The fundamental aspects of goat breeding begin with using healthy animals as breeding stock. A goat breeder should be sure that both the female goat, or doe, and male goat, or buck, are good, healthy candidates for breeding. Animals should eat a good diet, be examined by a veterinarian, and be up to date on vaccinations. Also, a responsible goat breeder should be prepared to monitor the doe and maintain her good health during the five-month pregnancy.
A breeder must recognize when the doe will reach the appropriate breeding age. Generally speaking, a doe of approximately 12 months of age should be prime for breeding. She may typically go into heat in late summer or early fall. If attempting to breed a female goat at a younger age, this could result in complications in pregnancy due to an immature reproductive system and small size. Breeders generally wait until the female goat reaches the minimum weight of 70-80 pounds before attempting a successful mission of goat breeding.
During the autumn months, a doe may go into heat a few times. In warmer climates, goat breeding may occur at any time of the year. During heat, a female goat will be quite vocal, and send out signal calls to a perspective mate. The breeder may also notice the doe flicking her tail around repetitively. She may also become more aggressive or passive, depending upon the individual doe.
Many breeders may opt to have their female goats thoroughly examined by a veterinarian before breeding season begins. In fact, experts concur this is a recommended procedure. There are many health factors that can determine a positive or negative outcome of goat breeding.
Goats that are intended to be bred need to to maintain a high protein and specially formulated diet. The veterinarian may recommend supplements if necessary. He will also confirm the goat's good health before attempting to breed. Another crucial aspect before attempting to breed pet goats is to ensure that vaccinations are up to date.
Part of responsible goat breeding includes recognizing if the doe is not a good candidate. If she is overweight or has other health issues, it might be in her best interest not to become pregnant. Conversely, if she is underweight, the goat farmer or breeder may wish to ensure the doe gains extra weight before breeding.
In goat breeding, it is essential to also consider the buck to be used for a mate. The breeder must ensure the male is completely free of any health issues, either transmittable or genetic. If obtaining the buck from an outside source, obtaining a health certificate is crucial.
Assuming the doe has become pregnant, the breeder should expect a delivery of one "kid" in approximately five months. After a period of approximately six weeks, an ultrasound can determine the status of a fetus and detect any potential problems. Monitoring the doe during the five gestational months is an essential responsibility.