That time has come again on the farm.
The time for love.
The does have been naaing more than usual. Tails have been wagging. My poor fence has been getting one heck of a beating, and the bucks are wearing their finest cologne.
And by cologne I mean urine.
If you don’t know much about goat bucks, let me just tell ya – they’re nasty.
(We talked a bit about goat bucks here)
We bred our last doe today to our boy Hiccup. He had been away for awhile breeding some other does (he’s a travellin’ man) and returned just in time to help a poor desperate Chelsea out.
A doe in heat is the definition of desperate. It drives the boys craaazay!
The breeding part is pretty standard, and while I’m not really interested in watching them…you know..get er done, that just seems to be life on the homestead. I want to know due dates, and to know that I have to know, well, the “do” date.
What you’re really looking for during the love session is the buck to thrust and the doe to arch her back. I usually let them do their thing 3 or 4 times, making sure that they have at least one thrust and arch during that time. If the doe is in standing heat and ready to be bred this can take as little as 5 minutes to as long as an hour. It really just depends on the doe. I have 2 that stand very well for the buck, and 1 doe that really has no idea how to stand still. I always take the buck to the doe, as putting an in heat doe into the buck pen would cause mayhem and fighting because I have 2 intact bucks. After they’re done I put the buck back into his own pen with his buddy.
Mini goats usually kid after 145 days, so I mark down when they were bred, when the due date is and then I watch for the doe to come back into heat – usually about 18 – 20 days after the breeding takes place I’ll know if she’s been successfully bred or if she needs another round with a handsome tongue wagging buck.
Bucks wag their tongues when they’re breeding. It’s like dirty talk to a goat.
Once the does have all been bred the bucks will come out of rut. Which will make life a lot calmer on the farm. While we have very tame and affectionate bucks, a buck in rut is still something to be respected. The hormones are running high, and he’s got horns. I do not.
(Oliver got mad at me and decided to destroy his water bucket.)
(The mangled fence)
Successfully bred does also means it’s time to prepare for kidding, and make sure Mama goat is getting proper nutrition. I trim their hooves either right before breeding or right after, and make sure that they are getting proper minerals. I also will start feeding them grain and alfalfa pellets at the 100 days bred mark (if they aren’t getting a little bit already), to help keep their energy up especially during the cold nights of winter.
And the boys get to go back to being lazy goats, until next year when I need them for another whole 5 minutes. Ah the life of a breeding buck.
Here’s hoping for healthy pregnancies and lots of doeling kids.