Our goats are West African miniature dairy goats. Both Nigerian Dwarf goats and our Pygmy goats can be bred year round. This means that our doelings and does come into heat once every month. Most of the world’s goats are seasonal breeders,which means they come into heat once a year. Since ours come into heat every month, we have the wonderful advantage to be able to breed our does when it suits us.
They give us clues when “heats” are on the way. They become very affectionate, much more than usual. Their tails flick and wag like a dog which is known as “flagging”. And last but not least, our does have a lot to say when they are in heat. With 17 females, we have a lot of “heat” sounds in our stable. A doe in heat make a very loud cry in addition to other vocalizations when in heat. When we have a quiet day in the stable, it actually sounds strange to us.
Here Pansy lets us know that she is in heat:
In this next video, Pansy is in what we refer to as a “standing heat”. This means she is now ready to be bred.
Poppy, Pansy’s sister was also bred with Balder
Little Man and Baby Boy exchange some “words”.
We are about to start Maternity Watch again at Gullringstorp. We did breeding the last days in November and first of December 2012. As we move into Maternity Watch, we have stopped milking Nanna, Keriana and now we milk Alika only evenings. They will all dry off soon. To dry off means to slow down the milking so that the doe will not continue to produce milk. They will not be bred for at least another year.
This is Iris’s story. Our round little Pygmy doe was the first to be bred, twice Nov. 252 & 26, 2012. She will give birth for the first time in April.
Welcome back for Iris’ Maternity Watch, coming soon.
Before I write about today’s subject , I would first like to thank everyone who has read my blog. I am happy to say that I have had over 400 readers!! Wow! That’s great. Thank you all. I hope that you continue to log on and read about my life in the country with my goats. If you have any requests, anything you would like to see on my blog please let me know and I will try to provide it. Once again, thank you for reading and please remember, you are very welcome back to learn more.
Everyone here at Gullringstorp is all settled in and growing so beautifully. My little babies are now yearlings, little Alika is now a yearling, Pumpkin, my yearling is now 2 yrs old and Hilda is still taking care of Little Alika. And the queen of the herd Frida is maintaining her position. She is the definite head of this little herd. Everyone knows their place and their rank,and respect Frida.
These lovelies are not just pets, but I hope to get fresh goat milk from them. Goat milk is one of natures true nectars. But I will save this for another post. That really isn’t the topic for today’s post.
The time has come for my ladies to be bred. I have started a breeding program with my little lovelies. Oh dear, we had NO buck on the property!!! Little Flynn can not perform this for us so we gave serious thought about buying a buck or two. the problem with that was, these were adult bucks, and let me tell you, I have had my share of “grab bag” goats. I just happened to luck out with Frida’s temperament. She is very gentle with her babies, but she does assert her rank, and sometimes she is a bit mischievous. she has a John Wayne walk which just makes me laugh and she loves a good chase around the pasture. The issue with her udder is easily taken care of, I am just sorry for her that it went untreated for so long, before we got her. So long story short, we did not buy an adult buck. they are notorious for a “bucky” smell that can take over a barn or stable. Not only that, they sometimes mistake the owner for the female doe and can attempt to mount. They can be quite insistent and they are strong, even if they are dwarf miniature breeds like I have. They can be a bit dangerous.
We contacted the farm where we purchased Pumpkin and they were more than happy to loan us their beautiful buck. Not only is he beautiful, but has a lovely temperament. We had him for two months. We had to be sure the goats that were bred did not come back into heat. So far they did not and we are very pleased about that.
Emil’s parents brought him by this past March. He arrived in the back of their truck. That was a great sign, he didn’t arrive in a create. He was led to the stable by a leash. Another good sign. Oh I felt so lucky!
Please meet Emil our Rent-A-Buck:
Isn’t he just so handsome?!?!? I think so anyway. As you can see by his being on a leash he has to be calm and gentle and he is.
Just look at those magnificent horns. His age is unclear so I really can not even begin to imagine how old he might be. Usually, you might be able to hazard a guess based on the size of his horns, but that is not always the case. It doesn’t really matter, just a curiosity. My little wether (male castrated goat) Flynn, for some reason has not developed at the same rate as his twin sister Keriana. He is tiny and has remained the size he was at 6 month. He is over a year now and he still has his “baby” horns. So, as you can see, I really can’t go by him either. Oh well, it’s not so important. Emil is here and looking like a king!
Bucks live a more rugged life than the does and kidds do. They do not have the pampering the others normally have. At his real home, Emil who is housed separately from the does, is constantly looking for ways to escape and join the females. This will lead to scratched faces, rubbed off hair and a general disheveled look. Like I said rugged. But this just adds to his handsomeness, for me anyway.
Emil performed his duties and remained with us until the beginning of May. We just had to be sure that the ladies he “serviced” did not come into heat again. If they had, we still had Emil for another try.
Here are the does who were bred:
By my calculations, we should have babies at Gullringstorp around mid August, late August and first of September. Nigerian Dwarf goats can be bred year round, making them ideal for any breeding schedule. Good for me because this means I can have fresh milk year round. Gestation is 145 days, sometimes up to 150 days , which is a relatively short amount of time. The number of kidds that are born to a particular goat, depends on how they were born. If they were an only kidd, chances are they will give birth to only one kidd. If they were a twin, triplet or quad, then there is a greater chance of multiple births. This is the rule, but as we all know, mother Nature has a say in this also. so it really will be a surprise. I just can’t wait!! I will keep you all posted , of course.