How young is to young for breeding a doe.greenspun.com : LUSENET : Dairygoats : One Thread
How soon do you think a doe should be put in service? We usualy wait for size more than we do age but,(Theirs always a but) my son has two nine month old Nubians he realy wants kids out of for fair. We have around a month to decide. I think their a little small.
-- bergy (email@example.com), November 19, 2002
9 months is old enough, but are they big enough? Weigh them either with a scale or a weigh tape. I like to wait until they are 90 lbs or more. And then after you breed them, make sure that they get enough good hay- like alfalfa- without having to fight with the older does for it. Maybe put them in a pen by themselves. I also grain my bred doelings, or at least give them alfalfa pellets and sunflower seeds while pregnant so they keep growing.
-- Rebekah (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 20, 2002.
I have been milking goats for many years to raise lambs and calves. When I save a replacement doeling I always breed her at seven months. Mine are a decent size by then---bucket raised, with grain or a good feeder ration. I feed a very good quality of alfalfa to my does with grain in proportion to how they milk. My young does continue to grow and fill out even though they kid when they are only a year old themselves. Mine is not a registered show herd---they need to make money for me by raising lots of other livestock, so I would lose money by carrying dry yearling does. Or if I bred a doeling quite late she would not establish a nice long (ten month) lactation cycle for the rest of her milking career. I want my does to kid at the same time as the ewes lamb so I have maximum milk when I really need it! I think the use we put them to--i.e. showing, weed whacking, working milkers---sometime determines how we as goat owners decide the breeding age. Of course, if a doeling is extra small for whatever reason (genetics, health problems, poor nutrition) you really do need to wait that extra year. I have quite a few Nubians and a nine month old should be plenty large enough to breed with no problems. Just try to be around when she kids, since sometimes first time mothers get a little confused about accepting and caring for that new arrival.
-- Elizabeth Love (Cheviot@3Rivers.net), November 20, 2002.
Thank You! You both helped a lot.
-- bergy (email@example.com), November 21, 2002.