goatbarn25

Ridin' The Range
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Points
51
I am new to mini alpines, and I have a few questions. Since Alpine's are seasonal breeders and Nigerian Dwarf's can be bred all year round, can my mini alpine doe be bred all year round, or just seasonally? Also, when is the earliest that you should breed a doeling? Is 10 months too early? My friend told me that they should be 75% of the breeds expected weight before you breed them, but I have no clue what a mini alpine does expected weight is! Does anyone know about mini alpine's that can help? Thanks:)
 

rachels.haven

Herd Master
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
3,150
Reaction score
12,651
Points
523
Location
zone 7a
Hi,

A subset of my herd are mini saanens. Does that count? Due to their mixed genetic package they should be closer to adult size and width when bred. Breeding their second fall/late summer is safest. That being said, I've bred at 75-80 pounds and been fine. That risk of getting a standard sized kid is still there but chances are you will be okay. Probably. Second go around is best.

In regards to them being seasonal breeders, I'd say yes they probably are, but there are off label things you can do to manipulate heats for the good of your does and new kids (and their parasite resilience), so seasonal is as seasonal does. The flip side is that you are far more likely to get a milker with persistence and the will to milk with minis than in the dwarf breed AND you get higher production then nd and higher butter fat than standards yet they are still easier keepers then so there's a good chance you wilo be able to keep them in milk outside of the milking season regardless of the fact they may only visibly go into heat in the breeding season for you of their own volition.

If you have a buck on site they will be able to tell you if your doe is cycling outside of season better than I can.

As far as expected size...that varies based on how much standard they have in their mix and also luck. Somewhere between 100 and 150 pounds with 110-120 being your breeding target especially if they are 50:50 to 30:70 with the standard being the higher percentage. I've had minis that were 75% nd only reach 50-60 pounds with no set backs and they had the piddly dwarf production to match it (keep that ND percent down! Is what that taught me).

The size discrepancy on the does and the potential size variation in the birth weights of the kids are why second fall is the preferred time for first breeding. Keep them just a little on the fat side and plenty healthy and they will reach their potential in time and give you kids and milk.

Good luck.
 

goatbarn25

Ridin' The Range
Joined
Jan 14, 2022
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Points
51
Okay, thank you for the information:) My mini alpines are 50:50, and they are 8 months old right now. The doe passed up my Nigerian Dwarf does in size a while ago, and the wether is a bit bigger. I haven't weighed them, but I'll have to. I do have a buck, but he isn't full grown yet, and doesn't get as excited about does as my older one would.

The reason that I have been wondering about this is because my Mini Alpine doe will be 1-year-old in February, and I would like to breed her without having to wait until next Fall. Do you think that she would still be in heat February, or could I weigh her, and if she is withing a reasonable weight, breed her December-January?
 

rachels.haven

Herd Master
Joined
Jun 7, 2016
Messages
3,150
Reaction score
12,651
Points
523
Location
zone 7a
Okay, thank you for the information:) My mini alpines are 50:50, and they are 8 months old right now. The doe passed up my Nigerian Dwarf does in size a while ago, and the wether is a bit bigger. I haven't weighed them, but I'll have to. I do have a buck, but he isn't full grown yet, and doesn't get as excited about does as my older one would.

The reason that I have been wondering about this is because my Mini Alpine doe will be 1-year-old in February, and I would like to breed her without having to wait until next Fall. Do you think that she would still be in heat February, or could I weigh her, and if she is withing a reasonable weight, breed her December-January?
I wouldn't but ultimately it's your herd. She needs to be big enough to pass a potential standard sized kid.
 
Top