NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Billies  (Read 359 times)

Gunestone

  • Joined Jan 2017
Billies
« on: February 21, 2019, 05:40:34 pm »
I was wondering what people do to get their goats in kid if they just have 2 does? Is it best to buy a buck and sell him again? Or take them to a buck?
Voss Electric Fence

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Billies
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 09:05:34 pm »
It depends on the circumstances and individuals.  Many people don't want the hassle of keeping males so will put their girls to stud often with them boarding at the stud for a few weeks until confirmed covered.  Some will buy a male, use him for a few weeks, then either sell him on or put him in the freezer.  Some use AI either through traditional means or else laparoscopic AI (done by vet).

To some extent it depends what you want too... are you breeding for pedigree or just to get the goat "in milk" with no concern for the kid and its future?

If using a stud, most responsible owners will test for common diseases to minimise health risks although often it's only CAE that is tested rather than Johnes, EAE etc.

Extensive use and sharing of males has been linked to disease transfer in many species and is discouraged for those in the Premium Sheep and Goat Health Scheme system operated by SRUC.

I hope this is a good starting response and I'm sure you'll get many other viewpoints coming forward from others soon!

Personally, I bought a male with 2 females (and an unexpected kid that arrived between the purchase being agreed and the collection).  I now have a dozen females and half a dozen males and I wouldn't be without any of them. 

The boys are well behaved and I've not had problems with aggression (to me or each other).  The original buck in particular is a very gentle soul.  His eldest son is a bit bolshy at times but although he swears a lot, he's never taken an aggressive stance or threatened me in any way.  If he did I'd floor him and sit on him until he learned his place.  The younger lads are all very well behaved. 

That's not to say there's no butting and clashing - there is; both in play and rut.  The original buck has one quite "moth-eaten" ear where he keeps getting it caught between horns and there's always a lot of blood when that happens but it doesn't seem to be bad injuries and heals within a couple of days as it's just the very edges get caught.  The younger boys sometimes have a little blood around the base of the horns if they've misjudged the clash but again nothing serious and as soon as I shout at them or step in they back off and calm down. 

As for the smell, the first year my buck ran with the girls and although he ponged for about a week, once they were covered the smell faded quickly.  This year I'm not breeding and they've been kept separate.  The whiff comes and goes but I don't find it as unpleasant now as I did initially and it's not that bad with most people not aware of it until they get quite close to the boys (although I can smell it from the house when they're at their worst).
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 10:18:22 pm by Scarlet.Dragon »
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Billies
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2019, 09:41:23 am »
First couple of years I took my girls to stud. This year I had the opportunity to buy a male so I have used him. On balance I prefer to have my own stock

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Billies
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2019, 10:00:39 am »
I kept a billy once and never would again, apart from the aggression the stink was too much for me! I would ask at your local feed shop if anyone has a billy locally, or even put a wanted ad up in the shop. I suppose it depends on wether you want a pure bred kid or your breeding for milk and are happy with cross breds?

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Billies
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2019, 08:50:20 pm »
When I had 2 goats i just took them to the billy the day they were on heat, then took them home again. Having worked with billies I wouldn't have wanted to keep one unless i had considerably more goats. The smell takes some getting rid off.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Billies
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2019, 11:55:38 pm »
I took mine to the male as I only wanted the milk. Male kids ended up in the freezer and so did any females I didn't want to keep.

Gunestone

  • Joined Jan 2017
Re: Billies
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2019, 05:48:45 pm »
Thanks for your replies everyone. I think it will definitely be best to take them to a buck, at least for the first few years. How do you find someone who will take your does? We're in the South Staffordshire area, near Telford.

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Billies
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2019, 06:44:15 pm »
Don't know what goats you have, ours are golden Guernsey and there is a stock officer for this part of the country and he knows where all the goats are. It was through him that I got my Billy, originating in Aberdeen via the Lake District

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: Billies
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2019, 11:48:47 pm »
Thanks for your replies everyone. I think it will definitely be best to take them to a buck, at least for the first few years. How do you find someone who will take your does? We're in the South Staffordshire area, near Telford.


I'm in Telford and there are a few goatkeepers around. Sadly the local goatkeeping group seemed to fizzle out but I took mine to different people who have males. Are you in the Goaty Friends group on Facebook. I know a couple of local goatkeepers are on there.


 

Fattening Billies

Started by Penninehillbilly

Replies: 15
Views: 5216
Last post July 29, 2012, 01:32:54 am
by Penninehillbilly
Controlling the smell of billies

Started by shygirl

Replies: 17
Views: 3775
Last post September 26, 2014, 08:51:51 am
by cuckoo
Unregistered Boer Billies for Sale - Doncaster - Herd dispersal - £75 ono each

Started by cuckoo

Replies: 0
Views: 679
Last post October 24, 2014, 03:41:55 pm
by cuckoo

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS