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How to select a buck

A breeding buck for your goat herd has the potential to greatly impact the future success of your entire meat goat herd for future generations. In fact, selecting the right buck is probably more important than the breeding does you might consider adding to your goat herd.

I recently covered this topic in one of my weekly Q&A sessions. You’ll find more details below, along with a video replay where I discuss the topic in more depth.

In general, take the same approach as you would do for finding breeding does for your herd. I prefer to put greater importance on feeding practices, parasite management practices, rate of gain, and mothering abilities. These take precedence over more aesthetic traits such as color or choosing a specific breed or registered animal line.

Consider management practices

I would recommend souring bucks from farms or ranches with similar management practices. For example, a goats feed a ration of grain daily might not transition well, or have the genetics, to work in a farm setting like our that’s grass-based.

Questions to ask the breeder

Here are other questions to ask or items to consider:

  • The buck’s rate of gain
  • Characteristics of his sire and dam, such as mothering abilities, ease of kidding, number of kids
  • Parasite management practices

I prefer to source based on these characteristics and traits over simply a choice based on a specific breed or registered stock. It’s more priority on the performance of the animal itself.

How to find a buck for your goat herd

The goat livestock industry is fairly disjointed. This can make it challenging to actually source breeding stock. Look for breed or farmer/rancher organizations related to goats in your state, or reach out to your area Extension agent to see if they know of any goat breeders or resources in your area.

Watch the video on how to select a buck

Other topics discussed during the Live Q&A

This topic is from the Live Q&A in August, which also covered the topic: What does it cost to start a meat goat herd?

More about the Live Q&A

My Raising Goats Community email list will also be sent a link to the replay and replay notes on the blog. Sign up here to get on this list.

Don’t miss the next Q&A! Sign up for my Raising Goats Community email list and you’ll be sent an email to the replay link and notes on the blog. Sign up here to get on the list: https://www.grazingwithleslie.com/list

How to submit questions

About the Live Q&A Series

The Live Q&A Series is on my @cylonrollingacres Instagram account. Typically, they are 1-2 times a month. After each Q&A I’ll post the replay on my blog, along with any links or resources I mention in the replay. Sign up for my Raising Goats Community email list and you’ll be sent an email to the replay link and notes on the blog. Sign up here to get on the list: https://www.grazingwithleslie.com/list

When I started raising goats, I quickly discovered there’s a lack of information and research focused on meat goats from a production standpoint and goat meat itself. Since then I’ve learned a lot “on the job,” along with finding the little university research and best practices out there.

Over the last 10 years I’ve been sharing our journey raising meat goats and grazing them through blogging, social media, and speaking at workshops and conferences. Aside from being transparent with my customers and community, I share a lot of this information so others raising goats don’t have to start at zero.

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