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Buck suggestion

Discussion in 'Breeds & Breeding - Goats' started by MomtherOfDragons, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. Apr 12, 2019
    MomtherOfDragons

    MomtherOfDragons Chillin' with the herd

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    Hi, new here and pretty new to goats... We have a couple boer/nubian goats we are wanting to breed (it’ll be their first time). We were told not to breed them to a boer first but to pick something that is more narrow so they have less likelihood of having issues kidding.

    Im torn between getting a nubian buck or a nigerian.. we will likely sell the babies and then start breeding for meat/milk next time around. Does anyone have any suggestions? We do have 4 babies that will be a year old in November, we were planning on getting the buck in August/September, would the young ones be old enough to breed or should we keep them separate until they are a year old? I keep reading different advice on that.

    Thanks!
     
    B&B Happy goats likes this.
  2. Apr 12, 2019
    Rammy

    Rammy Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Greetings and welcome to BYH from Tn! So glad you joined us. Look around and see what interesting stuff you can find. You'll get to "meet" folks at the same time. By all means post away when the desire strikes you, especially if you have questions (provide as much detail/info as possible and pictures truly help)... With all the great folks here, generally someone will respond in no time at all. Oh, and we all love pics, so post them anytime you feel the need! Please make yourself at home!
    PLEASE put at least your general location in your profile. It could be very important if/when you ask for or offer help or advice. You know, climate issues and such. I recommend at least your state as most folks won't be able to figure out where if you put anything more specific (county, town, street, etc) by itself. Old folks like me will never remember from this post & look there first. To add it, mouse hover over Account top right and a drop down will appear. Click on Personal Details and scan down. You'll see the spot for Location. Then go to the bottom and save changes. Thanks! Hope you enjoy the site!
    @Goat Whisperer , @goatgurl @babsbag ,@Devonviolet
     
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  3. Apr 12, 2019
    Devonviolet

    Devonviolet Herd Master

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    :frow Welcome to Backyard Herds, from NE Texas. Congratulations on your new goats!

    How old are your Boer/Nubian cross goats? Generally speaking, a goat that has Nubian (one of the bigger goats) as part of their lineage, shouldn’t have trouble having kids. Another consideration is what percentage of each (Boer & Nubian)? i.e. 25% Boer and 75% Nubian? The rule of thumb when breeding a larger and smaller breed is to breed a smaller buck to a larger doe. That may be why you were advised to breed a smaller buck to your does. However, when you are breeding a full size doe, it shouldn’t be so much of an issue.

    There is a lady, here in TX, who breeds meat goats, and is pretty sure she breeds the only true meat goat. She has bred a combination of dairy/meat goats (Boer, Spanish, Kiko etc.) with Myotonic (pure meat goat), to get a meaty goat, with better parasite resistance. Her goats are expensive, and out of my price range. But, she has some good info on her website.

    http://tennesseemeatgoats.com/

    She also has a Facebook page, if you are on FB. I am not, so I can’t speak to that.

    Her basic premise is to have a blend of dairy goat/meat goat, with Myotonic, for extra muscling. I think there may be something to that. Something to keep in mind, when it comes to goats. They can be very susceptible to parasites, most notably the Barberpole worm, which attaches itself to the stomach lining, and suck blood, causing the goat to become anemic. Boer goats are especially susceptible to Barberpole worms. Two meat goats that come to mind, which are less susceptible to parasites are Spanish and Kiko. Myotonic goats seem to be especially resistant to parasites.

    I have goats mainly, for their milk. So for me, it is important to have quality dairy goats, and I have 3 LaMancha does and one Nubian doe. Previously my does have been bred to LaMancha bucks, but when it came to selling or butchering, our kids weren’t very meaty. So, last year, I bought a purebred Myotonic buck.

    So far, one of my LaMancha does kidded one doeling, and she wasn’t a large kid - 7.5 pounds. Angelica was a smaller doe and didn’t have any problems with kidding. Time will tell if our new little girl (Calendula) is meaty. However, I don’t see why not.

    You didn’t say what breed your younger goats are. Are they also Boer/Nubian cross? Size matters, when you breed first fresheners (goats that have never been bred before). Depending on the breed, they should be close to full size. However, as young goats, they won’t be until they are closer to a year and a half. That being said, if they are close to full size, it is okay to breed them slightly before they are a year old, as gestation is five months (145-150 days), so they will have had time to mature before they actually kid.

    If you get your buck in September and quarantine him for one month, that would mean your younger does would be 11 months old, which would mean they should be fine to be bred by your buck.

