Hello farm life followers,
Fall is fully upon us. We have received a good frost and it’s chilly out side. That means I wear layers upon layers or start wearing my insulated coveralls.
This weather also brings to the farm a seasonal change with the goats. They are “in love”. I’m not sure goats fall in love but they certainly come into heat and wag their tails incessantly for a 24 to 48 hour period, every 21 days. The does, become even sweeter and lick my hands and give me kisses. Fall, also means being able to having access to a buck, a male goat, to breed your does to. There are three ways that are available to the dairy goat farmer for a live breeding.
The first is to have your own buck on your farm. This is the easiest way to breed your does. Your buck lives on the farm, and him just being there helps bring your does into a strong and noticeable heat.
The second choice is to lease a buck from another farm. A lease usually means that you house and feed the buck on your farm for 30 days. Any does that come into heat during that time period get bred. Lease fees varies and so do health requirements from both the lease and lessor. An example of a requirement would be CAE testing for the current year.
The third example would be "Driveway Breeding". What is driveway breeding? It's when you contact a farmer/rancher with a buck within driving distance. You will contact this person and see if they have a buck to use and are willing to do a Driveway Breeding. Then you watch for signs of heat in your doe herd and mark it on your calendar. This gives you a good idea of when your doe next will come in heat, 21 days later. Give your driveway breeding farmer a date for your doe's next heat and that you will be arriving then. Health testing may also be required.
Breeding season is an exciting time for most dairy goat breeders. The buck's selection is important, the pedigrees interesting, the anticipation of kids in the spring.
No matter what method you choose for live breeding for your does it can be a fun and exciting challenge.