That is the question! When you have a goat herd for the purpose of milking, you will need kids. Without kids, your does will not produce milk. Simple as that.
In order to get kids, you’ll need to breed your does. A decision will need to be made of whether or not to keep your own buck.
So should you keep goat bucks on your homestead?
No, you shouldn’t keep goat bucks on a small homestead because they’re smelly, and sometimes aggressive. They are best suited for lager homesteads.
You’ll need extra space for the bucks to be separated from the does.
This is so that you can control when the does get pregnant and kid, avoiding the possibility of a doe giving birth when you are 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 to the does, so fencing is not always enough, but building a good fence for your goats is a must. The bucks and does need a lot of space apart from each other.
Bucks Are Smelly Creatures
VERY SMELLY. A buck in “rut”, or ready to mate with a doe, will basically urinate all over himself.
I guess to a doe goat that smells like Chanel #5, but to humans it is not as pretty. Even petting a buck can leave that smell of goat urine all over your hands.
A friend of mine houses a buck, and she gives him “love and attention” by brushing him only. She never pets him directly with her hands.
Bucks in Rut Are Narrow-minded
Their desire to breed can make them expend all their energy toward that activity. Some can stop eating and lose weight. Many health issues that bucks experience will happen during breeding time.
Bucks Can Be More Aggressive Than Does
In an effort to attract a mate, a buck might 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 bucks? What is your experience with keeping them yourself? Be sure to pin this for later!
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.
4 thoughts on “Should You Keep Goat Bucks? 3 Reasons Not To”
This is a very informative article, thanks for sharing. I am going to like to it from one of my upcoming blog posts.
I have kept bucks for years. I foolishly let go of a Charlie buck which is a quiet and easily handled buck that would rather eat than breed, but will stop eating to breed. Always a gentlemen. Most aren’t like that though.
Current model is a sable nubian cross and is older. He is large and can be pushy, but no up on his back feet or head butting. He likes to eat and isn’t bad on the fences, but will go over a short fence readily. Thankfully he leads well and can be worked on. For him a 5 foot fence with heavy stock panels and plenty of posts and T-posts. He’s big on keeping his scurrs down, so rubbing his head on solid surfaces is year round.
He does get shared with friends that have the facilities to hold him safely. His size is valuable here as the miniature bucks have had a heavy impact on local dairy goat size.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us…!
We don’t have our homestead yet but we want to raise goats for dairy and meat when we do…
Would you mind sharing more information about your “Charlie buck”…?
I have never heard of one before.
Is that a type of breed or is it just a term that’s used or is it something else altogether…?
Thank you for any insight and help you would provide…!
Have a great day…!
That’s great that he’s easy to handle. We only have smaller Nigerians, but the bucks of that breed can get pretty testy (well, at the breeder’s house anyway 🙂 )