When it comes to dairy goats, there is something very important you have to consider. If you want a doe to produce milk, she has to have babies first. In order to have babies, she must be bred, and in order to get bred, there must be a buck involved. Thus was my dilemma. Lilac’s milk is finally petering out, as she is only producing about 3/4 quart per day. Due to Sara’s health, I don’t plan to breed her until toward the end of breeding season–if she comes around by then. Lilly also probably won’t be breedable until at least November. So, I decided I needed to get Lilac bred as soon as possible, in order to get a solid milking doe as early as possible next year.
The next step was figuring out who to breed to. I wanted to breed for quality kids, even if I couldn’t get purebred ones. So I found an amazing Alpine buck with awesome genetics, who happened to be owned by Lilac’s original breeder, fell madly in love, and figured he would be a perfect suitor. What do you think?
I still had a dilemma, though. He lived over an hour away, which would mean I would have to know exactly when Lilac was in heat, then hope I had the van that day, load up 5 kids in 5 carseats, hope to have room for what would likely be a very messy, unhappy goat doe, haul down to the buck, hope they bred, then bring her back home. Oh, yeah, and his stud fee wasn’t exactly cheap. He was an exceptional buck after all. The type I would love to own some day. Like today.
YIPPEE! OK, so call me crazy, but I promise I didn’t just go buy a buck on a whim! Thinking I wanted to breed Lilac to him anyway, I had done my research in advance. To summarize, his dam has won a number of awards. She is a star milker, documented to have milked 4090 lbs of milk in 270 days. If you can’t do the math in your head, that averages out to 15 pounds of milk per day (that’s almost 2 gallons/day)! She also had top scores for butterfat production. This boy’s breeder is one of the top dairies in the state, and they are aiming to be a top in the nation. Their goats are nothing short of impressive. Even this boy has produced some impressive daughters that have placed well in shows. I would never have been able to afford such a buck under normal circumstances. However, should the owner of said buck decide he wants to focus his herd a little less on milk production and a little more on showing, and should owner simultaneously need to move and therefore cut back on his herd numbers, then said buck could very possibly become available for an affordable price. Suddenly, I found myself all the more in love (sorry, Honey).
I still wanted to do this right, though. I mean a buck is a big responsibility, and I have to feed it year round to breed it a few times in the fall. So, I consulted with and sought advice from his very reputable and knowledgeable breeder, as well as several online and personal goaty-friends who are far more experienced in this area. All things seemed to suggest we go for it. So then, I simply had to convince my hubby. I came up with all my data and info, and spelled it out for him. To my utter amazement, S was totally game! He is still a bit concerned about me taking on this project, but I am convinced it will be easier to feed one more goat than to try the alternative of last-minute load-ups to go have the does bred–especially during home-school season!
So, as of 10:00 Saturday morning, I will the proud owner of an awesome buck. For anyone who knows goat data, this buck is a *B 01-04 85 VV+. For the rest of you, that means all terrific things, and he will very likely be my Alpine herds’ foundation sire.
Now, if I can just get a few things to sell on Craigslist so I can buy him tomorrow morning, and then, somehow, find enough healthy does to breed him to so he can earn his keep through stud fees, I think I’ll be set.