Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Goat Herd and Fall Breeding

Earlier this Fall was the start of our breeding schedule, Jersey was the first up since she never did get pregnant last year and I wanted her to have a chance to be the first to kid next Spring.   All of the other goats were curious and of course our handsome buck Cowboy was too, he has really grown and matured over the last year into a nice buck and we all love his great personality.  Jersey's due date should be around March 15th, Joon the first of April, Zolena the middle of April, and Snowdrop the first of May.  I timed it so they were all about 2 weeks apart, then each one can have the use of the birthing suite and the nursery paddock for a couple of weeks. 
"Poppy Patch Ride Um Cowboy" is our buck's official pedigreed name, his Dam is Poppy Patch Dutchess, a  winning show goat, his sire is Algedi Farm Honeymoon Bay, plus he has  Ponders End, Rosasharn, and Twin Creeks in his bloodline.  Excellent udders are in his lines, I'm hoping he'll produce some fine offspring this coming season. 
Jersey and Cowboy flirting through the fence, this picture was taken in early September when she first went into heat.  Most goats are seasonal breeders and begin going into heat around the first of September and every 3 weeks they'll come into heat  until they're bred, the heat cycles will last through February and even early March if they don't get bred.   I wanted to wait until the middle of October to breed Jersey so she wouldn't be giving birth in February, mid March was the earliest I wanted to go for weather reasons.  Our buck is a Nigerian Dwarf, and I'm using him to breed all the does to, both Snowdrop and Joon are Nigerian Dwarf, Jersey is a Nubian, and Zolena is a Lamancha.  This means I will have first generation miniature Nubian and Lamancha's.  I don't know that much about the miniatures other than some cute one's I've seen on Craigslist and some websites of Farms that specialize in them. I'm still fairly new to goats so this will be an exciting Spring to see the new goat kids. More than anything I'm using what I have, if I had a Nubian buck I'd use him for Jersey, and a Lamancha buck for Zolena, it's simply not practical to have 3 bucks for my situation.  I really like having 4 does and 1 buck, that is a nice ratio for me, and if I can get all 4 does in milk over the Summer, Fall, and early Winter I will be thrilled and have plenty of milk to make cheese.

The courting began with an audience of curious does. 

Joon, our cute little Nigerian doe was the first goat we brought home, I'm still milking her everday and have since she weaned her twins in the middle of July.  Joon loves being a milk goat and will even let Kaley milk her.   I have grown attached to this charming goat and her sweet curious personality.  She was bred to Cowboy the first of November for kids due the first of April.  Come Spring this farm will be hoppin with baby goats.


Anonymous said...

So hoping Jersey settled this year for you. Iowe you alive breeding whenever you want. I want to hear all about your kidding season when it starts :)

Jewel said...

Hi Kim, It's going to be an exciting Spring for us, I'm hoping for some cute little doelings from them all, and with Jersey I'm hoping she'll pass on her beautiful long ears. Nice to hear from you over at My Enchanted Acres!