If you love breeding goats for those adorable babies, you need to make sure you do so safely.
One of the common mistakes amateurs make is rebreeding their goats too soon.
Being well informed about how the breeding and the rebreeding process should be handled can help you to ensure the overall health of your doe and her offspring (kids) are maintained.
A goat should breed no more than once a year. Although a doe is capable of rebreeding sooner, doing poses a risk to both the doe and her litter. Give your goat enough time to physically recover before attempting to rebreed her.
If you are considering when to rebreed your goat, there are several factors to consider to ensure the safety of your doe and her offspring.
Continue reading to learn more about the factors to consider when determining the ideal time for a goat to rebreed.
When to Rebreed Your Goats
It’s safe to rebreed your goat approximately once every nine months, as per its natural reproductive cycle.
However, if you want to be as careful as possible, the consensus among goat owners and breeders is to rebreed your goat no more than once per year.
If you want to rebreed your goat more frequently than once per year, a general rule is to rebreed a goat no more than three times in two years.
It is essential to keep in mind how rebreeding too soon can substantially shorten your goat’s breeding life and overall lifespan.
In addition to being mindful of the time that has passed since a doe’s last breeding, goats are seasonal breeders.
Whether you are breeding a goat for the first time or rebreeding them, goats naturally tend to come into heat from the breeding season months of September through February.
If you attempt to rebreed your goat outside of this breeding period, there could potentially be negative outcomes.
Since the fall to winter months create ideal environmental conditions for kid survival, awareness of the time of year is another critical factor to consider before rebreeding.
Rebreeding Too Soon: Potential Harms to Doe
Although it is possible for a goat to rebreed soon after giving birth to a fresh litter, doing so may cause harm to the doe and her future litters.
After giving birth, a goat needs ample time to physically recover from the strain her body has experienced.
So, providing a goat with the time needed to recover will help ensure greater health and overall wellbeing in the long run.
Additionally, rebreeding too soon may result in the goat giving birth to a small litter size.
After giving birth, your goat needs additional time to gain back a good amount of weight before rebreeding.
By doing so, your goat will be more likely to stay healthy and likely produce larger litter sizes in the long run.
Yes, goats can give birth to three baby goats at once!
Goats also have two placentas; click the link to learn more.
It is worth noting that goats bred more often than once per year are also more likely to die early.
Rebreeding Too Soon: Potential Harms to Kids
When a goat is rebred too soon, it poses potential risks to the kids.
If, for example, a goat is rebred too soon after giving birth, her kids may be born prematurely, weak, or unhealthy, which can significantly reduce their chances of survival long term.
Ensuring a litter is born in good health ultimately ensures the mother is in good health.
In a post-birth setting, a mother goat in poor health may also pose a risk to her litter.
If the goat is not in good health and does not produce the proper amount of milk needed to grow and maintain good health, her kids may become ill and potentially die.
Rebreeding a physically stressed goat too soon can result in various negative outcomes for a litter during their developing months of age.
Related: What age can a goat get pregnant?
How to Control When Goats Rebreed
As a goat owner and breeder, it is crucial to be mindful of how and when your goat is breeding and rebreeding.
Creating a controlled environment in which your goat breeds and rebreeds is essential to prevent any potential harm to a doe and her offspring via accidental breeding.
There are several ways to create a controlled breeding environment and multiple strategies used among goat owners and breeders, detailed below.
One of the best ways to control when goats rebreed is to physically separate any female goat (does) from male goats (bucks).
While some goat owners use wooden stalls, others simply use metal fences to separate does and bucks.
Although physically separating does from bucks is one of the best ways to control when goats rebreed, it may not always be possible.
Perhaps you physically do not have the space to keep a doe separate from a buck.
Or, maybe you prefer to allow your doe(s) and buck(s) to maintain a natural herd.
Regardless, there are several popular strategies if you do not separate does from bucks daily.
In instances where does and bucks are housed together or near each other, it is not uncommon for bucks to be castrated.
Further reading: When are goats too old to be castrated?
If a buck is not castrated, you also can use a Goat Anti-Mating Apron, like this one.
Using an apron will allow you to control the breeding cycle and when goats rebreed and reduce the potential for unplanned pregnancies among your does.
Some goat owners and breeds also suggest using an anti-mating apron even when does and bucks are separated.
If a buck is determined and clever enough to make his way toward a doe, he may knock down or jump over a fence and unexpectedly breed your doe.
Anti-mating aprons are a great preventative strategy whether your does and bucks are separated or not.
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