Sunday, December 16, 2012

::goat comment::

I got some great goat questions that I wanted to try to answer.  
From someone who knows nothing about goats here are a few questions your post prompted....
1. Why do you have to sell the boys
2. Can you only show females in 4-H?
3. January in Indiana is you have to have a heated stall or something for the babies?
4. How long is typical gestation for goats and how many babies do usually have at one time?....and how often do you breed them?
That's all my questions for now... :)

 1.  We will most likely sell any more than three boys.  The human girls (3 girls this year) each need a baby to show of each gender if possible.  But if we end up with six boys, we will only keep three.  Boys are fixed pretty quickly after they are born.  Too many is just too many mouths to feed.  We don't raise goats for meat, so altered males just eat hay and act cute.  Which they can do else where.

2.  We show altered boys (wethers) and girls but extra girls can stay home and make more babies, extra boys just eat and poop. 

3.  Cold.  Yes.  Cold is a problem.  Eventually I want to get the does giving birth in September, but we didn't get our buck till September this year and we needed babies for summer 2013 to show. We use heat lamps and lots of deep straw to keep the little ones warm.  I will also have a little heater in the stall while I am there to get them warm after they are born.  

4.  Goats are pregnant for about 147 days.  Some people induce the does at 145 days.  I am more about letting nature do its thing.  Last year I induced our doe and the baby died.  Maybe the mama just was not ready.  I'm not sure.  We will see how things go this year after I have lost three weeks of sleep checking on my does through out the night.  They generally have 1-3 babies.  I am super excited to see how many my girls are each carrying this year.  The big breeders breed twice a year.  Because of my professional experience with human pregnancies I just feel like being pregnant over and over, with no time to rest, just can't be ideal.  This round is only my fourth round of goat babies so I am still figuring things out.  

Babies are due January 14th at the earliest, and January 30th is 147 days from the last day they were with the buck. 

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