The weather in northwestern Pennsylvania has been almost non-stop rain for weeks. The leaves are mostly fallen, but it’s hard to enjoy the fall with everything being so wet and dreary. One upside: it’s the time of year where we get to do some matchmaking and make plans for baby goats in the springtime!
Goat gestation is 150 days for full-size dairy breeds, and about 145 days for mini breeds. We typically breed our herd in November for April babies. I don’t like to have babies born earlier than that because it is usually still pretty cold, and heat lamps make me nervous. This year, I may have jumped the gun just a bit trying to catch heat cycles, so we may have some babies born at the very end of March. (Whoops!)
Breeding went great with the Nigerians! Candy was bred October 30th and Maizey was bred November 3rd. If all goes well and they don’t come into heat again later this month, we should be expecting babies the last week of March out of those two. Reese has been running with the bucks as well, so it’s likely she’ll be bred also.
Plans didn’t go well with the LaManchas. I had paired my larger Nigerian Dwarf buck, Sunny, with Luna and Misty. They wouldn’t let him anywhere near them, even though they were both in heat. They wound up intimidating him so much that he hid in a corner and wouldn’t even attempt to breed them. Needless to say, I don’t have much hope for Mini LaManchas this spring.
Both of our older LaManchas are very dominant, so I think it’s going to take a bigger, more “pushy” buck to get them bred for the first time. I called our friend Kelly who has a handsome Alpine buck, and the girls will be going to see him later this month before they come in heat again around November 20th. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that works out!