Goat breeding essentials: Get your buck ready for breeding season
Most of us are getting our goats ready for fall breeding, either for show season or yearly breeding. It is imperative to get those bucks ready for their ‘husbandly duties’. Before your buck can be as productive as possible you should make sure he is free of parasites, his nutrition is good and he is nice and plump.
A lot of goat breeders rely on pasture for the bulk of nutrition for the bucks most of the year but with breeding season coming up these bucks should be put on some grain/feed product and nutritious hay. You will probably be feeding your does during breeding and bucks will be eating feed also. It won’t be such a shock to their system if they have been weaned onto grain a few weeks before going into the breeding pen.
They also need to be checked for parasite loads including internal worms and lice. A good rule of thumb is to perform a fecal to see any worm load they are contending with. This will help you choose the correct worming product to use. Remember, you usually have to give the worming product again in 10 days so make sure you can get this done before putting him into the breeding pen.
Another tip would be to shave your buck, if this has not already been done. Having your buck free of any extra hair coat will lessen the chance of your does smelling as bad as the buck. This will also help to combat the lice that invariably hide in their hair coat. I even like to give mine a bath, just for good measure.
Make sure to get his hooves trimmed up to keep his legs and feet in good working order, because without a good set of feet and legs your buck cannot perform. Also if you happen to clip his hooves too close and make him sore he will have time to recover. This will also give you time to clear up any hoof rot issues.
Another key ingredient to helping make sure your buck is productive is to either copper bolus or look for any nutritional deficiencies such as a fish tail or a ‘Y’ in the hair on the end of the tail. Other signs include the buck not losing his winter coat or his hair being very coarse. If you are not comfortable with copper bolusing your buck, make sure to provide him with a high copper concentrate of minerals. Goats require very high copper levels especially during breeding season.
Bucks are notorious for not eating during breeding season as long as does are around and/or there are other bucks around, so making sure the buck is in overall good health is important before he goes in with the does.
Tips for getting your buck ready for the breeding pen:
- Fecal worm count
- Increase feeding ration
- Shave all extra hair
- Treat for lice
- Check for nutritional deficiencies
- Hoof trim
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