Breeding and Kidding Management

In the competitive world of market goats, good management cannot be stressed enough. A few does here or there not getting bred may not seem like an issue, but keep in mind that an open doe represents money spent without any return.

Goat herd

Goat herd

There are several factors that will affect the breeding status of your does. There will always be those few does that you never see in heat or that never seem to get bred. They need to be culled; no excuses. In this section we have discussed buck goat soundness, a very important part of the breeding equation. Lame or sick bucks don't breed does. It's time to look at factors that affect breeding from the female side of the equation.

Doe goats of breeding age should be considered production units. Costs incurred by maintaining or supplementing this unit must be balanced by a return in the form of live, salable product.

You will need to make sure that your does are ready for the breeding season by worming them, trimming hooves and vaccinating them.

Production managers need to be sure they do not breed does at too young an age.

There is no time of the year that I enjoy more than the kidding season. I love the smells, the excitement, the sore muscles and the sight of doe and kids resting together in the straw. There are those who would say it is the most stressful time of the year for them, but with some good management and preparation it can become an enjoyable time for you as well.

You will want the pen where the doe will kid to be draft free, but yet have a supply of fresh air. Make sure the floor is well drained and put in a pack of clean, dry straw.

Managers need to understand the stages of labor that a nanny will labor through before they can be successful in the barn. There are generally three stages of labor that may vary in length and intensity, depending on the doe and doe's age.

Now that you have those sweet little kids on the ground, take good care of them. The most important thing you can do to insure healthy kids is to make sure they receive colostrum within the first half hour to hour after birth.