Do you own both male and female goats? Are you wondering if they should be kept together or apart? Should bucks and does be separated is a common question that is also very important!
Should Bucks and Does Be Separated?
Some people do not separate their bucks and does, in many areas of the world they are all kept together as a herd.
But for those of us raising domestic goats, which is best?
I personally feel that keeping bucks and does separated is best. Let me share with you a few reasons why!
Goat Breeding Age
The fist reason that I separate my bucks from my does is that a buckling can breed very early. As early as 6-8 weeks of age! I know that sounds early, but it’s totally possible!
And does are also capable of breeding young. However, just because they can breed young doesn’t mean that they should. If a doe is bred too early she will have a hard time carrying a baby and continuing to grow herself. She just doesn’t have the physical capacity to do both well. Also a doe that is too young will have a hard time delivering a baby. Most of the time a really young doe will only have one baby….one BIG baby! This can be a very serious situation that can end in the death of not only the baby but the doe as well.
So this is a very good reason to separate bucks and does. Even if this were the only reason it should be sufficient, but there are more!
Unwanted Goat Pregnancy
In addition to breeding too young, there are other times that you would not want a doe to be bred.
For example, sometimes within a couple of weeks of giving birth a doe will come back into heat due to hormones adjusting after birth. If your doe is left with the buck she could become pregnant again during this time.
This is definitely something you want to avoid. After giving birth the doe needs sufficient time to recover and care for her baby before becoming pregnant again. Becoming pregnant again so soon would rob her body of the nutrition that she needs to recover and to support her baby. Not to mention that her milk supply would rapidly drop off.
Dangers of Inbreeding Goats
Another reason to keep bucks and does separate is to prevent inbreeding, such as a son breeding his mother or a brother breeding his sister. These are really bad ideas and can result in birth defects and deformities.
Just another good reason to separate your bucks from the does!
Another reason that I like to keep my bucks and does separated is that it makes it easier to determine when your goats are bred.
Trust me, it is so stressful when you are waiting for your goat to give birth if you don’t know when she was bred! Not knowing this date will leave you very unprepared.
Goat Milk Flavor
I also recommend separating your buck from your does if you milk your goats.
We all know how stinky a buck can be! And we know how they like to get that stinky scent on the does! If you are milking your does and they are covered in the stench of buck, then that flavor will end up in the milk!
And nobody wants to drink goat milk that smells like a buck!
The final reason that I want to share with you today regarding why you should separate bucks and does, is that bucks can be aggressive.
They can be very physically dominating to your does. This can be especially dangerous for your doe if she is pregnant. It can also be dangerous for baby goats that are still nursing on their mothers.
The last thing that you want is a doe that gives birth to a stillborn from an injury inflicted by a buck. Or a baby that is injured from a domineering buck.
These are all very important reasons to separate bucks from does!
Do you separate your bucks from your does? Have you had any bad experiences from keeping them together? Leave me a comment below and share your experiences! And if you would like to learn more about raising goats then be sure to read my Goat Care Section and take my FREE Goat Health Course!