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October 16, 2012

Debbie Does Dates

Hum.. I guess that title looks weird... I think it should be  Debbie's Doeling's Due Dates...That is... we have the due dates for Debbie the goat's next babies and hopefully they will all be doelings! 

We took Debbie up to the breeder for a date with the buck - a fancy Nigerian Dwarf with a fat title and who is um.... taller than Too Short. Apparently that little fella got the job done quick so Debbie is on her way home today.

Her due date will be March 13th or there about. Since she is bred with an ND buck her babies will be unregistered "Mini Manchas" and turn out to be about the size and temperament of Nibbles....but hopefully with better attitudes.

After swearing off ever having another buck we are just sending all the ladies out for breeding. You can read about everything I hated about having a buck here.  And you can read everything I know about goat breeding here.To be sure not everyone agrees with shipping your goaties out to be bred but that's fine. We don't have to all do everything the same. Right?

While we're at it...a note on registered vs not registered. No, we don't care if our goats are registered or not ....and no, we don't care if the babies are registered. There is a whole be scheme behind this registration thing and since goats are not our money making business we do not want to put the extra time and effort into the registration process. The only reason we are making goat babies is so our milkers freshen in the spring.

To be sure, if you want to have dairy goats you need to have a plan for the babies. We are lucky that Nibbles and Debbie have such cute babies because people buy them up like hotcakes. While registered babies would get a higher price.... that's not really our focus. People like the little goaties for pets and that is fine with us. We've never not sold the babies and if, for some reason, they didn't sell well cover your eyes goat snugglers.... we'll sell them to the local ethnic meat market. You heard me. Fortunately cuteness rules around here and we don't expect to be stuck with any of the babies.

Another thing we learned last year was that we needed to be smarter about who gets bred and when. Since its apparent that Nibbles will never be a good momma we needed to make sure that Debbie is in milk when Nibbles has her babies. This way Debbie will nurse the new Niblets until we can get them sold.

I had a thought that maybe I'd try and find a full sized buck for Dahlia and see if I could get a star milker from her.. but really keeping a doeling has been somewhat of a disaster for us. Debbie has allowed Dahli (her baby from a couple years ago) to continue to nurse - thats right, Dahli's a milk stealer. So all my good milk from Debbie has gone down the gullet of a silly goatie and NOT gone toward fattening up the pigz. Or cheese for me. Fortunately tho when Debbie came into heat this fall she kicked Dahlia off for good.

The only reason we haven't sold Dahli - despite my constant complaining about her - is that she is a milking superstar. She milked over a gallon a day for most of the summer - on her first year of milking! Next year when she freshens she is really going to be putting the milk that in that bucket. So she stays and I'll just keep complaining about her.

But for now I have to go and see if Nibbles and Dahli are in heat yet. If so its going to be another long drive up to the breeder.

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Do you have your goat breeding all set up?