Weaning

WEANING – Kids born in March will be ready for weaning in June. By this time they should be eating grass on their own. Kids should be penned up away from the does or removed to another area for at least two weeks. Wet does can be milked at this time. When the female kids are reintroduced to the doe herd, they will seek out their dam. This is a lifetime attachment most often and the does and their adult daughters will even cycle together. The does need the summertime to recover from the stresses of winter, parturition and combing. Does with a greater percentage of body fat going into the breeding season will conceive twins more readily and will have a greater chance of carrying those kids to term. Kids will double their weight during the summer. Kid does chosen to remain in the herd should not be bred their first year to allow their bodies to mature and grow to their full genetic potential. Maiden does that are bred too young have a greater chance of aborting especially if their fat reserves are low. Even if she delivers a kid, it is likely to be underweight and she may abandon it. It’s just not worth it. Milking does after the kids are weaned slows their rate of gain. Milk is 80% water and up to 6% fat; the same fat that the doe would have stored for her own use had it not been harvested. If the doe herd has more wet does, then each doe will not have to be milked for so long in order to satisfy the basic needs of the herder family. Then each doe can dried up sooner and be able to start tending to her own needs. This will result in a better conditioned doe, more kids and more milk the next year.

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