Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cull Hard or Go Home

AKGA reg. 1/2 Kiko 1/2 Spanish: She has great kids every year.  She is a little pulled down in this photo, which is to be expected nursing nice twins, but she is healthy and slicked off. She is a keeper. 

Cull hard or go home is my new motto.  We all cull our goats, most of the time it is due to age, bad traits or we just have to many so we pick the least desirables to leave our herd.  BUT we all do one thing, we always keep that one or two goats that really should go but we give it a second chance.  Why?  I don't know why because it always turns out to be a bad idea 99% of the time.  At least that is what happens at my place.  

Bags:  I like a high tight back with "little" teats. I know some like to keep a goat as long as the teats are above the hocks... but I still like those little teats.  The Spanish goat on the left has what I like most.  The Spanish goat on the right will be culled, this is only their second kidding season.  That is just my preference. 

Oh you have heard the conversation in your head:

"She's old, and starting to look old but I'll keep her one more year and if she has doelings I will keep them."  For me it 's one more year too long.  She falls apart due to the strain of one more set of twins and then I have nothing but an old skinny goat that paid her dues many times over all ready.

This is a no brainer.  All my goats are treated the same.  This year and a half old doe did fine with the way we worm (worm as needed FAMACHA & everyone once a year) until after she had kids.  The stress of having kids shows me she is not tough enough for our herd.  She is a cull. 

"Well, maybe the dog cleaned one of the kids and that is why she only took one twin."  Although you have not proof of this and you have other does that it doesn't matter if the dog comes over and bothers her or not, she makes sure her twins stay with her.  Now I have a doe that again has given me a screaming, needs some sort of attention another year.  

This is a first time commercial purebred Kiko Doe.  Next to her is her 2012 kid who is 3 1/2 months old.  I always give first time young does a pass on their first year of kidding if they have a single.  This does is still a keeper.  Even though she had one kid, she had one good kid. 

"But she's a good goat, it's a fluke her kids are not good, probably just a bad breeding match." Sometimes goats do not pass on their favorable traits.

These kids are very runty and small.  Their dam is a huge commercial boer cross doe that will be finding a new home this fall.  She looks the part but she sure does not produce it. 

Oh I could go on and on but I won't, you know the justifications you do to keep certain goats that in the end should really go.  So I have decided to stick with my 1st gut feelings and just cull!  Goats are pretty prolific there will be more soon so don't sweat it.  Get rid of what needs to go, clean house, take out the trash...etc.   

These two bucklings are out of an AKGA 7/8 Kiko Doe.  I will be keeping her. She has been producing nice fast growing twin kids. 


  1. I admire your resolve! We had the dog situation this year, and the goat that ran is alive, but the doe that stayed to fight is in a hole because she didn't recover from the bite. I figured it was our screw up... maybe I need to cull us!

  2. Good post Amy, we know the feeling and it's hard to have to cull an animal that you have high hopes for. We cull anything that doesn't earn it's stay, goats, lgds, cattle, and horses.

    I tell my animals here that they work for me, not me work for them, so they have to wear their "working clothes" here on our farm like your first photo.

    I look forward to seeing your place one day and see the results of your hard work.


  3. Excellent article. I wish more people would be so careful with their herds.
    One caveat: If you brought in expensive breeding stock that had been managed differently from yours, wouldn't you give them a couple years to acclimate to your herd? It's been my experience that these animals will produce excellent, hardy ofspring,, but often never do well themselves.

    1. Wow! I am slow to read my replies. lol I have and still do occasionally keep kids from does like you mention above and the kids are 110% better than their dams. My biggest thing is worm loads... I don't want them making super worms while I am trying to get kids to keep from them.

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