Nigerian Dwarf Dairy Goats

for people who love the littlest dairy goats

Would it be worth adding a buck to my herd that is 7 years old? It’s his blood lines that I’m really after and I have a unique opportunity to get him at a great price from a herd dispersal but at 7, I’m hesitating. How many years can I realistically expect from him?

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I hate to say it but I wouldn't do it. In 17 years of owning goats and being on Yahoo groups back in the day and then other social media and knowing thousands of goat owners, I have known one buck who lived past the age of 10. And they don't always stay virile for that long. I had one become sterile at age 8. I had him in a pen with three does and I saw him breeding them month after month for three months, and I finally gave up on him. By the next spring he was not even stinky any longer and his testicles had shrunk quite a bit. You just don't know how long they'll last. 

That’s kind of what I figured. Thanks! Is it about the same for does or can does be bred longer assuming they’re in good condition? 

Most does can be bred until they are 10 years old. I've only had one that wouldn't get bred when she was 9 -- and thats is with breeding 15 or so does on average every year for 15 years or so. I don't normally breed them after they're 10 because I've noticed that they tend to take many months to recover from that 10-year-old kidding and get their body condition back to normal. Plus their milk production goes way down by then. I had a 9 year old a couple of years ago that had a single, and when we tried to separate her kid overnight and milk her in the morning, we noticed the kid's weight gain slowed way down. Luckily we were weighing her daily! So, we just let her nurse the kid so that she'd grow big and strong. I also had an 8 year old last year who couldn't make enough milk to feed triplets and since she always has multiples, I decided to stop breeding her. 

Thanks so much!

You're welcome. It's worth mentioning that the 8 year old was probably having trouble producing enough milk because she had lost most of her teeth. I noticed she started losing some of her front teeth by the time she was 6. I've never had a goat lose teeth like her at such a young age. 

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