MINIATURE GOAT


At Plumbago Stud we are concentrating on developing and breeding the Pixie and Munchkin miniature goat breed. Graded mature stock are selected and bred for their (genetic) height and the breed characteristics. We are carefully selecting animals, pairing them to breed the characteristics that are needed to produce animals meeting the Breed Standard of Excellence for that type. It is our aim to produce animals that are genetically small, very good type and have great body conformation.
Our breeding program has been evolving and strengthening for eight years. It is a long-term process and commitment. We now have mature does at 53.5 -58.5 centimeters (21 -23 inches) in height, with the developed ear type of their breed.

I am now concentrating on body confirmation and ear type, continually striving to strengthen the characteristics and establishing the genetics of the breed type in the animals at our stud. In the next few years I anticipate our breeding program will be very rewarding and exciting. Potential purebred stock has been born on our stud and we are now awaiting the three and four-year height verification and required vet inspection to gain pure bred status.

Plumbago Stud is the proud owner of two very small height verified bucks called Plumbago Sir Bandit and Plumbago Squire Jacob. These two four year olds are only 43cm and 46cm in height, they have been paired with selected does and we are eagerly awaiting news of their anticipated offspring, hopefully in 2010.

Plumbago Dennie will also be visiting selected does to correct body type and establishing the pixie ear type.

A doe will reach an appropriate breeding age usually at the age of one year to eighteen months. By this age the body has matured and grown to a size that makes it possible to safely maintain a pregnancy. Rather than focusing on age I prefer instead to look at the doe's weight, her health and her build. It is important that the doe is in peak health, not too fat or too thin.
Does are purposely fed well the month prior to the planned introduction to the buck, They are de-wormed and orally given a liquid mineral supplement which is continued throughout the pregnancy.
I reduce the green feed content at the time of mating, as I do believe, as I have read in several articles that this change in diet is known and has been proven to increase the number of doe kids being born. I have been practicing this for the last five years with good results.
A large number of buck kids born, can mean too much lucerne or goitragenic feeds at conception and a possible deficiency of iodine. Seaweed meal will correct any short fall of this in their diet.


Goats are seasonal breeders although; some of my does do breed all year round. During the breeding season the females come into oestrus (season) approximately every twenty-one days, and will usually stay in season for twelve to forty eight hours. Behavior changes that are commonly associated with the season include vocalizations, bleating very loudly, constant tail wagging from side to side. The vulva will appear slightly swollen and reddened, and the area around the tail may look wet due to a slight vaginal discharge. Other signs of heat are frequency of urination, mounting other goats and a definite interest in the male goat.
A doe in season will pace along the fence line, standing or sitting close to the fence, as near to the buck as they are able to position themselves.
In the breeding season the behavior of the buck and seasonal doe that is ready to mate is easily recognized.

If the doe is properly in season she will stand and allow the buck to mount her, if she is not ready she will have nothing to do with him.

A buck in the breeding season can be very determined to get to the does. Our buck paddock is very secure with three electricified wires on the fence and also one wire at the top of the fence line. We do not house bucks on their own, they have a companion, either one of the same sex or a wether (de-sexed male).
During the season I can cast my eye over the paddocks and the behavior of the bucks and does will soon tell me who is in season.
Ideally when the buck and doe are ready to be joined and a pairing is planned, they are individually brought into a long run and introduced to one another, this enables the dates to be recorded and the exact date of kidding is then known.
However at times we do run a selected buck with the does together in the paddock and due to experience and daily attention, and observing the behavior in the paddock between the buck and doe, one is able to be aware of who has mated and able to record when the doe is expected to kid.
A doe carries her kid/s for 150 days, most does kid easily.

 

I am a great convert to adding apple cider vinegar in my herd's feed each day. Apple cider vinegar contains natural potassium in a safe way. It is able to maintain the correct PH in the body and because of the potassium content the apple cider vinegar helps prevent problems with birthing. Potassium deficiencies cause blood vessel restriction affecting the cervix and uterus in the final stages of pregnancy; dystokia is the result. When the blood vessels to the uterus and cervix are operating correctly this assists the foetus moving along the birth canal and into the correct position for the birthing. Apple cider vinegar given regularly to bucks will help to prevent Urinary Calculi.

