In my relatively short time as a goat breeder I have already owned four bucks, and currently have three entire males on the property. Compare this to the two stallions I owned in 15 years of breeding ponies and you see some of the reason why goat breeding appeals to me. Bucks, on the whole, are no real drama to keep and handle.
Admittedly it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. This season my buckling Jupiter has taken matters into his own hooves and kindly revealed every weakness in four acres of buck fencing. He has served three does; two who were planned and one who I hadn’t decided on. I can’t be certain that he did not also breed the fourth doe who is intended for another buck. Or the fifth doe who really needs to wait until next season to get pregnant if I want to show her as a goatling this spring. These two have been given emergency contraception. Quintus Batiatus is not the only one prone to cursing Jupiter’s cock (Spartacus fans will get the reference). Fingers crossed, we seem to have Jupi contained at last.
Jupi seems to have accepted his containment gracefully, with only the odd mournful wail, spending most of his time with the other boys happily grazing or cudding. He is an opportunistic wanderer who stumbled upon his escape routes and made the best of the situation. This sort of buck is much easier to deal with than the sex-crazed fellow I was forced to dispose of last year. Vic was a big, strong buckling who single-mindedly climbed over solid fences and through electric ones. When tied up he broke collars and chains and even climbed up my back to get out of the stable and to the does, including his mother and twin sister. There was simply no stopping him other than a quick and expertly administered bullet.
My senior buck, Tazzy, spoiled me somewhat in my early days of buck ownership. A wonderfully kind and gentle soul, he has been known to stand behind an electric tape fence that was not even working rather than attempt to get to the girls. If only they could all be like him.
The slutty does don’t help the situation. How do you know when a doe is in season? She parades herself in front of the buck pen, wagging her tail and fluttering her eyelashes. Failing that, she will stand at the gate, stare in the direction that the buck smell is coming from and cry her desperate (and not at all tuneful) Nubian cry. All day.
Once the mature does are in kid things settle down as we wait out the late autumn and winter months until kidding begins. Then once we see what each mating has produced we can start to think about the pairings for the following season.
Next year my big red buck kid Apollo will be a buckling. Will he be an opportunistic wanderer like his father Jupiter, or polite and courteous like his grandfather Tazzy?
I’ll be happy if all my planned matings go off without a hitch. A doe kid or two would be nice as well.