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Trying Again for Year Around Milk

A year around supply of fresh goat milk has been one of my self-reliance goals. I know some folks like to take a break from milking, but for our chosen diet, I need fresh milk all year long. This is mostly for my kefir grains, which need milk to stay alive. If I don't have my own source, then I have to buy milk. Seems better to always have my own available!

There are two ways to accomplish year around milk. I've blogged about these before, so I won't go into a long explanation (see "Year Around Milk" and "Dry Days Ahead"). For me, the best option is to breed at opposite times of the year: in the fall for spring kidding and in the spring for fall kidding.

Standard size dairy goats can't do this because they are seasonal breeders, but Kinders are aseasonal breeders. Even though they are half Nubian, they inherit the ability to breed in any season from their Pygmy genetics. This is one of the reasons I chose the breed, and one of the reasons I think they are the perfect homestead goat! (Pardon my prejudice, LOL. Just ask me and I'll tell you all the reasons!)

Unfortunately, this isn't as easy as it sounds! Fall heats are always the strongest with the rest of the year being more subtle. So far my several attempts to produce fall kids have been unsuccessful. But this spring I'm going to try again. Hopefully, I've learned more about detecting subtle heats and will have success.

My candidates are:





The best way to guarantee success would be to leave the girls with their prospective suitors for at least three weeks or more. The boys love this but I find it upsets all of the does terribly with a whole lot of hollering going on. It's less stressful for them to just visit for an afternoon for a couple of days in a row with a followup visit three weeks later. More predictable kidding too. But, since that hasn't worked well for me for spring breedings, I may try extended visits instead. Wish me Good Providence!