Breeding Goats

           There are three major milestones that beginner milk goat keepers become worried about. Those three are breeding, kidding, and milking. All three are confusing at first.

            You basically have two options about bucks: keeping one yourself or taking your doe to someone that does. The first year I had my does, I took them to be bred. That wasn’t easy. I wasn’t sure how to know my does were in heat and I had to transport them. Then there is also the price. Some breeders charge by the day and some charge for the service. Some will only keep the doe for an hour while other will work with you and keep her for the month. If you have a doe that is in milk, you don’t have the option of letting her stay at the breeder’s for a month. In my case, the breeder kept both does for a month and neither one kidded.

            The second option is to keep the buck yourself. Of course there are problems here too. You have to feed the buck, but if you have several does, the cost of feeding him may be less than what it would cost to breed your does. Bucks smell bad too. They have scent glands on their heads, but the fact that they pee on themselves is what makes them smell the worst. Basically, a buck will smell bad for the entire breeding season (late August to late December). Personally I think this is the better option. Keeping a buck on the property seems way easier than trying to take both does to a breeder.

            First timers generally want to know when the doe will kid so they can see the birth. If the doe is already in milk, she will need a two month rest from producing milk before kidding. Otherwise her system will be overloaded and the kids might not make it.

So you will want to keep the buck and does separate for a little while during the breeding season. Because I have two does and I want to milk year round. I am planning on breeding one next month (October) and the second one in December. I could breed them earlier in the breeding season, but I didn’t want any kids born in the winter. A goat takes five months to develop in the womb. So if the doe is bred in September, she will kid in February.

            This is what I recommend: Watch the doe for signs of heat. Write down on the calendar when her next projected heat will be. This will be 17-23 days away, but for most does it is 19. Keep a close watch on her when the projected date is near. If she goes into heat again, congratulations! Keep a record of her heat cycle. When the month comes that you want her to be bred in, place the buck and does together. You can put them together for the entire month, or for the few days the doe is in heat. Either way works. The former will guarantee the doe is bred, but the latter might give you a more definite due date. If you decide to place the doe and buck together for the month, count five months from the projected heat day(s) and there is your approximate due date! After the month is over, you can separate the buck and doe or keep them together. Keeping them together will even more assure that the doe will kid the next year, for if he doesn’t get her that month, he will the next.

            So here is an example. Buck and Doe are separated on August 1st. Doe shows signs of heat on August 24th. Her next projected heat will be September 12th. If she goes into heat on September 15th, her next projected heat will be October 4th. Let’s say Doe’s owner doesn’t want her to kid until late March. Doe will then need to be bred in late October. On October 7th, doe is back into heat. Notice that both heats have been 22 days apart, not nineteen. Doe’s owner adjusts the time between the cycles. Doe’s next projected heat will be October 28th. On October 24th, Doe is placed with Buck and stays with him for the rest until the next breeding season. Doe’s approximate due date is five months from October 28th. That would be March 28th. Let’s say that Doe is producing milk. In that case, she will need a two month rest to focus on developing the kids. If her approximate due date is March 28th, then she needs to be dried up approximately January 28th.

Awake, My Soul, And With the Sun

Awake, my soul, and with the sun Thy daily stage of duty run; Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise, To pay thy morning sacrifice.

Thy precious time misspent, redeem, Each present day thy last esteem, Improve thy talent with due care; For the great day thyself prepare.

By influence of the Light divine Let thy own light to others shine. Reflect all Heaven’s propitious ways In ardent love, and cheerful praise.

In conversation be sincere; Keep conscience as the noontide clear; Think how all seeing God thy ways And all thy secret thoughts surveys.

Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart, And with the angels bear thy part, Who all night long unwearied sing High praise to the eternal King.

All praise to Thee, who safe has kept And hast refreshed me while I slept Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake I may of endless light partake.

Heav’n is, dear Lord, where’er Thou art, O never then from me depart; For to my soul ’tis hell to be But for one moment void of Thee.

Lord, I my vows to Thee renew; Disperse my sins as morning dew. Guard my first springs of thought and will, And with Thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest, this day, All I design, or do, or say, That all my powers, with all their might, In Thy sole glory may unite.

I would not wake nor rise again And Heaven itself I would disdain, Wert Thou not there to be enjoyed, And I in hymns to be employed.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

 

Author: Thomas Ken for the boys at Winchester College 1695.

Sweet Savor

How many Christians remember that our prayers are a sweet savor to the LORD? Throughout the Old Testament, the ofers of incence were a picture of our prayers. God delights in hearing us pray! In Revelation 4:10-11, the twenty-four elders around The Throne were there to worship God. The Lamb enters in chapter 5 and is the only one worthy to open the book with seven seals (vrs 1-7). As soon as He does,  the twenty-four elders fall down before Him and worship him with harps and “golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints” (vr 8). Our prayers are so enjoyed by God that they are placed in golden bowls and used in the worship of Him! How much incence are you sending to heaven today? If prayers could be measured by weight, how much are you giving? A pound… an ounce…or nothing at all?