goat buck age to breed

growernut(4/5 NEBR)December 26, 2007

Hi all, in need of thoughts from the goat people here. i have 8 boer cross does, an alpine doe and a couple nubian cross does. all about 3-4 yrs old. the end of November this year i put all the does in with my bucks. one was a 3 yr old nubian/boer cross the other 3/4 boer with i think nubian making up the rest. this one is about a yr old now. at any rate, my 3 yr old buck died. i have not replaced him with anything as of yet, but am wondering thoughts on if the little 1 yr old will be able to get the job done. he seems so short yet, like i need to get him a stool to stand on. thanks for the thoughts.

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we used our 9 month and our 8 month buck to breed a couple of smaller does, our older buck was just too big to breed them at that time, he got the older does that has had kidds before i wouldnt over work the young buck, but i would use him

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 10:25PM
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If he can reach 'em he can breed 'em.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2008 at 8:30PM
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I'm curious,what age is too young when it comes to using a buck for breeding.I know a doe has to or should be 8 months old but what about a buck?
I hope to get back into keeping goats in the future,once I find out what is going on with the spca,but have never owned a buck.That is going to be one of first things I purchase but having never owned one know very little regarding breeding age ect.Thanks Sherry.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 12:10PM
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Growernut...I do not know from experience, but everything I have read is that bucklings are "able" to impregnate a doe as early as 2 - 3 months of age. A friend of mine has had dams bred by their buck kids because they were not separated early enough (I think at 3-months)...so "yes" like Cristi said "if they can reach them...they can breed them."

I do not go by the 8 month rule for breeding does. I wait until the doe weighs 75-80 lbs. If that is 7 months or 11 months...it doesn't matter.

We breed for Jan 1 Boer babies. Our fair will not let us take whethers to fair unless they are born later than 1-Jan. By the time August rolls around...I usually do not have trouble having 80-lb doelings.

An 8 month to 1-yr old buckling can cover 10 does...but not many more than that. Then there is also the the "being able to perform" due to height and build.

A fully mature 3 - 4 yr old buck can cover 100 or more in a season. But he would be absolutely "worn out" and run down. They only have one thing in mind and will even forget to eat for days. A 250-lb buck will lose 25 - 50 lbs if you do not watch them (and if they are the only one servicing your does)!

With you only having 8 - 12 does...I wouldn't think you have anything to worry about.

To answer Sherryo's question...I would use the 8-month rule. I would not intentionally use a much younger buck than 8-months old. My 4-yr old FB SA buck died New Years eve from pneumonia (very sad). One of our does had a very nice son of his. I am planning on using him on 5-does come August.

Hope this helps...


    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 11:26PM
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Oh gosh, Brian. So sorry to hear about your buck. The fair you show at, is it for your kids, or do you and your wife show? Been wonderin' about the show ring, but don't have any kids.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 1:03PM
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Cristi...Thanks for the condolences. We were very shaken up over his loss. I just got him this summer. He was a magnificent animal with 11-ennobelments in his pedigree. All the big names (Top Gun, Ubora, Top Brass & Eggsfile) to name a few. I at least got one season of live coverage from him. I also have 68-straws for the future. YEAH!

His son lost 5-enobelments from his dad's side...but picked up 2 from his mom's side...so he has 8-enobelments in his 3 generation pedigree. He weighed 11-lbs at birth and has his daddy's chest and legs (so far). I am pretty excited about him. Hopefully he continues to improve / get better over the next couple months. It would kill me to have to whether him for a fair project if he "falls off."

We are fairly new. We have been raising our goats for 4 -5 yrs now...bouncing back and forth between Alpines / Boers. I finally made a decision last year to run with our boers...hence buying a nice buck last summer. The wife loves the boers...but her heart is with our Alpines.

She has 2 FB Alpine does with one expecting kids in March. She is a great milker / mother. We also have a FB 3-yr old Alpine buck from Stawberry Fields Alpines. Last year they won the 3rd place "Best Herd Award" from the ADGA. So he has an excellent bloodline as well.

Right now we have 3 FB Boer does (not counting the new baby girl born 26-Dec). We also have quite a few percentage does (50% - 88%) that we are using their buckling kids for Fair whethers. We are selling / keeping the doe kids (depends on their confirmation). So far...all are keepers. We have 12 kids on the ground right now. (See other post). We are basically just now getting serious...

We have an Open Show comming up in April. This will be my first experience in the show ring (with goats). Everyone tells me that I have some really nice animals; especially 2 new bucklings born this year. Two of my FB does are extremely long with perfect markings. One is even 2-teated. We will see.

