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.|
|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!