Breeding idiosyncrasies can work both ways. I have a buck whom I discovered to be shy fellow. Early during my last breeding season I had placed him for the first time with some does which were on heat. Over the next 2 days I observed him waiting for him to get to work, you know do the natural thing. Nothing happen! He was more interested in what was being served for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thinking that he was not sure of himself being in a new environment I moved him back to his pen and placed a doe on heat with him after he settled down for a day. Again nothing happen.
Next I had his semen examined just to make sure he was fertile and not shooting blanks. The result confirmed the fact that he was in excellent health and fully fertile, in theory he was ready. Now I had to figure out what was going on in his head that was interfering with his breeding abilities. I was worried i just might have a gay Goat.
On the next occasion I choose another doe on heat and place her with him in his pen. I sat down and settled down to find out what was problem. After watching the proceedings with this rather amorous doe, I came to one conclusion in the first hour. He was just too scared of the doe. Why? The answer is simple.
Being a buck which was selected from a very young age to be groomed and developed as a stud, the only friends he had was us, us as in humans. Staying alone in his pen with only us to fuss and take care of him he got so used to recognising us as his friends, as a part of his herd. That plus him being a virgin untested with no exposure to mating does it was no wonder when he felt intimidated by does who suddenly wanted to become up close and personal.
The next time I had a doe on heat I brought him out of his pen. I next held on to the doe while he walked around, initially ignoring her, and got used to her. In twenty minutes he, after much lip curling and sniffing, suddenly he got randy figured out what was his mission all about. I did this repeatedly several times with him, every time holding on to the doe and letting him be the boss and do the bossing. I am happy to report that he is just raring to go whenever needed and every time his mission accomplished.
We will soon be getting to follow up on our last visit to Boer Bok Stud in WA Australia. Beth, Alan and Peter were very kind and generous enough to offer us some of their Boers to help improve our bloodlines here in Sarawak. The visit to them in Busselton was a real eye opener and an excellent learning experience. I got to watch their Boers eating leisurely on their green pastures while it was raining and it was very cold! The opposite would happen here in East Malaysia. They would be bleating and running for the goat houses at the slightest sign of rain.
Very Nice Example Of A Red Boer Buck
More Happy Expecting Doe’s
This is a mistake many ‘newbie’ farmers make where although they know they need and should use a sound Buck, they end up investing in an inferior specimen. You need and want to get the best possible Buck (naturally within a reasonable price range) as you know that most times the kids will resemble the buck more than the doe. The Buck has the potential to easily influence the genetics of a few hundred kids before you retire him. Remember, and refer to this post,YOUR BUCK IS HALF YOUR HERD.
He should have good size and bone, be vigorous and active, and have a strong and masculine appearance, basically a very handsome bloke. He should have a broad muzzle, straight back, thick chest, and deep hindquarters. He should be standing square on all four feet, and have a healthy shiny coat.
You should purchase your Buck at least one month before breeding time. This will allow time for you to source for the right Buck and also allow him to be adjusted to your farm. This will also give you ample time to keep him quarantined from your herd just to make sure he is not carrying any contagious diseases. You will need approximately one mature Buck for 35-40 does on your farm.
In general, Bucks in temperate areas will become more active and aggressive ‘in the fall’ when most does are cycling. This will vary with some breeds that have the ability to breed ‘out of season’. Bucks from breeds such as the Boer are likely to be able to mate all year, but will tend to be the most aggressive in the fall. Bucks born and bred in tropical climates such as here in Sarawak are able to perform all year round.
Prior to breeding you should conduct a physical examination of your Buck for breeding soundness. The examination should include palpation of the testicles and epididymis, visual and hands on checking of feet, legs, and eyes. In addition, be sure to check the body condition of the Buck.
Testicles of the Buck should be firm and be adequate in size. The size of the testicles relates to the ability of the Buck to produce larger quantities of sperm, the bigger the better. This in turn will allow the Buck to breed a larger number of does. The tail of the epididymis is located at the bottom end of the testicle. It should be slightly rounded and free from any hard knots. This is important because the tail of the epididymis is where most of the sperm is reserved for breeding of the does.
When checking the feet and legs there should not be any lameness and evidence of foot rot or foot scald. Pick up the Buck’s feet and check between his toes for any sign of redness or infection. Also check the Billy’s eyes for signs of anemia. The tissues near the eye should be bright pink in color. If they are gray or white in appearance, the Buck probably needs dewormed. Refer to this post ‘ANEMIA’
Checking the body condition of the Buck is easily done by handling him across his top and along his ribs. The Buck should have some extra condition or fat reserves, but not be overly fat. As the breeding season progresses he can lose as much as 15% of his body weight. A too fat Buck may be lazy and not want to breed. These Buck are also more susceptible to heat stress which can decrease sperm quality. On the other hand, a thin Buck will have less energy for breeding and may have a lower sperm quality.
If you have any question of the breeding soundness of your Buck, you can ultimately check his ability to breed does through either a semen evaluation or by marking the does as they are bred. Semen evaluations can be conducted by a veterinarian or by a breeding service, which of the latter there is NONE here in East Malaysia.
You should try marking does (some water based marker will do) as they are bred to check if a Buck is successfully impregnating does. Change colors every 17 days (average length of a doe’s cycle). If the Buck re-mates a large number of does after the first heat cycle, you may want to have his semen evaluated.
Taking this few minutes prior to your breeding season/program can save you a lot of headache, heartache and ‘moneyache’. Keep your Buck in with the does for no more than 45 – 60 days to keep does kidding as a group. Kids born more than 45 days apart will vary in size and be more difficult to manage as you will have more than one weaning group.
A buck can ruin your herd just as fast as a good carefully chosen buck can improve it. Using him just because he ‘looks good’ does not mean he should be used for breeding. When you are ready to get a buck, be prepared to do some homework and leg work searching for that quality. If you were in Australia locating a quality registered buck of your choice breed is not a big challenge. Here in Sarawak where locally born registered animals are non existent then a good drive around will have to do searching for what you need. Don’t be afraid to ask stupid questions.
You want to make sure you see at least the buck’s mother, and possibly the father, of any buck you decide on. Look at the mothers udder, because is she has a “bad” udder, those udder genes will be passed on through her son and you really do not want that. Look at both parents conformation. Are they within the requirements of the particular breed you are aiming for? Look at the other offspring the father had sired, is the quality also there? Does he have any birth records? What was his weight at birth? Did the breeder keep any records of his weight gained as he aged?
Remember, that Buck you chose represents your future herd.