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Goats/thoughts about age in breeding


Hi Donna, First I want to thank you again for your help and encouragement when my alpine goat had a breech baby this spring. It took awhile but she is back to 100% now! And I learned a lot!
So here are 2 different breeding questions related to age. First, I used a yearling buck this past year and ended up with 10 male and 2 female babies. Is that ratio related at all to the bucks age, or is it random, or should I replace him if I want more does? (Someone told me it was due to his age and that he'd throw more does when he was older.)
Secondly, how old do you recommend breeding a doe? My doe that had the breech baby is 7 years old. For the past couple years, she has gotten really big when she was pregnant. This was such a hard year for her, I thought maybe I should just retire her. What do you recommend?
Thank you for sharing your wisdom!

Each buck's genetics is part of what decides males or female kids. What I have found over the years is that a major part of how you get males or females is when the doe is bred.  If the doe is bred at the beginning of her standing heat she is more likely to have males, if she is bred in the middle of the cycle when it is equal males to females and at the end of the standing heat cycle you usually get more females.  Age of the buck has nothing to do with what sex they throw.  

Glad the one doe is back to normal.  Re age of does to breed, it depends a lot on the doe. Some does can be bred and have easy kidding through about 11 to 12 years of age, while others seem to have a difficult time recuperating from the kidding by age 7 to 8.  Selenium deficiency can be a big part of a doe's ability to not have breech kids and also to recuperate faster.  We usually give the selenium/E/D oral mixture 4 weeks prior to the kidding date to help the doe.  But, there are always does who just do not do well as they get older.  I have one doe who is 8 years of age and the past two years has had easy kidding but getting her back to normal has been difficult at best.  She will be retired to pasture this year.  

Hope that helps - Donna


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Donna Ruelas-Semasko/Edelweiss Acres


All goat health care, nutrition, judging questions about all goats - packgoats, dairy goats, pygmy goats, meat goats, fleece goats.


27 years health care/nutrition of all types of goats, 17 years experience in packgoats, 20 years experience in 4H goat projects as leader, superintendent and judge. 20 years experience in putting on goat care/nutrition seminars.

NAPgA, The Evergreen Packgoat Club, 4H, ADGA.

Hobby Farm, many newspapers, 4H newsletters, Packgoat Manuals (youth and general), judging information pamphlets, seminar handouts about health care and nutrition.

4 years of college, ongoing education in goats.

Awards and Honors
Small Farm Award of Thurston County

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