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Tracking the Boer goat genetics Ability for Milk Production After Kidding

Over the last several years, we have been disappointed many times when we bought high priced does that did not produce sufficient milk after kidding to feed their newborn kids. All of those does came from breeders that were strong in producing strong show quality animals with Ennoblements throughout their pedigree. Unfortunately, winning at shows does not judge the ability for that genetic line to provide sufficient nutrition to raise whatever number of kids born to them. Ennoblements in a pedigree are nice when you are selling an animal but the ability of a genetic line of animals to be able to raise their own kids without having the breeder bottle feed them should be ESSENTIAL.

Unfortunately, many breeders don't breed for does that are good milk producers or even track that characteristic. Especially when they are flushing does and having recip mothers raise the kids. When that happens, there is no way to know what the genetics are for being able to be a good mother from birthing to raising the kids to nursing age because a recip mother is doing it. We do not like that concept and really do not like buying kids coming from flushes or does that have been flushed but never kidded on their own. We recently purchased a doe with a history of having kids at two different times before she came to our farm. When she kidded at our farm, she had no idea what the newborn baby was or what to do. We discovered that she had never kidded naturally before.

We have decided to document the size of udders of all of our does about to kid and provide some details related to their genetic line and the history of the ability to provide sufficient milk to raise the newborn kids. This information will be added to the Breeding Does detailed page along with pictures of the type of kids the doe has produced in the past. Ennoblements are nice in a pedigree but we believe it is more important to see what a doe has produced in the past and her ability to produce milk.

We will be documenting the udders of all of our does that kid this year as they get close to kidding. The pictures below are two examples of does' udders a few days prior to their kidding date.

Barracuda - October 24,  2011. This is day 142 of her pregnancy and we can see she will have plenty of milk for her kids. Last year was the first time she kidded and she had a similar bag then. Barracuda is a very good producer of milk for newborn kids.

October 24, 2011. This is day 144 of her pregnancy and we would like to see a bigger bag on her as she gets closer to kidding time. Last year was her first time to kid at our farm and she did not produce as much milk as we would have liked for her twin kids. We will update this at kidding time if there is more improvement. After her second kidding and not producing more milk, she was sold.