Monday, August 30, 2010
Ode de Buck
Whew-eeee!! There's nothing quite like that particular smell of buck to usher in the fall goat breeding season. If there is one single thing I don't like about raising goats it's the smell of a buck. The alternative to keeping a buck is renting a buck, tho, and with that comes other issues of finding the right breed of buck, hauling said buck, hoping that you don't bring home anything contagious to your herd and that the buck doesn't get hurt while on your property, then hoping that he did his job in the allotted rental time. For the first two years raised goats we rented a buck. It worked well for the time being since we had crossbreeds but now that we have defined our goals of what we want to do with the goats (our end goal being to raise a good milking line of spotted registered Nubians) our choices are limited. It has become much easier to keep our own buck. The last couple of breeding seasons have had challenges of their own and we have learned some very interesting things about keeping bucks. Things like Nubians can and do breed in July and how high a buck really can jump when he is determined. This year we are a bit wiser (we think) and hope to eliminate those issues and breed when we want the goats bred. So in preparation for that besides taller buck pens we have started now to get our does into prime shape for their little upcoming rendezvous with our handsome buck. We will have 6 does to breed this fall. One of those does being registered (yippee!), 4 of them being purebred Nubians, and 2 of them high percentage crosses all with amazing udders and only 1 first timer (double yippee!). All except for one of the does is dried up from milk production and they are all on a good alfalfa and extra feed until the special day comes. We separated Asha and Susan to start weaning and drying Susan off. I am going to try feeding dry raspberry leaves as a little experiment this year as well. The raspberry leaves are supposed to help all those internal female organs so we can hope for twins and even triplets this year. We shall see how it works. In a couple of weeks I will also give everybody a good worming and feet trimming and then on October 1st put Mr. Cadillac (our first ever registered spotted buck) into the girl pen. Then we wait 5 months and see what God chooses to provide. After 4 years of waiting to define our goat plans they are now just a few months away from reality. And hopefully, hopefully, the barn will be totally remodeled and I will even have real stalls and a milking parlor before those little kids are due. Yippee!!