Goat Breeding Tips and Advice, Part 1 Breeding

Does reach puberty from 4 to 18 months. Best breeding age will be 10 to 12 months, depending on desired weight. Limit yearling buck services to 25 doe services/year. Older bucks can cover up to 75/year. Buck to doe ratio is 1:25.

Breeding – Reproductive Characteristics of Goats

Age of puberty 4-8 months
Cycle of type Polyestrus
Cycle length 18-21 days
Duration of heat 2-3 days (secondary heat: 8-12 days after)
Gestation period 150 (+/-) 5 days
Best breeding time Daily during estrus

Breeding – signs of Heat or Estrus

  • Mucus discharge from the vulva, causing matting of tail hair.
  • Uneasiness, constant urination, lack of appetite and bleating.
  • Seeks out or stays near the buck and lets herself be mounted.

When breeding, always introduce the doe to the buck, not to the doe herd particularly when bucks have not been used for a long time. It will be dangerous to mix the buck with an herd of pregnant does for they will breed indiscriminately. Two or four breedings during the heat period will suffice.

It is highly impractical if not economical to raise pure breed goats, unless the main purpose is to sell breeders. The preferred method will be to upgrade local native or grade does with pure bucks. Crossbreeds usually perform better than pure ones under local conditions. Infusion of two or more bloodlines into the native doe will elicit a better product due to hybrid vigor. Three-way crosses between the native, any of three Occidental breeds and the Nubian has produced a greatly superior animal than any of the three under our conditions.

Higher milk production should be the main consideration for it will not only mean bigger kid but also more milk for human consumption. A maximum infusion of 75% foreign bloodline must be observed to retain the natural resistance of the native. Never practice inbreeding unless fully knowledgeable in breeding techniques. On the other hand, intensive culling especially in milking herds, will largely be beneficial.

Dystocia is very common in crossing natives with large pure breeds due to the invariably large size of the unborn kids. Crossbreed birthweights of up to four (4) kilos for multiple births and up to six (6) kilos for single births have been observed while native birthweights reach only 2 to 4 kilos for multiple and single births, respectively. Thus, in crossbreeding, large native does with a minimum weight of 25 kilos or more and those that have given birth at least once, should be used. Providing human assistance during birth will also be of help in saving kids, but this should be done only when necessary.

Anestrus or failure to come in heat, is a common problem most particularly with high-producing does. Vitamin, mineral and other nutrient deficiencies, infections of the genital tract and hormone deficiencies are some of the various and implants and pregnant mare serum (PMS have been used with varying rates of success.

Routine administration of oxytocin right after kidding and before weaning (5 days) aids in faster expulsion of the placenta, uterine fluids and in the rapid regression of the uterus. Routine Vitamin A, D and E injections to breeding herds also contribute to reproductive well being.

Fifty percent of breeding problems can be traced to the buck used. Routine check up of the bucks’ health condition, especially of the genito-urinary tract, should be done. Preputial scraping, blood tests and sperm motility tests are some very useful procedures to follow in successful buck management. Always consult a trained veterinarian to do these tests.

source: www.bfar.gov.ph

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