Let's start with how I've bred in the past, owning up to all of my mistakes and limitations (e.g., facilities). Here's what I've tried:
1. Penning bucks INSIDE the doe paddock. The idea was that the does would flag the bucks, then I would just throw them in with the buck of my choice and voila! My doe is bred and I know the date. In case you're wondering, super hit and miss because ALL the does would hover around the bucks and act bucky when one was in heat. Thanks girls. Alternately, overexposure would result in loss of interest in those particular bucks (my personal theory, I haven't asked the girls).
2. Giving up on #1, I then dedicated a back paddock to pasture breeding. I only breed one buck at a time. I like the kids by that buck to be the same approximate age for evaluation purposes. Problem . . . I didn't know when they were bred because they like to get busy in the wee hours, when I'm trying really hard to ignore them.
New this year: In 2019/2020 I finished fencing the perimeter of the farm. This enabled me to let the bucks roam the back 40 (read: back 3 acres). It was an absolute revelation to me to discover that the bucks and does ignored each other UNTIL one was in heat. The other does typically would be far away at the feeders, while the doe in heat was displaying like a prostitute in Amsterdam (I'm talking about you Annie, you brazen little slut!). Bummer for me that I didn't catch on to this until AFTER I had bred my senior does in August. Oh well.
With the Castle Rock does on the premises, in the barn and surrounding paddocks, the bucks had the best breeding season ever! They would keep an eye on both paddocks and keep me up all night with their carousing outside the pen of a doe that was in heat. It's made keeping breeding records 90% more accurate. I'm reserving 10% for the does that I think are engaging in purely recreational sex (I'm talking about you Demeter, you Annie wannabe).
Marie-France Orillion, Ph.D.
Welcome to my blog! I am a retired researcher/university administrator. Since I'm a bit of a workaholic (my other addiction is sugar), I've embarked on a second career as an elementary school teacher. When I'm not working I enjoy playing with my goats and my gardens. This blog is a place where I reflect on what I've learned along the way.