How Early Can I Breed My Doeling?

Normally, goats can be bred at 8 months.
1. Goats are sexually active and fertile at a very young age.
2. Some say they become active as early as 8 weeks.
3. Unless breeding is desired, goats at 8 weeks old and older should not be kept together.
4. Item 3 above includes sister and brothers, mom and son!

Some other information you may need:
1. Does have a fertility cycle of between 18 and 21 days
2. Goats have a gestation period of 150 days.
*This article is from Mike Henry of Red Fence Farms and his Henry Milker blog.

2 Responses to “How Early Can I Breed My Doeling?”

  1. Matthew Calfee October 30, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    I totally agree with Mike. I don’t breed my does until they are @ least 9-10 months old. I raise Spanish & Spanish cross goats. They do alright with being bred @ this age but I evaluate each doe on an individual basis. I have found that doelings from multiple births tend not to grow as fast as a single doeling. I use a formula that worked for me back when I showed my 4-H steers in highschool. My extension leader told me to multiply 100lbs x the number of months old the calf was & this was a great measuring stick to measure my calves’ progress. This formula was good for up to 12-14 months of age. Now, I took this formula & recalculated it to work for my Spanish meat goats (mainly my does). I now take 10 lbs. & multiply it by the number of months old & use this formula to measure the progress of my doelings & I never breed any of my does that are under 90lbs which should put them @ about 9 months old. This is what works for me & I have never had any problems. This formula probably will not work for the miniature goats like the pygmy or nigerian dwarfs however.

  2. Tammy Martin January 4, 2013 at 4:50 am #

    I will agree 100% and say that I learned the hard way from experience. We raise mainly myotonic/fainting goats but do have a few other does around. We had a myotonic/boer cross doeling with her mom in the pen with the sire. We left the doeling on her dam until we weaned her which was shortly after she was 8 weeks old. We moved the doeling to the young doe pen. We noticed that she had a nice big belly on her and just thought that she was a hog over the feed. She was kind of an aggressive girl at feeding time. Well what a surprise when we went out one morning and she had a beautiful little buckling cuddled up to her. She gave birth at just 7 months of age. If this would not have happened to me I would say it is not possible. But I know what we did with our goats, when they were born, what buck was around and when they were moved into other pens. Luckily she handled it just fine and is doing a great job as a very young first time mom. So take it from me… it can happen!!!!!

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