for people who love the littlest dairy goats
That is the youngest I've ever had a buck succeed -- and it was totally accidental. When I was traveling a few years ago and gone for weeks at a time, I came home and discovered four bucklings in with my does -- one five-month-old and three four-month-olds. The five-month-old was polled, so I thought that would at least help me avoid a few DNA tests to figure out who the sire was. Well, at it turned out, that five-month-old sired kids for 16 does! The four-month-old boys sired 0. I did DNA tests on all the kids that were genetically horned since polled kids had to be sired by the older one. Towards the end I started to feel like i was wasting my money but also felt ethically obligated to continue testing to be sure. It also turned out to be a pretty interesting although unplanned experiment. And I did see a four-month-old successfully breed a doe (who was standing perfectly) within minutes of my walking into the pasture the first day I was home, so I know at least one four-month-old tried. But considering what we see even younger bucks doing, I'm sure they all tried many times.
I will also say that prior to that experience I had a few cases where a 6-month-old failed to get a doe pregnant, but it was always just the first doe that he bred. And in 2005, I bought two new bucks that could not figure out how to breed a doe until they were 8 months old. But I was hand-breeding, so once I realized they were having trouble and the doe started beating them up in frustration, I just took them out and used a different buck. Maybe if we'd left them in there longer, they'd have figured it out. But we were still pretty new to goats then and maybe we were more worried about the boys than we needed to be. One thing I do now when using a young buck is that I try to put him with a maiden doe the first time. They tend to be much more patient as he figures it out. They just stand there. Older does can get really rough and start beating the snot out of a young buck as he tries to mount them from the side and over their head and all of that silly stuff.
If you want your doe bred in September, I don't see any reason to wait. If you breed when you see her in heat, I'd just be sure to leave him with her for 24 hours to increase the chances of multiple breedings and her getting pregnant.
Thanks so much!
Just circling back to this because one of my Goats 365 members texted me with this exact situation, except the doe was in heat that day, and she wanted to use a 5-month-old buck. I pretty much told her that she can try but no guarantees, and a little later she texted back to say that he had no clue!
So I will also add that even if I am planning to leave a buck and doe together for 24 hours, I wait to see a successful breeding so that at least I know whether a breeding happened, and I can mark my calendar. If nothing happens after about 15 minutes, I separate them.
I usually do the same. I like to see at least one, ideally two breedings. My particular guy already notices and tries to mount does in heat but isnt tall enough to get things where they need to be. Hopefully when the time comes he’ll still have the drive and have the size and sperm quality to get it done!