Research Time

So now that we have healthy goats, we need to figure out our next steps.

The first questions that come to mind.

  • How many years of fertility? Violet is three, so I need to know if she is still fertile.
  • How long is gestation?
  • When do we want to have kids?
  • How do we tell their cycles.

How many seasons?

It varies from source to source but I’m seeing between 9 and 12 as the absolute maximum. So we’re good there. Violet is about three, iris is one, and Clover is probably about six months. So only breed Violet, Iris, or both. Not sure we want two goats worth of milk.

Length of Gestation

The Goats Extension website has a great page about reproduction of goats. The gestation is between 145 and 152 days. Or roughly five months. So if we were looking to have kids on, say, April 15, we’d need to breed them around November 15.

When Do We Want Kids?

Not real sure. We usually get our chicks and bees around mid-April. Do we have the capacity to add goats? I’m not sure we can get our act together if we go much earlier than that. So maybe after?

Day length determines when they go into estrus. Starting in September and going through November or December. I think if we tried in December for a May kidding, we will have time to figure things out.

How The Heck Do We Know When They Are In Estrus?

That is the mystery. I have no clue how to tell if a goat is in estrus. All the literature says that bucks will start acting up, but what if you don’t have any bucks?

The Penn State Extension lists the following signs.

  • Bleating a lot
  • Tail wagging from side to side
  • Red vulva
  • Wet tail

So my plan is to start a calendar to see if I can figure out their cycles.

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