    Something else to consider, is that you should quarantine your buck for at least one month before putting him with the rest of your goats, to make sure he doesn’t have any health issues. It’s also important to have a stool sample done, when you first get him, so you can worm him, if he has any parasites. It’s also a good idea to make sure any new goats, that come on your farm, have been tested for CAE, CL and Johnes — three common diseases among goats.

    One last thought. You did not mention if you have any livestock guardian dogs (LGDs). As @Rammy mentioned, it is important to list your location, on your profile, as it might help us to know what kind of predators you have. Here in Texas we have a huge population of coyotes, and bobcats. We have two Maremma LGDs, that do an amazing job of keeping predators away. We have been here for more than four years, and have never lost an animal to predators. Depending on how much land you have, a minimum of one LGD is almost a must, when you have livestock having babies. We have five acres, and have many times seen our two work as a team, to protect our goats. So, I believe in a minimum of two well bred/trained LGDs.

    And again, as Rammy said, do look around, here on BYH. Read as much as you can and do ask questions. There is a wealth of information here, and lots of very nice, helpful people, as well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  4. Apr 12, 2019
    MomtherOfDragons

    MomtherOfDragons Chillin' with the herd

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    I'm sorry, yes all of ours (except one full Nubian) are 50% Nubian 50% Boer. I was wondering about the more parasite resistant breeds, I'll look around and see if I can find the others you listed in our area.

    We do not have LGDs but we have an outdoor mix dog that typically does a pretty decent job chasing off the neighborhood dogs and wildlife. We keep our goats in electrified netting, so predators have not yet been an issue and we check our fence daily. Parasites have been our biggest issue with the goats so far.

    Thank you so much for your reply!
     
  5. Apr 12, 2019
    B&B Happy goats

    B&B Happy goats Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    You could go either way, Nubian buck or Nigerian.....since your plan is to sell the kids when ready....check your local craigs list and see whice sell for more $ ,.....?... around here Nigerians sell for more......that may help you make your decision :frow
    Welcome to the herd from Florida:celebrate:welcome:woot
     
  6. Apr 18, 2019 at 2:16 AM
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    If you are interested in using your goats for meat I would invest in a decent (thick long loin, meaty rump) Boer buck. Meat and dairy production are two different things. The goats are different body types. You can eat anything, so you need to decide whether you want predominantly milk or meat production when you buy your buck.

    First, do you want milk for the household? Do you have young children or are you interested in making cheese?

    Second, is milk secondary to producing meat for the table and to sell freezer kids to customers. If you are selling to the ethnic market, do not disbud or castrate your bucklings. Your requirements for what you need your goats to produce will dictate which buck you buy. To decide what to buy, you need to know some basics about dairy and meat animals. Not all goats are created equal. Pound for pound in ratio bone to meat, Pygmies actually produce the most meat. However, they are not any good for milk production, and have very small carcasses. So the decision will be between the standard dairy does and Boer meat goats.

    Dairy animals are structured differently than meat animals. Dairy does have wide flat ribs, they are more angular, and they need very good ligaments and muscular attachments for their udders. A good dairy doe may look boney or thin because as the old farmers said 'she puts it all in the pail".

    Meat animals are thicker, wider, heavier and have rounded ribs. They do not look angular, instead they should have heavy muscling and carry that meat down the legs into the twist (just above the hock).

    A good standard dairy doe (Nubian, LaMancha, etc.) in her second and 3rd lactation will produce an average of 1 gallon of milk per day, obtained in 2 milkings a day 12 hours apart. So you will have about 2 quarts am and another 2 quarts pm. This is dependent on the amount of grain and other feed she is getting. If you don't continue milking every day 12 hours apart her milk yield will drop. The normal lactation is 10 months. You will breed her around 7 months into her lactation. 2-3 months later her yield will start decreasing and you will prepare to dry her up before she kids again in another 2 months. If the goal is to have milk for the table all year round, you will breed another goat to kid 2-3 months after the first one. By following the same time line breeding and milking, the lactations will overlap and at least 1 doe will always be in milk. You will also have kids at different times of the year.

    A good meat production doe will be have a long, wide, thick loin that carries heavy muscling (meat). Her rump will be level like a dairy doe, but her hip bones will not be prominent. Instead she will carry meat and muscle well rounded through her butt into her leg. She will have wider and meatier shoulders. in most instances she will be slightly shorter than a Nubian.

