Breeding for 2012

Well, today was the day that the boys and girls got put together to make our June babies.  I really agonized over what to do because of the genetic defect in our herd.  I don’t want to pass it on.  I don’t have a test to get rid of it.  I did talk a bit with the vet when he was here to re-cast Millie’s horns, and after even more agonizing I think I have a plan.  I don’t know if it’s a good one or not, but it is a plan.

First I sorted the goats into groups to add the boys.  One group doesn’t get a boy with them.  They seem to be enjoying their half of the barn.  They get some of the best basking places on sunny afternoons.  You’ll notice the two  Nigerian Dwarfs are not getting put in with a big buck.  My retired girls~Minnie and Cutie are here.  Meg isn’t getting bred because of her sore hoof.  Stormy is also in this group.  She was horrible sick with her triplets this spring, and I just can’t get the last of her cough to clear up, so she’s at least taking the year off.

Scarlet is in about the same situation.  Triplets two years in a row and our bad weather has earned her the right to retire.  Right now she has two of her kids with her.  Casey will stay in this pen for his Maa’s protection, but I’m undecided on whether or not Cookie will get bred.

Scarlet with kids Casey and Cookie

Then there’s Kizzy.  She gives everything to her kids, and she just hasn’t picked up weight since they were weaned the way I would like.  She’s without a buck right now, but if she gains weight and looks better, she might go in with a boy.

Kizzy, Blaze and Bonnie

There are four girls already bred.  Millie and Joe were bred by Marley (not my choice) when he escaped.  They are both due on March 2.

Joe Street

Bambi and Pam were put with Boeris for spring break babies, and they are due March 21st and 22nd.

Pam Street

For some strange reason, Jelly ended up in this group too.  I’ll probably try to catch her and move her in with Fionn.

Jelly Blackboer

The Second group gets the other half of the barn.  The first thing the vet recommended is to get totally new blood into the herd.  That’s where Boeris van de Yell comes in.  The odds of him having the same genetic defect is pretty darn small.  He will be the primary breeding buck for the herd.  Breeding him to my girls that I know are carriers should stop me from losing anymore kids.  The girls that I know are carriers will not get to keep babies.  Remember I am allowed to change my mind when my heart says I have to.

Boeris van de Yell

He still has a bit to learn about romancing the girls.  Jilly was not really impressed.  She would have been yesterday, but today the hormones were already wearing off.

Jilly Street and Boeris

Still, she could settle and give us the first kids of June.

Boeris and Jilly

Muffin and Helen are in this group, but I think Boeris already bred him the one day he escaped.  That means they are due May 12th.  Lily is in here also, and I don’t know if Marley bred her when he did Joe and Millie or if she is just fat and has hormonal issues.

Helen and Betty Lou; Lily in the back

This group also has the two wethers in it.  Osmo and Boeris had already been together and getting along.  I wanted Bud to be able to stay with his twin sister since they’ve never been apart.  So far Boeris and Bud have had a couple of minor spats.  This is mostly because Bud is chivalrous and protecting his girl friends.

Boeris, Bud and Vixen

Vixen appreciated Bud’s efforts to keep her safe from the boy.  She’s without her maa now, and that will be quite a shock for her.  All told, Boeris will have fifteen or sixteen girls to breed.

Another thing I am doing, is on-farm breeding tests with the goats.  This will be an experiment to see if I lose kids.  The third group is on the south end of the barnyard.  Marley is a carrier of the genetic defect from his maa Scarlet.  He is the one that is killing me.  I kept him because his daddy got too big (185 pounds) and still wanted to play with me like when he was a little kid.  It became dangerous to keep him, so I kept Marley to carry on the Osboer name.  After all, my first buck was Ozzy Osboer, and I really want to keep the line going.  His long-term future is still in question.

Marely with his girls

For this year, however, I have three (possibly four) girls that I will breed to him.  They have all had kids with him or another carrier of this defect but not lost kids.  That means I think they are normal.  They just haven’t had quite enough for me to be convinced that it is probable that they are normal.  Annie (in front above) has had three kids and one grandkid with bucks that are carriers.  Pebbles has had two with a certain carrier and three with a possible carrier.  Penny had twins with Marley last year.

