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Raising goats is like, hmmm....I've got nothin'. It's a humbling thing really. If you struggle with pride, get a goat. If you think you are the next best thing to God's creation, get a buck.
And that, my friends, is your spiritual lesson for the day. You are welcome.
In all seriousness, owning a buck is quite an experience. Some good, some bad(especially around breeding time). They are strange creatures and most visitors to our farm are quite appalled by their behavior. And I don't blame them.
But, they do have a purpose...to breed. We need babies!
Most humble goat owners don't keep their bucks forever and for good reason. But when is it time to let these odd creatures go?
I learned a few years ago when I was thinking about getting our goats registered, that there is no limit to how many times the buck can breed to his close relatives. Unlike dogs, you can breed mother to son, grandmother to son and so on. I asked how far down the line can our registered buck go with inline breeding. The kind lady told me there was no limit.
So, you can breed your buck with his relatives but just remember, the longer you use that buck, the higher the chances of getting his genetic flaws in the offspring.
I have been told that breeding brother and sister is risky, so I've never done it. I've also been told that breeding no more than three generations with the same buck is a good rule of thumb before changing out the dude. That seems to work pretty well with us.
Of course, if you think your buck is not improving your herd genes, by all means, sell him!
That is one of the reasons we are selling our black buck in the picture above. He just isn't producing an improved doe. In fact, he isn't producing very many does at all, which brings me to my next reason.
If you are getting a significantly larger amount of bucks than does, it's time to change up. That is the other reason we are getting rid of our buck. We are barely growing our herd because we want girls and we're consistently getting more boys!
Now if you are raising meat goats, this might not bother you as much, but we're dairy people.
Another reason to say adios to your buck is if he is too ornery. In other words, if you're scared to be within 50 feet of the guy, let it go. Oh no. Those three simple words... Here comes that song in my head for the next week.
Our buck can be ornery, but I've wrestled him to the ground in sweet revenge more than once, so he's not too bad. His big behavioral issue is acting like it's breeding season all year. Not fun.
So it's three strikes for this crazy goat of ours.
Hopefully this will give you a better idea of when it's time to pack up the testosterone on hooves. Do share your billy goat stories!
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