Question about how young to breed.

CRKgoats

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I have a question that I feel like there is a lot of mixed feelings about.
What is a good breeding age?
Is 13-15 months too young? Or is 15 to 18 and over better?
 

misfitmorgan

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I have a question that I feel like there is a lot of mixed feelings about.
What is a good breeding age?
Is 13-15 months too young? Or is 15 to 18 and over better?
I think all of those ages seem fine to me. Generally we go off of size though, we start looking at them at 12 months and if they have good weight and good size we breed them, they are 17-18 months old when they kid. Some of the doe's we wait until they are 14 or 15 months old just depends on growth.

I know a lot of commercial meat goat farmers will breed between 10-12 months old again depending on size. Also sort of depends on your feeding program, if you are going to breed young you often need to feed higher quality feed and/or grain to keep their weight up and keep them growing thru the first 2-3 months of pregnancy.

Most generally kids are born january/february and those kids will be bred october/november for meat production. Typically they will have 1 kid for their first breed, then twins for the years after. I do know some producers even for meat will hold them back a couple months to try to get twins on the first breeding.

So basically it's up to you. If your goats are about 70% of their full grown size and at least 10 months old you are safe to breed them usually.
 

Wild Bug Ranch

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@misfitmorgan....hi! I have a Boer doe that is 7 months old and I am gonna use her kids for market goats for 4H...which is what I am in. Anyways about the doe. The doe is a Purebred doe with great breeding lines! She is about 7 months old(born end of November) and she is 105lbs. The people we got her from said she will be around 150-155lbs when she is older. Her dam is already between 155-160lbs and her sire is about 160-170lbs. Am I safe to breed her at this age? I need the kids for next years showing.
 

CRKgoats

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I think all of those ages seem fine to me. Generally we go off of size though, we start looking at them at 12 months and if they have good weight and good size we breed them, they are 17-18 months old when they kid. Some of the doe's we wait until they are 14 or 15 months old just depends on growth.

I know a lot of commercial meat goat farmers will breed between 10-12 months old again depending on size. Also sort of depends on your feeding program, if you are going to breed young you often need to feed higher quality feed and/or grain to keep their weight up and keep them growing thru the first 2-3 months of pregnancy.

Most generally kids are born january/february and those kids will be bred october/november for meat production. Typically they will have 1 kid for their first breed, then twins for the years after. I do know some producers even for meat will hold them back a couple months to try to get twins on the first breeding.

So basically it's up to you. If your goats are about 70% of their full grown size and at least 10 months old you are safe to breed them usually.
OK thank you.
 

misfitmorgan

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@misfitmorgan....hi! I have a Boer doe that is 7 months old and I am gonna use her kids for market goats for 4H...which is what I am in. Anyways about the doe. The doe is a Purebred doe with great breeding lines! She is about 7 months old(born end of November) and she is 105lbs. The people we got her from said she will be around 150-155lbs when she is older. Her dam is already between 155-160lbs and her sire is about 160-170lbs. Am I safe to breed her at this age? I need the kids for next years showing.
She does meet the weight requirements but I would wait a little bit longer. I don't know what area you live in but very young dams tend to have poor maternity instincts and since your kids would be born in winter it could be a bad combo. If you figure 6 months before your fair date, plus 5 months for the pregnancy that would be when you want to breed her for 4-h kidding. So our fair is mid-August so we have to have our kids born by mid-feb, so breeding by mid-october for us if we want 4-h kids.

We no longer breed for the 4-h market, to many losses here in the bitter cold febuary we get so we aim for march kidding, or any warm month.
 

Wild Bug Ranch

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She does meet the weight requirements but I would wait a little bit longer. I don't know what area you live in but very young dams tend to have poor maternity instincts and since your kids would be born in winter it could be a bad combo. If you figure 6 months before your fair date, plus 5 months for the pregnancy that would be when you want to breed her for 4-h kidding. So our fair is mid-August so we have to have our kids born by mid-feb, so breeding by mid-october for us if we want 4-h kids.

We no longer breed for the 4-h market, to many losses here in the bitter cold febuary we get so we aim for march kidding, or any warm month.
I live in Placerville area, and my fair is from June 18-21 every year. So typically goats are bred around May-June in hopes for October-November babies.

So would next year be a good time to breed her since she will be 1.5 years old?
 

misfitmorgan

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I live in Placerville area, and my fair is from June 18-21 every year. So typically goats are bred around May-June in hopes for October-November babies.

So would next year be a good time to breed her since she will be 1.5 years old?
Oh if thats how they do it locally yes you better wait.

Locally here meat goats are supposed to be 6 months old at fair time but it is on your honor and people do sneak in meat goats that are 7-8 months old but the judges don't reward them for it.
 

JirehFarmsTN

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We had a Nigerian dwarf doe accidentally get bred at about 6 months, and she had a healthy and quick delivery...however I DON’T recommend intentionally breeding so young! As long as your goats are a healthy weight and size, you should be fine to breed at 12-15 months.
 

rachels.haven

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I have done 8 months on the recommendations of another breeder. That was too early.
I've done 9 months. Still too early.
If I were breeding this year I'd try 10.
The time range you are asking about should be fine.
Supposedly if they get too close to 2 years you start having difficulty with the doe conceiving, probably relating to the doe storing too much body fat internally.
A better guideline is wanting them to be mature looking and at least eighty PERCENT (not pounds) of healthy mature adult weight for standards. For dwarves it's supposedly forty pounds. I prefer 45.

...those are dairy guidelines, btw, I'm not sure about the meat breeds.
 

Wild Bug Ranch

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I have done 8 months on the recommendations of another breeder. That was too early.
I've done 9 months. Still too early.
If I were breeding this year I'd try 10.
The time range you are asking about should be fine.
Supposedly if they get too close to 2 years you start having difficulty with the doe conceiving, probably relating to the doe storing too much body fat internally.
A better guideline is wanting them to be mature looking and at least eighty PERCENT (not pounds) of healthy mature adult weight for standards. For dwarves it's supposedly forty pounds. I prefer 45.

...those are dairy guidelines, btw, I'm not sure about the meat breeds.
yes I have read that for meat goats they need to be about 7-12 months and/or at least 80-85lbs. This girl is 8 months and is 105lbs.....i am hoping that is good weight?!? She is on Orchard grass hay and grain. Her mama is 160-165lbs and her sire is 200lbs of pure muscle and meat(obviously🙄)....so I am planning to breed her next year in May and show her in June for fair is this ok? @misfitmorgan is this ok to show her while she is pregnant or should I wait to breed her after the show?
 

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