Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Breeding season begins

BHF 3rd G Traveler (or "G" as we call him) with an ECR Rusty daughter 
and our best Nick daughter, BBM Vicky. 

This double-bred CCR Xcelerator buck, ECR Xcaliber, with his does.

Breeding season got under way Saturday and Sunday. I had planned to begin breeding on Oct. 1, but I will be out of town tthe next two weekends, so I decided I had rather start a week early rather than late.

Normally I have seven or eight breeding programs going on at once, but this year I didn't have eight separate pastures and pens available. (Remember, I've often said you can't have too many pens!) So at the moment I have five bucks in five pastures working.

I couldn't use my smaller pastures this year because I don't have any round bales of hay to put out. Locally, square bales of bermuda are $6.75 a bale. Too much for my budget to feed for the next 45 days. So I'm only using pastures large enough and with enough grass and browse to support the herds without supplementation. 

That narrows me down to five pastures because I also have pastures tied up with doelings too young to breed right now, does going to my production sale which don't need to get bred, young buck prospects and another pasture for yearling bucks and herdsires not being used (cleanup bucks).

Herd sires we are using now are:
• BHF 3rd G Traveler, who has produced some of biggest kids lately.
• BHF Onyx's Shadow, an Onyx grandson who throws great color and sired most of our 2011 replacement does.
• BBM Hanky Panky's 266, an Onyx son owned by Rittenhouse Kikos who also throws color and whose offspring have done great in performance testing.
• ECR Xcalibur, a double-bred CCR Xcelerator buck that is packed with muscle. This is our first year to use him. I put him with my best white Kikos. I haven't bred for white goats in a long time and I am anxious to see a bunch of solid white kids next spring.
• ECR Rusty, who turned 9 this year. I didn't think he would be able to service many does this fall. He came out of last winter skinny and looking terrible. I've had him penned up near the barn all summer and feeding him about three pounds of feed a day. Over the last 6 weeks, he has blossomed. Right now, he is the best looking 9-year-old buck I have ever seen. I don't know what he will look like after breeding season, but I'm glad to have him available for another year. That means his son ECR Rusty's Rambo will have to wait another year before he has to try and fill him father's shoes.

ECR Rusty on Sept. 25, 2011. He was born
Feb. 12, 2002.

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