Goat Breeding Age: What’s the Best Age?

Boer goats are some of the most in-demand meat goat breeds.

This is due to their hardy natures, fast growth, high reproductive rate and tendency to produce twins.

They were bred in South Africa to eat and clear plants that were hard to remove. This also means that they are able to withstand extreme dry weather and forage even in the snow. For this reason, they are becoming more popularly sold for their meat or as breeding stock.

Breeding Goats

breeding goat

One of the essential things to master when raising or farming goats is breeding. The goats need to be healthy so that they can reproduce properly. Most breeds also have a set goat breeding age. Most kinds of goats have a specific age when they reach puberty and when they can mate.

First time breeders are encouraged to do as much research as possible. Speak with other farmers. Find a mentor. Finally, with the help of a mentor, choose your animals carefully.

A quality buck and quality does will be an investment, but they will be the foundation of the herd. It can be tricky to find a reputable breeder, but it is worth it to avoid the headache of having a weak, unhealthy goat. It is generally good practice to avoid the sale barn.

The Does and the Bucks

The burden of producing quality offspring is typically in the Boer buck. Does, on the other hand, gain a reputation for having easy pregnancies, kidding with little assistance, and whether they are attentive mothers. Their milk, at least in the early days of the kids’ lives, is the primary means of their growth.

Good breeders typically keep good records of the lineage and reproductive records of breeding stock which helps you know what to expect when you bring the animals home.

Bucks

boer buck

Bucks are typically more expensive than does so it’s prudent to be more careful when choosing one. Request proof of fertility and any pertinent breeding records to ensure that the buck is a purebred Boer. Also ask for health records and if the breeder has proof of the condition of the buck’s progeny.

Physical fitness is important when choosing a buck. For breeding purposes, the buck needs to be virile enough visit all the does. Obesity can negatively impact fertility, as well.

Since Boer goats tend to put weight on more quickly than other breeds, it is considered a better guide to breed by weight than by age. Bucks reach a weight of 32 kg as early as 3 to 6 months; this is considered puberty. Most bucks can already be used for breeding as young as 5 to 6 months, though some prefer to wait until they are more mature to begin breeding.

Does

Boer does can be bred at 6 months. However, breeding the does before they reach the proper weight (generally around 80 pounds) can stunt their growth and lead to reproductive problems. A common age for breeding is between 10 and 12 months.

Having does reproduce too early can lead to pregnancy or birth difficulties. The most common complication of a young doe giving birth is that of an abnormally positioned kid. This can lead to the death of both the kid and the doe.

Most Boer does are “retired” by 10 years old, but if properly cared for and only bred once a year (thus giving the body more time to recover between pregnancies), she could potentially be bred longer than that.

The average pregnancy lasts five months. While it is possible to breed Boer does twice a year, not all does will take to a pregnancy again so soon after kidding. This is completely dependent on the individual does. Some will be ready to breed and some will not.

The most accurate way to determine pregnancy is to request a blood test or ultrasound. To determine possible kidding dates, visit http://abga.org/abga-education/gestation-calculator/

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