for delayed response - even though I check the box for "notify me" I don't get notifications of replies...not just your blog, several others as well. Can't figure it out! And I don't often have time to go back and read blogs twice, as you can imagine ;)
So if I don't get back to you on something, please feel free to email me :)

adam miller said...

Nice post! I am going to be getting some goats in the spring. Do you use wooden corner posts and then t posts for the rest? Any chance you could get some more pictures of your overall operation of your goats? I'm looking for ideas!

Leigh said...

No problem with the response delay. As you can see I have trouble keeping up with them myself. :)

I gave her the lute one week to the day of the mishap. I think the vet's directions were 5 to 10 days after. There was really no reaction to it however, it's been like nothing happened.

Leigh said...

Adam, yes, that's exactly what we did for the posts. As far as photos, I probably do, but they'd be scattered throughout various posts. I'd suggest having a look at our Master Plan (tab at the top) and then checking out the "goats" label at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar.

adam miller said...

Have you had good luck with growing all of your own food for your goats? Also where have you purchased your goat fence from? It seems to be very pricey.