When you have a goat herd for the purpose of milk, you will need kids. Without having kids, your does will not produce milk. Simple as that. In order to get kids, you’ll need to breed your does. That is when you need to decide whether or not you want to keep your own buck.
Keeping goat bucks sounds like an easy answer, but it’s really not. For the smaller homestead, there are a lot of cons to it.
You’ll need extra space for the bucks to be separate from the does.
That is so you can control when the does get pregnant and kid, avoiding the possibility of a doe giving birth with you unprepared. If you have a large area that you can fence them apart, that’s great. Smaller homesteads may not have enough room for that. Bucks CAN and WILL jump fences to get at the does they want to breed with, so fencing is not always enough. They need a lot of space apart from each other.
Bucks are smelly creatures.
VERY SMELLY. A buck in “rut”, or ready to attract a doe will basically urinate all over himself. I guess to a doe goat that smells like Chanel #5, but to humans, it’s not as pretty. Even petting a buck can leave that smell all over your hands. A friend of mine houses bucks, and she gives him “love and attention” by brushing him only. Never petting directly with her hands.
Bucks in rut are narrow minded.
Their desire to breed can make them expend all their energy toward that. Some can stop eating and lose weight. Many health issues that bucks experience will happen most often during breeding time.
Bucks can be more aggressive than does.
In an effort to attract a mate, they can rear up, butt other goats (and humans), attack fences that separate him from “the girls”, as well as challenge other bucks or animals. It can really be painful to have a buck come at you, “pawing” for attention.
For these reasons, many consider that bucks are best kept by someone else. There ARE other ways to breed your does, including renting a buck from another farm and artificial insemination. Having bucks to get kids IS required, but keeping them yourself is NOT.
Do you keep buck goats? What is your experience with keeping them yourself? Be sure to pin this for later!