|Lady Bug- a 2 year old Alpine/Saanen doe|
I had a friend who once bred English Angora rabbits-she bred them for years and never had one single baby born, and these were rabbits! Sometimes reproduction is a little more complicated these days then just throwing together a male and a female (of course, if a male and a female get together that you DO NOT want to breed, then offspring will be produced 100% of the time!).
|Dorper and Katahdin Sheep|
Today as I walked through the sheep and goats, staring at filling udders to see how everyone is coming along, I was contemplating on how kidding and lambing might progress this year.
A little over 5 months ago, I put a young Dorper ram in with the sheep and a young Boer buck in with my dairy goat herd. The emphasis here is on young. I always mark my calendar with when the boys are put in and removed, when ewes and does are seen to be in heat and when I see actual breedings occur. The less I am in the dark about when those babies might arrive, the better I like it.
The goat herd was mostly older girls and all of them were in heat the day I put the Boer buck in. The younger girls had cycled a couple of times each but were not currently in. The buck fell head over heels in love with a two year old who was definitely not in season and wanted nothing to do with him. He followed her around for weeks while the older, larger does were in full blown heat. I could have killed him-he was messing up my breeding schedule.
Meanwhile, my Nigerian buck, who knows how to get the job done in under 3 seconds flat, was about to tear all of my fences down trying to get to the big girls. The older girls went out of heat and came back in. Boer boy still seemed clueless. I was despairing at him ever getting anyone bred when he finally seemed to start to get an idea about who was ready. The end result, I believe, is that those does are going to be spread out all over the place. As opposed to the Nigerians that I bred which will all kid within a day or two of one another.
|2010 Katahdin & Dorper lambs|