It’s that time of year; the leaves are falling, the garlic’s about to be planted, and goats are going into heat.
Most does (proper term for female goats) have about a two-day fertile period every few weeks from September – December. In other words, they have two fertile days, then three weeks off, and repeat that for several months. It can be difficult to be sure when’s the right time; in general, does in heat will “talk” more and tend to elevate and wag their tails. We noticed Drama Queen was doing all of this yesterday afternoon, and decided to test her.
How do you do that? With what’s called a “buck rag” – an old rag that’s been rubbed over the extremely fragrant body of an uncastrated male goat. I brought out the buck rag (kept carefully sealed inside a plastic container) yesterday, and Drama Queen got very excited, wagging her tail and trying to eat the container. Aberdeen seemed interested too, but less so.
Koko may have been interested, but for various reasons we’re unlikely to ever breed her.
Our good friend and goat-breeding expert from down the road came by with Valcor, a carefully selected male. We are unlikely to keep any intact males around ourselves; they are the source of that infamous “goat smell”, which largely comes from their habit of constantly urinating on themselves. They’re also bigger, fence-jumpier, and will attempt to breed with pretty much any female regardless of age or close relation.
Now we get to the how to part. It’s very complicated: put the male goat in with the females.
Here’s an instructional video: