Selection of doe is very important as it is the nucleus of a productive herd. Doe with good body development is essential for high milk production. The doe should be well grown, healthy in appearance, and stand squarely on her feet and not down on the pastern. The body should be wedge-shaped and sharp at the withers. The depth of the ribs denotes a capacity for consuming a large amount of food. The thighs should provide plenty of room for a round, well-attached udder of fair size. The milk potential cannot be estimated from the size of the udder. The udder of good miltch goat should be soft and pliable rather than meaty. The teats should be pointed slightly forward. The udder in a freshly milked goat should have a collapsed appearance.
The buck should have a strong, well-developed frame, good conformation and breed characters. Good depth of ribs is essential. Legs should be straight and well placed under the body. The buck should be healthy and free from external and internal parasites. It should be Buck The buck should have a strong, well-developed frame, good conformation and breed characters. Good depth of ribs is essential. Legs should be straight and well placed under the body.
The buck should be healthy and free from external and internal parasites. It should be chosen from a good milking strain and should be the progeny of dams having good performance record. Many herdsmen prefer the bucks to be hornless. A well-grown buck kid may be bred to five or six does during his first season at an approximate age of six months. At 18 to 24 months old buck may be permitted to service 25 to 30 does, and when fully mature 50 to 60 does in a breeding season. Bucks are mostly sexual in winter and spring. During this period they emit a strong odour, offensive to some people.
The does are more or less continuous breeders. The signs of heat in the doe usually are uneasiness, twitching of tail (shaking), pink and swollen genitalia, frequent urination, restlessness, bleeding and a little mucous discharge for one to three days. The period between heats varies from 18 to 21 days. It is better to inseminate the doe on the second day of the heat period. The sperms survive in the female genital tract for 22 to 42 hours. Mating should be so timed that the kids are born in a season when mortality among them is at its lowest and an adequate amount of food is available for their nourishment and growth. Breeding season will, therefore, vary with breed, locality and climate.
Mating of the doe
Does must be fed well, allowed liberal exercise and protected from rain and cold. Does may be mated when 10 to 15 months old so that the kid at the age of 15 to 20 months. But as a rule, a goat should not be mated until it is one year old. The average gestation period is 145 ± 3 days. The condition of the doe during gestation may influence on the quality of kids at birth. A doe in good condition will produce strong, lively kids, whereas a doe in poor condition may produce ungainly kids, weak in constitution.
The doe should be put in the pen a few hours before parturition. She becomes fussy about two or three hours before actual kidding. The udder becomes engorged with milk, the belly appears shrunk and the flanks appear rather hollow. The tail head is raised higher than usual as the ligaments of either side relax. There is a thick, white, starchy discharge which soon changes to a more opaque substance.
- Central Coastal Agricultural Research Institute, Ela, Old Goa, Goa