Marley and his girls

Because I assume they are normal, any kid with Marley would not die.  It seems to be pretty consistent that when two carriers are bred 25% of their kids are affected and die.  I do not plan on keeping these kids, but it will help me know with a bit more certainty that they are does that I can keep kids from in the future.  There are other girls that I’d like to test, but they haven’t had enough kids for one more breeding to make me feel confident, or they are Marley’s sisters, and I don’t want to breed them to him.  He will have three or four girls to breed.

Finally, I have Fionn with his girls on the north end of the barnyard.  Fionn is Marley’s kid.  I believe his mother Annie is normal, but there is a fifty percent chance he’s a carrier because of Marley.  I’d give anything to know he was normal.  He’s my hope for carrying on the Osboer line.

Fionn Osboer

His girls are a test for him, and he is a test for them.  He gets nine or ten girls.  There are five that were born last March.  They are all from Red, who has a fifty percent chance of being a carrier.  Their maas are all girls that I think are normal.  They could be carriers.  If they lose a kid, then I know both Fionn and that girl are carriers.  If I don’t lose any, it doesn’t tell me anything about the girls, and it doesn’t tell me anything about Fionn.

Pebbles and Cinnamon

Of the other five girls, two are Jack’s kids and have a fifty percent chance of being carriers.  The other three are Flash’s daughters.  They have to be carriers because he died of the disorder last summer.  There’s even a chance that they could be affected because their mothers could also be carriers, but I don’t know.  Their moms are two the girls I can’t put with Marley because they are his sisters.

Coral and Clover

If they do not lose a kid, there’s a really good chance that Fionn is normal.

The last part of the plan is making sure all the bucks born are banded.  I don’t want to pass this on.  It’s especially important that any male doesn’t get used for breeding because they would pass it on to half of their kids making it a problem throughout the entire herd.  That’s how I ended up in this situation.

Please I don’t want people to freak out over the possibility of losing kids.  The chances of having an affected kid are very slight even if you have carriers.  I have a large enough herd, that I have enough kids born for it to be noticeable.    This year I will have about thirty girls having kids.  That’s more than I’ve ever bred before.  Wish me luck.

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31 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mimi Foxmorton
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 18:25:07

    Sweetie-I do not know how you can keep track! lol
    I have the hardest time with ONE! :)

    Is Marley the orangey-blonde one? That is one hot goat! ;)

    I want to see a Fionn baby!

    Good luck! Can’t wait to see the wee ones!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 02, 2012 @ 18:41:36

      Marley is the orangey-blone one that Fionn gets his curls from. You should see quite a few Fionn babies this June~if he ever quits eating and basking and gets interested in the girls.

      Reply

  2. Pondside
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 18:27:17

    Wow, Teresa, that is straight math – at least to me! I don’t know how you keep it all organised in you mind…what a job! I look forward to your posts with the kids start arriving!

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 02, 2012 @ 18:42:43

      I do keep pretty good records. That’s also why I give them last names to help keep the family groups straight in my mind. Now that they are all together, I’m really getting excited.

      Reply

  3. jen
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 18:29:52

    WoW… thats alot to keep up with. You go girl. I wish you the best of luck. Cant wait to see all the cute babies of 2012.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 02, 2012 @ 18:43:41

      This is why most farmers just give them numbers. I’m sure it is easier in some ways, but I do keep good records so I know exactly how everyone is related and who everyone has been bred to.

      Reply

      • jen
        Jan 06, 2012 @ 20:24:53

        I’ll have to start me a notebook…

      • Teresa
        Jan 06, 2012 @ 20:37:21

        I’m going to do a post soon and share the forms I created. Record keeping gets more important the more goats you have. For some reason it’s so much easier to bring them onto the farm than it is to get rid of them. :-)

  4. TexWisGirl
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 19:09:48

    truly! good luck with all aspects of it! i wish you happy, easy birthing seasons!

    Reply

  5. Alica
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 19:17:28

    I’m glad you can keep that all straight!! …you must be incredibly organized!
    Every time I look at your goat herd I find another favorite…I still love Fionn and hope he’s not a carrier…and now I think Pebbles and Cinnamon rank right up there with him.
    I wish you and your goats the best!

    Reply

  6. Pam
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 19:29:02

    Teresa, I love how you care about your goats! This is a very grand plan and well thought out!!! Sending you a blessing for healing and healthy goaties! Hugs!

