Goats and goat people are generally amazing. Goats have hilarious personalities with lots of quirks and the people that usually accompany them are some of the most real, down to earth humans I have ever met. So, going down this adventure of owning not only more goats, but owning bucks that I need to keep separated from the rest of my herd has been a learning curve that you have all accompanied me on. With owning bucks comes the added question of do you do stud service? This has been a tricky question that my husband and I have mulled over in our heads and via conversation with each other. On one hand it is nice to have some notoriety for your bucks and have other people want to breed their does to your bucks. It also is helpful to have the bucks pull their own weight in terms of paying for themselves via stud service. But, breeding outside does comes with many questions. Do you allow only driveway breeding, or do you board does? How much do you charge to board does? What happens if the doe doesn't settle? Do you require negative CAE, CL and Jones testing? If so how long ago is a recent enough test? How do you manage to keep the breeding doe separate from my already pregnant herd of does?
Also, there comes the question of keeping genetics for your own herd. As you have read we put a lot of time and effort into finding high quality does and bucks and have traveled as far as Florida to bring diverse genetics to our area. Our goal is to produce high quality goats that perform in the show arena and milking pail. I have some reservations about simply allowing my genetics to be spread to any doe willing to pay my stud fee. In this quest we have settled on allowing breeding to outside does only to one of our bucks and they must have a negative CAE, CL and Jones test within the past year. I know that these are not fail safe measures, but it is what we have decided is right for our farm and herd at this time.
What are your thoughts on buck service? How do you manage it? Let me know your thoughts and Happy Goating!