Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: billy or not a billy!!!  (Read 5777 times)


  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Pembrokeshire
  • The Happy Smallholder!
billy or not a billy!!!
« on: January 20, 2010, 09:07:01 pm »
 ;D hi all hope thing's are going good for everyone where ever you are,
me and beth(wife) were just now talking about getting a billy or not,
we just need some advice and to be put in the right direction!!
with billy's when it comes to mating is it best to have the same breed as the nanny?
and one more thing(ya right!) is there adv and disadv when you got limited space,
their sleeping area is separate from their paddock, does a billy need his own area is well.
any advice will be app
thanks guys :goat:
Langdon ;)


  • Joined May 2009
  • Peak District
Re: billy or not a billy!!!
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2010, 10:50:13 pm »
I think it would be better for you to find a billy goat you can use which belongs to someone else.  If you only have two goats, its not really necessary to keep your own entire billy goat.

Billy goats do have a smell, during the breeding season, and once the nanny goat comes into season, he will try and get to them, and she will try to get to the billy.  And the fence will have to be very good, believe me.  My pygmy billy has just completely wrecked his own pen and two more to get to an in season nanny.  They also have a tendancy to use their horns if they have them, on doors, fences etc. so everything needs to be strong.  I have two billies, and they taint everything they touch.  I am used to the  smell now, but anyone coming to the farm notice it immediately.

Once your goats start milking, you would need to keep the billy well away, or the smell could taint the milk!!

Personally, I would not suggest keeping your own billy goat, if there is a stud one nearby.

Re which breed of billy, it depends on what you want to do with the kids.  Do you want to keep them and show them for example?  Are your nannies registered?  If this is so, its worth using the same breed.  I took my Alpine to a sanaan  billy and got very nice kids, and the sanaan  crossed with an alpine billy.  I ended up with some alpine and some sanaan coloured kids.

You also need to think carefully about what you will do with the kids if they are male.  This year so far my goats have had three billy kids, although sadly two died. Have a sanaan due hopefully in a few weeks, so praying for nanny kids.  There are a lot of billy kids out there looking for homes, and unless castrated they are not easy to home, unless registered and of stud quality.


  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Pembrokeshire
  • The Happy Smallholder!
Re: billy or not a billy!!!
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2010, 11:01:16 pm »
Thank's roxy for a great reply, how long did it take to write all that!!!!!!!!
you have put me and beth right off billy's!!!!!
think we will take the girl's out for a trip someday, by the way how long can you be waiting around for a billy to do his thing in the stud?
is it that hard to get rid of billy kids then
have you seen pic of milly and molly
Langdon ;)


  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: billy or not a billy!!!
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2010, 11:07:32 pm »
Hi Langdon,

A billy doesn't need to be the same breed as your females. Obviously as you have one female of each, you could get a Toggenburg or a Saanen billy. Or you could be adventurous and get yet another different breed!

There are advantages and disadvantages to keeping them.

1. Your male is there on the premises so you don't need to take your females anywhere.
2. You don't have to CAE test if you don't want too.
3. You won't have to pay for stud fees, or for fuel to take your girls to a billy.
4. Your male is 50% of herd (if he's the father of all your kids) so best to get as good a one as you can. A good male is the easiest way to improve your stock, rather than buying completely new better quality females.
5. They can be great characters and entertaining. Ours is a great soppy lump (except in the breeding season when he is horrible)

1. Male goats are horrible.
2. Male goats stink.
3. You may find them difficult to keep in, they are very strong, and will want to be with the females. They can live with the females- but equally you don't the girls to be fed up of him pestering them for sex!
4. When you have kids, you will have to keep the girls away from your male, so that he can't mate his daughters.
5. You need to have a new male every so often, as obviously if you keep the female kids, they shouldn't really then be mated by their sire (although it can be done, it wouldn't be good to keep inbreeding your goats totally).
6. You have to pay for their food, vet bills, and routine maintance like worming, vaccinating etc.


A useful link about breeding


  • Joined May 2009
  • Peak District
Re: billy or not a billy!!!
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2010, 11:11:55 pm »
Milly and Molly look lovely girls. I am sure you will get some nice kids from them.

oops, did not mean to put you off ......but have you ever smelt a billy goat!!!  

Nanny goats come into season from around September to Spring.  I usually aim to get mine in kid around December, for a May kidding, mainly due to the long winters we have, and weather should be better in May.  Once you have seen your goat in season for a few times, you can usually see when the right time to go to the billy is - no use going too soon in the season, or too late.  I have had goats for 35 years, so am usually spot on with observations, and can take her to the billy and he will serve her straight  away.

Stud owner will probably put your nanny in a pen next to the billy to start with, get them acquainted, then bring him out.  He will snff her a few times, and then no messing.  Its all done very quick, and blink and you will miss it.  Can be a bit frightening if you have a first time nanny, but don't worry, the billy owner will know what they are doing.  I would advise you to wear protective clothing for the occasion, including gloves, as the nanny will obviously smell after her visit, and so will you and your vehicle.  Watch the nanny three weeks later for any signs of return to season, i.e.  bleating, tail wagging, and again three weeks later, as sometimes they can slip the kid then.  No sign, then congratulations, you have kids on the way!!

oh yes, billy kids can be difficult to find homes for, although castrated ones fare better than entire because of the smell.  But, they can only ever be pets, so a lot of people do not want them, and I do know some people have their male kids disposed of at birth because they are of no use to them.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 11:14:16 pm by Roxy »


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: billy or not a billy!!!
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2010, 10:18:01 pm »
You are getting quite late in the season for mating..., I would have thought that by end of January its becoming quite difficult to get them into kid? Have you noted down when they are in season? It would be easier for you if you could board them at stud together, then bring them also back together.

Mine were sponged (otherwise I wouldn't have been able to get them to their separate chosen billies and conform to the standstill times) and then got them mated in late October. Kids (hopefully) at the end of March.


  • Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: billy or not a billy!!!
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2010, 10:31:01 pm »
The end of March/beginning of April is a nice time for kids. Its often the period we like to aim for. Are you thinking of showing your goats next year Anke?



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