In order to help Mr. Stinky Stallion, our Alpine buck, pay for himself this year, we decided to offer his services to approved, healthy does in the area. After LOTS of research, I came up with a system I felt comfortable using to help prevent any disease being brought in. One of the options we offer is what is called a “Driveway Breeding.” Apparently, it is very popular in our area. Essentially, an approved doe is allowed to go only as far as our driveway, in order to prevent mingling with our does or contaminating anything. When an owner sees the doe is in standing heat, they bring the doe to our house. She is let out of the vehicle on a leash, and once comfortable with the surroundings, I put Stallion on a leash and bring him to meet her in the driveway. After a brief introduction, they do their thing, the owner pays up, Stallion goes back to his pen, and the doe goes home. Everybody is happy, life is good, and nothing can go wrong. Sounds great, right?
Then I tried it.
Thankfully, I had a friend whose does’ background and health I already knew, and totally trusted. She wanted to use Stallion’s services for her Alpine, and she was willing to be my experiment to learn about driveway breeding. Well, our first attempt was a complete and miserable failure. You can read all about it here.
We waited 3 weeks. Since we were both convinced she had simply missed the “standing heat” stage, she began religiously watching her doe for any signs of heat. As the time drew closer, she checked multiple times a day. She even came and got a buck rag from me to test. Finally, the day arrived! There was no doubt. The doe expressed unusual interest in the buck rag, was wagging her tail, dripping goo–you know, all the gross stuff does do to attract a guy. She called me, loaded her up, and brought her over. I brought out Stallion, and we waited to see if it would work this time.
First, Stallion introduced himself by immediately walking over to her hind end and sniffing. You can see her expression, as if to say “WHOA!! What ARE you THINKING?!” If my husband had tried to introduce himself that way, I’d have probably told him to hit the road, too.
So, Stallion realized he needed to try a new approach. He did the courting, flirtaceous, tongue flapping (a skill he has worked hard to perfect, by the way!). She wasn’t impressed. Of course, once again, if my husband tried to gain my affections by flapping his tongue at me, I’d probably tell him to high-tail it!
Then, she tried the “I’ll just pin myself in a corner so he can’t mount” routine. Poor Stallion tried and tried, but she just wouldn’t give him the time of day. She just stood solid as a rock in that corner, leaning hard against that garage door.
Finally, she had enough of his pestering, and bolted…well, at least as far as her leash would let her. She spent a couple of minutes running in circles.
We decided to give up on the leashed, driveway thing and go for the more natural pen breeding again. After they got settled, we saw signs she might actually cooperate. You know, all the fun stuff like peeing on him, posturing herself, teasing him. But poor Stallion…every time he got close enough to try anything, she would bolt right past him. Such a tease!! I really felt sorry for the poor guy. I think she was intentionally torturing him.
After about 1/2 hour, they came up with a compromise. She was willing to stand and allow him to rub his bucky scent all over her, as long as he stayed away from the end he wanted. This photo is him begging one last time, as she gave the “let’s just be friends” speech.
So, our second attempt at breeding an outside doe was a complete and miserable failure. Out of curiosity, the owner decided to go for plan B. Since she had no doubt the doe was in heat, she took him to the person she got her does from. Suspecting perhaps she just didn’t like Stallion, she decided to try the other lady’s buck. Still, however, the doe did not cooperate, although the other buck did get her thoroughly cornered one time, allowing him to possibly do his thing (though we won’t know if he was successful for a few weeks).
So, I am baffled. I am expecting around 6 other outside does before the end of breeding season, most of which want driveway breedings. Are we doing something wrong here? Could the doe have been in raging heat, or did we miss it again? This doe is around 5 years old, has been bred, kidded, and milked multiple times. I am completely puzzled! Any ideas from you more experienced folks?