    All bucklings can be eaten. Nubians are the meatiest of the dairy breeds which is why so many people cross them with Boers bucks. Nubian does milk more and longer than Boers, are larger in size to carry heavier Boer kids, and re themselves the largest dairy breed. Most people wanting milk for the house and meat for the table will breed their Nubian milkers to Boer bucks. The offspring will be meatier than a straight dairy kid. while the dairy does will milk heavier with a longer lactation than a Boer doe.

    Since you have Boer/Nubian crosses, you can milk them and see which of your does are better producers. The best way to do this is to weigh your milk in lbs. 8 lb. = 1 gallon, but production will vary as to time in the lactation (earliest milkings are higher in butterfat which weighs different than milk solids). Weighing is the most accurate way to measure your milk production. The amount of milk produced by each doe will vary depending on whether this is their first or a repeat lactation, how long they have been milking, etc. Since not all does are good milkers, by keeping track of milk production you can cull out those goats that do not produce what you need.

    As to parasites, proper monthly wormings with safe wormers will be appropriate. Make sure of the withdrawal times after worming until milk and meat and be safely used.

    I would not use a Nigerian buck since you will be selling for meat and Nigerians are a smaller goat. You want to produce a larger kid for the meat market. To be cost efficient you want to produce the largest kid in the shortest amount of time
    which means larger birth weights and faster growth rates. Nigerians are not going to give you the largest kid in the shortest time. You don't say whether you are raising your goats on pasture, forage or carry feed (hay). Either way, you want to be able to market your kids asap which means fast weight gain.

    I would definitely go with a Boer buck. Your does will be ready to breed as soon as you buy him. You need to quarantine him for a month so you should start looking for a buck now. Any new animal should be quarantined for at least a month before putting him or her into the herd. The breeding season for Boer bucks is year round. The breeding season for Nubians is the longest of all the dairy breeds, but the does will start cycling towards the end of August and continue through March. I have bred in March, but early spring babies are best before the heat and flies get too bad. That means you want to plan to breed in August through October.

    I would get a marking harness and crayons, put it on the buck, and check everyday to see which does are marked. Change the crayon every 2 weeks and write down on the calendar every day which doe is marked. Once he is no longer marking any does for a month, you can be pretty sure they are all bred. Now go back to your calendar and get all the dates, make sure that you get all the dates that they were marked and use an on line gestation chart to calculate the kidding dates of each doe. If you have multiple dates, write them all down. Sometimes a doe will recycle, sometimes the buck just gest over excited. You will need to be ready for all those dates. This is the easiest way to pen breed and keep track of breeding and kidding dates.

    The first year you have meat kids and market them, you will get invaluable information about what type of kids are the most popular, bring the most money, what ethnic holidays to market for, etc. Then you can breed for those holidays to have kids that are the right age. At first when selling buckling for meat we disbudded and castrated all of them. After the 2nd year we found that the buyers preferred them with horns and testicles. Easier for us and better prices. This is all part of what your marketing strategy will be as you start producing. Check your licensing requirements for selling meat in your city, county, or state. I sell live animals and my clients are responsible for the butchering fees. I deliver the animals to the slaughterhouse/butcher as a favor to the customer.

    Good luck! Yummy - cabrito! :drool
     
    MomtherOfDragons likes this.
  7. Apr 18, 2019 at 9:12 AM
    Devonviolet

    Devonviolet Herd Master

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    In all fairness and inspite general concensus, Boer is not the only meat goat breed available. While it does have excellent meat qualities, the biggest problem, with boer goats is their susceptibility to barberpole worms, which makes it necessary to put a lot of worming meds into your goats. Although, it IS possible to breed a certain amount of parasite resistance into a boer herd, by culling the more susceptible goats from your herd over time.

    Based on what I have read, it is wise to have a combination of larger dairy (Nubian) and a worm resistant meat goat. Among the more worm resistant breed are Spanish, Kiko and Myotonic. Our Vet raises meat goats. His foundation herd is Spanish goats (due to parasite resistance), however, he is gradually cross breeding Nubian (for size) Boer and Myotonic into his herd, in small percentages, for meatier goats with parasite resistance.

    One time, we were talking about selling meat goats, locally. My Vet said it is hard to get a decent price for a good (non-Boer) meat goat, around here, because the average buyer thinks Boer is the only meat goat, and if it doesn’t have a red head and white body, the buyers don’t think it is a meat goat. Kinda sad, if you think about it. Because there is a lot of good meat to be had, when it comes to Kiko, Spanish and Myotonic goats. And the thing is, fewer drugs have gone into these goats, since they don’t require as much (if any) wormers.