    Reply

  7. Sharon Qualls
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 21:03:23

    OMG!, Did you make a gigantic family tree or a huge chart or ??? That’s a whole lot of different variations to keep track of! My hat is off to you, to be so organized!

    When you first started raising goats, how many did you have? Just curious…

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 02, 2012 @ 21:13:47

      I started with my five Saanen does~still have four of them~and one Nubian cross. I think I might have to share some of my record keeping since everyone seems so amazed that I know it. Of course researching human genealogy for so many years has probably helped because I can tell you that Pebbles and Fionn are half first cousins twice removed. :-)

      Reply

  8. Marigold and the Goatmother
    Jan 02, 2012 @ 21:16:43

    Millie, Millie, Millie. You jumped the gun!

    Reply

  9. Nancy
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 07:05:22

    I’d want to be in the barn with no boys. Because I’m fat and have hormone issues! :)

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 03, 2012 @ 07:27:36

      Well, Lily is actually with Boeris, but she’d prefer to stay with her daughter, Dolly. I’m sure she’s got the weight to stand up to Boeris if she really wants to.

      Reply

  10. Candy C.
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 07:40:26

    Oh wow, thirty girls kidding! That’s a LOT of cute little goat babies! Hope all goes well for the goaties and there is good kidding weather when the time comes. :)

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 03, 2012 @ 08:04:20

      I’m hoping the weather is good and not horribly muddy in June. The March weather is always questionable, but we’ll manage! I am very excited and kind of nervous about that many kids.

      Reply

  11. Kate
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 09:27:21

    I know it would be incredibly hard, but the only way to get your herd 100% healthy is to cull ALL of the carriers. If you’re OK with having carriers in the herd, the next best thing is to get rid of the carrier bucks, bring in new blood and do not save any male offspring from carrier does.

    In all of my grad school stuff, the closest defect that I could find is the same that you did – mucopolysaccharidosis IIID (G-6-S). It makes sense with the symptoms that you’re describing.

    Also, this defect is a single mutation and a simple recessive gene. I’m sure you know this, but in order for a simple recessive to be expressed in offspring, both the dam and sire have to pass the recessive gene. The probability of any one offspring expressing the defect even if both parents are carriers is only 25%.

    I don’t have much experience with goat genetics, specifically, but I’d be glad to dig through my books if you have any more questions. I do think there is a DNA test available if you’re willing to spend the cash (or at least there used to be – grad school was a long time ago!) – I think it’s through Texas A & M.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 03, 2012 @ 10:04:58

      I did have the test done, and it was negative. I will not keep any kids from known carriers, which is why I am testing this year to more clearly identify carriers. It’s not perfect, but my herd are also pets. Thanks for the advice.

      Reply

  12. Pricilla
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 13:12:18

    That is so much to keep track of….I have enough trouble with Luke and my three does! Nora won’t stand for Luke though so she goes with Buster Brown.

    They are funny, aren’t they?

    I really hope you get it figured out. It is so very hard to lose them.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 03, 2012 @ 13:35:43

      They do let you know their opinion~that’s for sure. Nora is funny not standing for Luke. It seems like they usually like the more mature (aka stinky) boys.

      Reply

  13. Claire
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 13:13:21

    Ooooh, it’s so exciting. I don’t know if Caramel is bred or not, so if not, I will have to be satisifed just having kids vicariously through your herd! :) I think Jelly looks too little to be having kids so that’s why she stayed in that other group. Hee hee! I do love those spotted kids of Kizzy’s. It will be such an exciting spring for you, and I do hope that some of these pairings will help you determine more about the defect and how to manage it.

    Reply

    • Teresa
      Jan 03, 2012 @ 13:37:11

      If I weren’t trying to figure out the defect, I’d probably let the three to five youngest girls wait until next year. I know, that’s horrible, but they are the age most people breed them. I hope Caramel is bred for you. That will be exciting for your first kids on the new farm!

      Reply

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The information on this web site is supplied for general reference and educational purposes only. This information does not represent the management practices or thinking of other goat breeders or the veterinary community. I am not a veterinarian, and the information on this site is not intended to replace professional veterinary advice. This information is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your veterinarian. I disclaim all liability in connection with the use of this information.
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