Planning is the first step in a successful breeding program. The second? Being able to change your plans!!!
Let's go over our two problems we had to deal with.
All our girls wanted to do was head butt our little guy. All our little guy wanted was to NOT get head butted! Our first plan of action was to incorporate our goats from different herds, literally our doe herd & our buck herd. The first few days was just spent getting them together so the head butting would calm down and Noshi would feel confident enough to even APPROACH the does.
Second, well with an inexperienced doe, she just wasn't sure about the whole process, even when in full heat. All she wanted to do was go back with the other does. What the 'heck' was going on here? So, restraining her was our next step. Which of course led to problem three....Yup, more issues with our breeding plans. Even though Davi is our smallest doe (not as small as our Adal), Noshi is still not quite tall enough to 'do the deed'. Frustrating? You bet! For us anyways, the romantic pair had zero clue what we wanted.............we had to play a little more than just match makers. So far so good, now what to do about the height difference?
Luckily, problem three had a very easy fix. There is a beam, 6x8, in the middle of the bucks stall. We positioned Davi just shy of the beam. Because he wasn't getting his butt kicked he at least made the effort to investigate the girl in his pen. FINALLY he started acting like the typical buck: sniffing, chatting, lip curl, etc. With Davi restrained, and a small height adjustment for our buckling, our little Noshi became a full-fledged breed buck! Even Davi had an attitude adjustment after the first few attempts. She decided this wasn't as bad as she thought!! Win, win wouldn't you say?
We can hear the head stratches from here.........so why not just throw the buck and doe together and let nature take its course? Not a solution if your buck is young and getting his butt kicked. Plus there is the consideration of kidding dates, we don't like to not know when a doe is set to kid, especially with a first freshener.
Take our Adal as an example. We took her to Washington to be bred on the 17th of October, we'll be picking her up on Nov. 7th. What does that mean to us? Without a set breed date it means that Adal could kid anywhere between March 11th and April 8th. Not a very good plan is it? Then there is the chance that she didn't get bred as well. Without seeing how the doe responds to the buck and see the buck 'do his job' there are too many unknowns. The earliest we would know she was pregnant would be December 17th and that is if we send in the blood work to find out. Next question you all are thinking is, "Why take Adal to be bred when you have two registered bucks?" Gene pool, we want as much new blood, from quality lines, to give our breeding program the best possible gene pool we can.
Point is, there are often solutions to any problem that arises with anyone's breeding plans. You have to consider each issue by itself and come up with a solution. Does it take time? Of course it does, because there is always that something you didn't even consider, like what the goats want.
What if you have a doe that just refuses to let a particular buck breed her? That has happened. The point is, you continue to plan the best possible breeding program you can and be willing to CHANGE your plans when your goats have different thoughts in mind.
Love may be in the air, but that doesn't mean there will be a match made in heaven. Goats, like people, have minds of their own.............