    Here is an article, on Hoegger Farmyard, that talks about meat goat breeds:

    https://hoeggerfarmyard.com/meat-goats-breeds-and-characteristics/
     
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  8. Apr 18, 2019 at 10:14 AM
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

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    The parasite issue must be more common to Texas. When we were raising Boer goats here in southern California, I started a worm regimen of every month. Gradually, I relaxed it to worming every couple of months. Eventually we only wormed at kidding time for any parasites and our goats and sheep were healthy and grew well. However, our pasture is annual. Once it is gone, the ground is dry and barren. I wonder if the soil being so dry for most of the year has something to do with the lack of parasites. We don't even worm our horses much anymore.

    In Texas I have read that Boers have a big problem with parasites. This is kind of odd since they were originally bred to be parasite resistant. Texas must have different parasites/worms than our western areas. Boers are really popular here due to parasite resistance.

    I have heard of the Red Spanish meat goats. They are supposed to be good. Here they are harder to find and more expensive compared to good Boers. There are some red Boers, which I would suppose probably have the Red Spanish in their background. I don't know much about Kikos or mtotonic goats but if you are on a good parasite control program, and choose your replacement does from the more resistant does, you should be able to build up a more resistant herd.

    Since the preference is for Boer meat goats, I would invest in a Boer or Red Spanish buck first, and compare the difference in sales price with the cost of the worming regimen. A parasite resistant meat breed won't be worth much if your buyers won't buy their kids. On the other hand, if you can afford to buy another buck next year I would check out the using the Red Spanish to produce your replacement does, and then use the Boer for your meat crop. Kiko are smaller and won't give you the faster growth you want in the shortest time.

    When raising meat for sale, always look for the fastest time from kidding to market since it will cost you less to produce the product. You want to get any non-replacement animals off the far asap since you will have to feed them. your pasture or feed budget can be feeding another crop of kids on the way instead of raising meat animals longer to make weight. Kids and lambs grow the quickest in the first few months then their weight gain slows considerably. From birth you can see lambs gain 1 lb. per day until a month old then gain .75 lbs daily gain until about 3 months at which their daily gain continues to drop to .5 lbs. The longer you have to keep feeding your meat crop before sale or slaughter, the more expensive the meat becomes and the less profit you make. This is true whether you are selling to customers or putting that meat in your own freezer.

    The milk you are getting from your does is also a "crop" so you want to figure out how much it is costing to produce per gallon year round, not just for a couple of months when they first come fresh. This is why you want to weigh the milk each milking and write down the amounts. These records will help you decide which animals are the most economical keepers on your farm when you have to cull. AND YOU WILL HAVE TO CULL! As all of us can tell you, goats are wonderful animals and your herd will increase before you know it!

    The big thing to remember is not to just buy a buck from an auction but to look for the best one you can find. This means starting now to find good herds that have records on their animals. You want to buy a buck whose parents are multiples and produce multiples. Bull raisers advertise bulls that produce small birth weight calves but with terrific rates of gain since those are the money makers. No cow losses due to birthing problems with calves that gain g=fast to market weight. While you are looking at goats, you want to ask similar questions about parasite resistance, how often the breeders worm, fast weight gain, milk production (mamas can't raise kids without milk), and overall health, meat, etc. THE BUCK IS HALF THE HERD, AND A SMALL HERD SHOULD BUY THE BEST BUCK THEY CAN AFFORD. That does not mean the most expensive, it means the one that will give you what you are aiming for in your herd.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Apr 18, 2019 at 12:07 PM
    Devonviolet

    Devonviolet Herd Master

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    Excellent advise @Ridgetop! You may be right about Texas having more of a parasite problem, due to wet Springs, Fall and Winter. Although Central Texas may be drier than it is up here, in Northeast Texas. Summers are hot and dry, so goats that hale from hot dry climates do better here. And all of the breeds mentioned so far fit that bill.

    As far as Spanish goats, I have not heard of “Red Spanish Goats”. The Spanish I have seen here, have all been black. However, they do come in other colors.
    This is what I am used to - obviously a good looking buck:
    3FF31B35-A575-4C7A-89E2-15BBA8C5347F.jpeg

    Here is an article about Spanish goats:

    http://ravenranch.synthasite.com/spanish-goats.php

    And another article about Spanish goat breed styles:

    http://www.spanishgoats.org/breedstyles.htm
     
  10. Apr 18, 2019 at 12:18 PM
    OneFineAcre

    OneFineAcre Herd Master

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    Don't believe everything you hear.
    Breed them to a boer if that's what you want.