Thursday, September 19, 2013

Breeding season!

A couple weeks ago, I was starting to complain about the fact that I had not seen a goat in heat since March. As luck would have it, the very next day when we let the goats outside in the morning, several of the does were butting heads, flagging, and mounting each other. The only problem with that sort of behavior is that it can be a challenge to figure out exactly who is in heat and who is just all worked up because they are surrounded by so many hormonal females.

This is the latest we have started breeding goats for as long as I can remember other than our very first year when all three of our goats were bred the first week of October. This means that I am not going to pass up a single doe that is in heat. Usually I try to maintain a bit of sanity in my kidding season by not having too many does due at the same time, but because I like to be done with kidding by March, I can't risk missing a doe coming back into heat later. Kidding during winter is one of our strategies for controlling internal parasites in the goats. If the does kid when the parasites are mostly dormant, we are able to avoid the use of chemical dewormers.

Pictured are two of the happy couples that were put together when the doe was in heat. Yes, Sadie the white goat above, is with a younger man. That's Calvin Klein, one of Coco's quintuplets born in March.

And here is handsome Austin with Nina Ricci behind him. I like to provide dinner for all of the goats when they're on their dates. And yes, he's a younger man too. I kept three bucklings this year, and they're all doing a great job with breeding this fall.

The first week of February is going to be crazy! There are nine does due on February 5 and 6. I'm looking forward to the babies but dreading the inevitable lack of sleep! If I make it through without a migraine, I'll be very happy.


MichelleH said...

I felt kind of like I was looking at a proud mom's pre-prom date photos... :)

Deborah Niemann said...

So true! Breeding season is exciting as we think about what beautiful babies the various pairings will create.

kai zimmer said...

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