This is a common question discussed by breeders, and joining ages seem to range from about six months to 18 months. In the wild, a Boer kid would be joined as soon as she reaches joining weight, about 25 to 30 kgs. Is this the best time to join. My experience has been that the older maiden does do a much better job of raising the kids, are better mothers, have more milk, and are able to keep their condition better than early joined does. However on occasions a doe kid has had "an accidental mating" and a few have kidded out under 12 months of age. If I leave one kid on them
they have generally done a good job and catch up in size to their drop mates. If I leave two kids on them it is a disaster and neither the doe or the kids do well. Some breeders argue that from an economic point of view it is not viable to wait the extra time for the doe to mature. I find the older maidens raise better kids, and perhaps they go on to kid for much longer i.e. at least eight years before they start showing the signs of getting "past it". So perhaps there is an economic advantage at the end of the does productive life, rather than at the beginning of it. Some does go on to 10 or 12 years having kids but this is not usual for does who consistently raise twins under commercial conditions.. I estimate over her productive life, a doe would raise about 13 or so really good kids as well as a few triplets along the way. What is the estimate from other breeders? What is the most productive and the most ethical age to join does?
Carole Axton, passionate Boer goat breeder. I like handling Boer goats, I like writing about them, and I like talking to goat breeders about goats.
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