The nutrition and care of the pregnant doe is very important. The doe must receive adequate levels of protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals during her pregnancy and needs supplementary feeding in the final six weeks of the pregnancy with the addition of maize, barley or goat pellets in the diet.
Unborn kids put on up to 80% of their growth in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
If the doe lacks nutrients, then the kid in utero will suffer and not grow properly and will have a low birth weight.
Does that are under nourished, under exercised and those carrying multiple kids and the over weight does may develop pregnancy toxemia. The demands of the growing kids can be too much for the does system. A healthy doe should gain weight steadily, have a good coat and her eyelids and gums should be a healthy pink.

 

At Plumbago Stud a month prior to kidding the doe is vaccinated to ensure the kid/s receive adequate protection against tetanus and enterotoxaemia (pulpy kidney) for the first weeks of life. The doe is drenched with a safe to use de-wormer for pregnant does.
Does with the longer hair type, are given a haircut. The hair around the vulva and legs is trimmed back to skin level with scissors, to prevent soiling when giving birth, and the doe's hooves are trimmed.

When the does due date is expected; I do change the time of feeding to suit my schedule and either feed at night or in the morning. I have found feeding at night the doe will usually kid early morning, and if fed in the morning the doe kids in the evening hours. I have found this practice does seem to work.
The goat shed and pens are cleaned. The floors covered in clean straw and all feed buckets and especially water containers are raised off the floor area. The doe is moved to the kidding paddock near the house, so we are able to observe any changes in the doe's behavior and hear any noises of distress, or panic caused by a predator in the paddock.

If the does due date has not been recorded, one of the first signs she is due to kid, will be when she begins to isolate herself from the rest of the herd. Ideally this is when she is moved to the kidding pen, where she will be able to give birth in a safe quiet environment with the least interference possible.

Mucous discharge is a sure sign that kidding is imminent. This is the plug and this is usually the first stage of labour and can last for a number of hours. The doe is usually displaying signs that she is uncomfortable and restless, she may become more talkative and want to be near you. Repeatedly lying down and getting up, pawing at the ground and making nesting hollows.
The second stage of labour begins with severe and frequent straining which should result in the kid being born after about twenty minutes, within its covering of membranes.
The membrane bag is usually seen first, with two little hooves and behind the hooves a little nose, all inside the membrane bag.


Immediately after the birth of each kid I do make sure the mouth and nostrils are clear of fluid and their airways are clear. If expecting another kid I gently move the kid towards the doe's face away from the doe's rear end. Usually there is up to fifteen to twenty minutes interval between the birth of twins and triplets.
The doe will lick her kids clean and when they manage to stand, nudge them towards her teats and talk to them while doing so.
The doe is now given a drink of warm fresh water with a little molasses in it and some fresh hay. The newborn kid/s are examined for any defects, and to check the sex, and the naval cord is dipped in an iodine solution.
Quietly sitting away from the doe and kid/s, I observe that all is well and that the kid/s do feed. Kids do need to have their first feed within twelve hours of their birth to receive their mother's colostrums.
The placenta is expelled up to an hour after the birth. Some goats will eat the afterbirth, but I do check it is in tact and dispose of it, so no smell is around to attract flies and predators. If the placenta is not expelled you do need to seek veterinary advise. Mother and kid/s are then penned and left to bond together.

It is normal for all freshly kidded does to have a blood stained discharge that can last up to three weeks, during this time the tail may need washing. A foul smelling discharge is not normal and will need veterinary attention.
The following day the doe is wormed and continual checks to ensure all are well.
This is an ideal labor and birth and 99% of cases it is what does happen. At times complications can arise and veterinary assistance is needed. It is also comforting if inexperienced in birthing, to have a fellow breeder or acquaintance close by that can give advice or assistance if needed.

Kids are disbudded at approximately seven days old and remain in the Goat-shed with their mum until they are ten days old. Our goat shed is attached to a large outside fenced area, so the doe and kid/s can be outside each day in the sunlight and have the freedom to move back into the goat shed.
After the tenth day the access gate to the paddock is opened and the doe and kid/s are given the choice to either be in the shed area or move out with the rest of the herd in the paddock. At eight weeks old the kids are given their 5 in1 booster vaccination and the final vaccination is given in four weeks time.

Does usually wean their kids at approximately twelve weeks old. Doe and buck kids play and display mounting games with each other at a very young age, however both the female and male are capable and can become sexually active as young as three months old and need to be separated to prevent an accidental mating. It does happen!





Please note I am not a vet. Articles written on this site are for reference only and are my experience and knowledge of keeping goats and how I care for my goats at Plumbago Stud.

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mini bucks mini does baby goats stock for sale about us Home page Miniature Goat information Breeding mini goat info Breeding your minis equiptment for sale articles Links