We may have to rethink how we pasture our goats.
I used to be careful with timing breeding and kidding. I separated the young females from their mothers when they were 3 months old, and weaned them in a different pasture until they were one year old. Only then would I put them in the pasture with the billy goat. Goats have a five month gestation period, so our young females were nearly a year and half old before they could have their first kids.
But a couple of years ago I decided to just leave them all together and let nature run its course.
Goats are sexually mature at 5 months old. At that age they’re the equivalent of teenage humans.
If you can imagine how teenagers behave, especially those with indifferent parents (not so difficult to imagine these days), then you can imagine how a bunch of young goats behave.
The oldest of our young bucks are now over 6 months old. That’s plenty old to begin doing their part to assure the survival of their species, and with a bunch of cooperative 5-6 month old females in the pasture, they’re eager to get started.
And they were so cute when they were babies.