I have several friends that do the "open show circuit." They say they have a lot of fun...even though it is hard to compete sometimes. There are farms / ranches that have some very, very nice animals and do this (raise goats) for a living. They sell replacement stock so the points won at these shows validates their stock...so they put a lot of time and expense into their animals. Once an animal acheives (I think) 80 pts and pass an inspection; the animal is enobeled. Southwinds (my dead buck) had 40+ points from his previous owner showing him as a yearling.

For the average "goat guy" like me...it sounds like an upward battle...but I am going to give it a shot. If for nothing else but experience and knowledge we will learn from these people.


    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 2:17PM
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Thanks Brian,
I've arranged to purchase a buckling from a friend who keeps goats.She has also agreed to sell me one of her does at the same time.She is just waiting for the doe to kid sometime later this winter by spring.
I would expect to use the buckling this coming November or December on the doe,for kids a year from now,and am glad to know that one born in either February or March would be old enough by then.
Another question occured to me,how long is a buck able to breed? I read somewhere that they have short reproductive lives and generally are worn out by the time they are five or six years old.Is this the case or is the reproductive life of a buck determined by the number of does he services over time.In other words if he is with a small herd,10 to 12 does tops,will he live longer or is the life expectancy still the same regardless of how many does a buck is with? Thanks Sherry

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 3:00PM
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Sherryo...First of all, do you really need a buck? A buck will cost between $200 - $400 a year feeding him (depending on your location) plus vaccinations. A buck shelter / fencing must be a little stronger than the does facilities as well, hence more money right off the bat! If you are starting small like most of us do with 1 - 3 does, you really do not need a buck if there is access to a buck nearby. The stud fee for a very nice buck only cost $50 - $100 per doe. Some much less, but if you want nice animals, I wouldn't settle for just any buck. Remember...he is going to effect your whole herd. Then you can keep a buckling out of your first doe or buy one in a couple years when you have 8 - 12 does to service.

In the fall all you have to do is rub a buck down with a rag and place it in a mason jar with the lid on. Every day let the girls smell the rag. If they are in heat...you will know it. Load the doe up and take her to the "love shack!"

I really do not know the "breeding life span" of a buck. I would think it would have a lot to do with it's health and what role it plays. If it was used as a herd sire for 50 - 100 goats...I wouldn't think it would last as long as say one that services less than 20 a year. How well it is taken care of and fed (loved on) probably has a lot to do with it as well.

If anyone has the "correct" answer...I would be interested to know as well.

Good luck with your goats when they come sherryo...no matter if you get the buck or not...you will love every minute of them!


    Bookmark   January 16, 2008 at 5:41AM
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Hi Brian,
I was using the buck belonging to my friend.We used to live quite close to each other,2 minutes by car.Now I am over 1/2 an hours drive from her.This is the only reason that I'm considering a buck at all when I get back into goats.
I have used the rag test on the does I had up until this October and it does work very well.I used an old coffee whitener jar though as I read somewhere that the container should be light proof.Is this the case?
I did'nt stop to think of the cost that would be involved in raising a buckling.It does seem a lot given the number of does I'll be starting out with again.The drive may be cheaper for me and just use her buck instead of purchasing a buckling from her.I don't have the room for more then three or four does at the most.I only own 4 acres so space is limited.Sherry

    Bookmark   January 17, 2008 at 1:48PM
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You would be surprised how many goats you can successfully keep on 4-acres! Of course you need to feed hay and grain year around which can get expensive.

I do not know about the "light proof" container for the buck rag. We kept it in a regular Mason jar with a lid. Never had an issues with light.

Now if you do not mind having a lot of kids (or) you do not need to breed the does at a specific time...you could keep your buck in with the does. Commercial goat herders practice this but...they sell kids / wethers all year around. Just be sure you have a market for all the kids any time of the year.

I prefer to have them separated...you can manage them better. But every situation calls for a different set of rules. Just keep them out of view from the road...don't want Mr. SPCA nosing around again

Good Luck,


    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 7:21AM
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I agree.Having the SPCA coming around was'nt the easiest thing.I still have no news on the animals to date.As for nosing around,he's still making visits to my place,not sure why,as I'm currently not there.My job has me working elsewhere at the present.
The four acres has to hold other animals besides the goats.Raising my own meat,eggs,and produce was the main reason for moving onto a larger parcel of land.I also hope to expand into growning and selling daylilies in the future.
I agree with keeping the sexes separated.It's much easier to control the time of year the kids arrive if they are apart.I have a friend who keeps her buck in with the does.I don't care for the taste in her milk or meat because of this.She does'nt mind the kids arriving whenever but it would worry me to no end.How can you expect the unexpected if the due date(s) are unknown.My eldest doe kidded when she should have the last time but the kids decided to come down at the same time.If I had done the same as my friend I'd have lost my doe and the pair of kids.Not something I would ever want to have happen.Thanks for the info,Sherry.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 3:01PM
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