Friday, November 4, 2016

Farm update - November 4, 2016 Breeding the goats - Artificial Insemination...

I can certainly say I didn't know what I was getting into when we decided to get goats.  Of course we knew that you had to breed them in order for them to make milk, but we didn't realize how difficult that could be when you do not own your own buck!

Your options, if you do not own a buck, are to either take your doe to a buck, have a buck brought to your doe, or artificially inseminate (AI) your doe.  The first time Aurora went into heat, I talked to my friend and arranged for us to visit her buck, who was in "rut".  Oh my goodness, was that ever hilarious.  After I packed her up into a dog crate in the back of my van, hauled her over there, watched the (fruitless) mating session and, ultimately, her deny him, we were still without a pregnant doe.

Fortunately, my friend also just got a tank (I cannot recall what it is called right now) that holds frozen "straws" from a buck.  So, I looked through the online catalog (this was hard, considering I had no idea what we wanted from a buck, genetically) and finally chose one.  My friend bought the straws - we choose a nice Lamancha buck) and held onto them until Aurora went into heat again.

A doe cycles every 21 days.  I took that little fact to heart and really thought they would be like clockwork.  They are not.  Well, finally on Friday we noticed she was in heat again, and my friend came over to AI her.  I felt awful for my poor girl.  It seemed awful.  5 minutes and we were done, and now we wait!  If she goes into heat again we will know it didn't take.  AI is only about 50% effective, whereas the traditional method is more like 90%, I believe.  If it doesn't take, we can AI her again, or breed her to a buck.  Fingers crossed we have babies in 5 months from her.  We still need to breed Millie, and for her we may do a Nubian buck, I'm still not sure of my plans.  There are extra straws if we decide to AI her with the Lamancha.

This is the only photo I have of her that day.  I was trying to get a "before" picture for size comparison.