Friday, October 16, 2015

Meet Ratatouille - Breeding Season

This year I decided to do breeding season the easy way. Pick one buck and breed all my does to him. No playing musical goats. No setting up countless breeding pens. Just picking one buck and sticking him out in the pasture with all my does. Easy Peasy. Except that none of my bucks can be bred to every one of my does.

Down in the buck pen live Lucky (farthest away) and Louie (closest). Lucky was born here, I still own his great grandmother, countless cousins, and a half-sister or two. He's a great buck, and definitely worth keeping, but he can only be bred to half my herd.

Louie, on the other hand, I bought as a baby, so he came into the herd completely unrelated to all my does. That was 8 years ago. So now I have his daughters, granddaughters, great granddaughters, and so on. Heck, he's even Lucky's great grandfather. So every year the pool of does I can breed him to shrinks.

With this in mind, I leased them both out.

"See you two in a few months!"

Even with those two gone, I wasn't completely out of bucks. I still had Sombrita's son, Domino.

I have a couple does he can't breed, his mother and sisters, but he can breed more of my does than the other bucks can. However, he's still a little on the young side, just having been born in May, so I didn't want to stunt his growth by putting him to work too young. Thus, I did a temporary buck swap with my friend. Domino went over to her house, and she sent back her new buck, completely unrelated to all my does.

Meet Ratatouille, Mr. impossible-to-get-a-halfway-decent-picture-of. He's got great show and milk bloodlines and gorgeous coloring. 

My does seem to really like him! I can't wait to see his babies come February.

How about this year's babies? Those doelings are too small to be bred this year, so the week before Ratatouille came over I bought some cattle panels and fenced in a very overgrown area for them.

They made short work of all the gigantic weeds!

So every few weeks we have to move their pen to another overgrown area.

The doelings make great weed-eaters!

Now that everything is set up, and all the bucks are where they need to be, breeding season has been rather painless. No escaping bucks running around the back yard this year!

1 comment:

  1. sounds like our buck and wether( constantly escaping!!) they need new homes