That Time of Year

20131030-IMG_1323

Fall is breeding season for goats, and this year’s Romeo has arrived in all his aromatic glory.  I have the good fortune of being able to lease bucks every year from the breeder I bought my does from.  It’s very convenient for me as I just pick up the buck when I’m ready, keep him until his work is done (usually about a month), and then return him.  The downside to this is that I don’t have a separate pen for him away from my main barn and milking area, so his smell permeates everything and lingers long after he is gone.  I don’t use the milk from my does while he’s here as it takes on a goaty taste, but the pigs are really enjoying those 2 gallons of milk a day.  He’s a very handsome fellow isn’t he?  I have seen his full grown daughters and they are extremely nice looking.  He did sire two kids from my 2013 crop, very nice babies and they sold quickly.  I’m now faced with a decision to be made…the breeder I lease from is downsizing and selling her Alpine and Oberhasli bucks and just keeping her Lamancha.  The Alpine is pictured above, the Oberhasli is the sire of two of my Obers, and I am not interested in Lamanchas.  So, some changes will have to be made next year.  I’m thinking of learning to AI my goats as the advantages to this are numerous–no buck to feed and house year round, no smell to deal with, and I can select characteristics to improve the Oberhasli breed.  The cons to this would be being able to detect my does heat cycles when there are no males around.   So, that’s my winter project, learning all I can about AI and deciding if that’s the way to go or not.