Monday, November 15, 2010

Boy Goats

Meet Dill - the visiting beau for the girls

If you've been reading awhile you'll remember that Dill came last year too.   We nicknamed him Elvis last year because of the patch of curly hair he has just above his eyes.  It's not really visible in this picture though.  This will be Dill's last visit here.  I made the difficult decision to purchase our own buck and after much shopping around and reviewing pedigree's etc. I mailed off my deposit on a buck to be born next spring.   He'll be a purebred French Alpine and now that I've made the leap I'll be anxious to meet him next spring.  The dam is due 3/12  and should she not produce a buck we've chosen another doe in hopes she will have a buck.   It's possible of course neither will have a buck but not likely.   I chose to get a buck from Munchin Hill in West Virgina.   It's where Passion came from too.   

Getting a buck with only a couple of does is not what most people choose to do but for me I think it's the right decision.   Both my does are French Alpines and finding a buck to breed them to in the fall has been difficult.  The first year I had both Nigerian Dwarf goats and Tina, my alpine.   I ended up breeding Tina to a Nigerian which produces kids elegible to be registered as miniature alpines with the The Miniature Goat Association.  But little goats are hard for me to milk so I didn't keep the kids.  Then last year I found Dill and his owner was happy to let him come visit for a month.    He didn't get Passion pregnant but Tina gave us 2 kids in May.  This year he's managed to get both girls pregnant I think.  Time will tell.  I'll watch to see if they cycle into heat again later this month.   Since he's not a purebred but an American Alpine the kids won't  be registered as French which was ok.  At this point I was just grateful to have the girls bred.  

 Full sized does of any breed only come into heat in the fall and if not bred then they will be dry the next year unless you decide to milk them through till the following year. Not all does are able to do this though and even if they can it commits you to milking twice every day rain or shine, hot or cold, sick or well, busy or not. We've dried our girls off in the winter and it's a nice break.

I don't want to have to go through this each year..... the search for a buck.   Even with my veterinarian's help we've not been able to locate a French buck for the girls to breed.    I did find one person on Craigslist but she wasn't willing to test her recently purchased buck for the diseases commonly tested for before purchasing a new goat or breeding goats.   My girls have been tested and are healthy and I'm not willing to chance their health by breeding them to a goat that is untested from a farm I know nothing about.  

So next year will be our first year with a resident buck.   Hmmmm.   I think I need to make a list of all the reasons I am doing this.   Not tonight though. 


  1. We had problems locating a buck but finally found one for our pygmy girls. The owner has offered to sell him to us but after having him for a month I'd prefer not to keep him. He isn't friendly (though he's not mean), he stinks, and he wastes too much feed. Our two girls used to go through two flakes of hay a week. We're now going through 3 flakes every two days because he pulls it all out of the feeder and spreads it all over the ground.

  2. It was hard deciding to get a buck for all the reason's you stated. But I still think for me it's the right decision. I think the whole key is to be prepared to give them their own pen. I'll keep a buck from one of the girls and wether him for company to the buck.

  3. We tried to keep him separate. It didn't work. We still haven't figured out how he a) got out of his pen and b) got into the girls' pen. LOL

  4. We don't have goats, yet, but are seriously considering adding a few Nigerian Dwarf does to the property for milk and cheese. We've had the same discussion regarding bucks. There are certainly pros and cons to keeping them around. We're leaning in the direction of keeping our own buck here if we add goats though. Not having to source a buck, or pay for stud is one thing, but being assured of a clean and healthy buck, knowing his breeding and health history, for us, makes it worth it. You're right, it's not worth the risk breeding your girls to an unknown.

  5. Rachel, I don't think it would have worked here either separating the visiting goat since they are herd animals plus the scent of the does in heat would all prove to much and yes, I can see escapes being unavoidable in that situation. I was more meaning for keeping a buck. I will situate the bucks pen as far from the does pen as possible and have a companion for him too. Keeping him in with the does wouldn't work.

  6. I started with Nigerians and their teats were just too small for me to comfortably milk and the volumne wasn't what I expected either. I went from a few cups to 1 1/2 - 2 gals. with the alpines.

    The bucks only smell in the fall which is the biggest issue. Last year although Dill was tested and free of CAE and CL, he still gave the girls lung worm. He'ld been at another farm visiting before he came here and probably got them there. I treated him and my girls but would rather not have to. I keep my girls clean and do fecals etc. This year he had little purple bugs....lice maybe. So again treated him and my girls with a pyrethrum based product. Just less stressful to not introduce those things...or worse here. I'm pretty picky about health issues in my animals.


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