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T4 Ranch
W.E. and Carolyn Whitehead

Carolyn Whitehead

You know we all must face reality sooner or later. This is especially true when we begin to appraise our breeding bucks.

Suddenly we become aware that used bucks really aren't worth much. It doesn't seem to matter how much we paid for them, how well they were bred, what the kids looked like or much worse how much money we made from them. From where we sit it looks like a boer buck could be compared to the purchase of a new car or truck. We traded well, spent really more than we could afford but very pleased with the purchase and take most opportunities to brag about it to our friends and relatives. But the very minute we drove it off the lot it began to depreciate. And when we went back to get a new one, we found that it really wasn't worth as much as we thought. The price of a new one was more than we wanted to pay. So forth and so on. Sound familar??

It has always been a very colorful subject here when it came to the difference between bucks and does, their worth to us as a breeder and eventually their monetary appraisal. We believe the buck is more than 50% of your kid crop and would contribute more than the doe as far as impacting your herd or flock. If you are natural breeding the doe will most likely produce from yearling until she no longer breeds approximately twelve kids. At this point her udder is usually shot, her heat cycles have slowed and she has become a worry to your operation. When our does have reached this point we no longer breed them. But the buck if allowed to breed in your operation three years will give you 200-300 kids.

At this time you can appraise what this animal can do for you and determine if your buck selection was a good one. One kid crop is not a measure for a good buck. Would you toss a doe if her first kids weren't what you had expected? Probably not. You would just rebreed her the following year and give her another chance to perform. For most paying a lot for a buck is simply out of the question for whatever reason. I guess a lot of it comes from the fact that there are so many out there and they are so cheap that its a waste of money. The same person, however, will pay as much as $2000.00 for a doe, totally unproven, which only has the ability to give you a limited number of offspring. Some will go to a sale and buy several bucks hoping to hit on the right one and spend as much as $5000.00 on all of them rather than take their budget of $5000.00 and spend it all on the right buck. Most bucks out on the market today should be used strictly for commercial meat markets.

Its a hard call for breeders, but reality is bucks are worth about "a dollar a pound give or take a few cents". If you are lucky and he is in good flesh he will fetch about "a dollar a pound give or take a few cents". And knowing this it becomes even more difficult to pay a lot for these animals. But paying $5000.00 for a good breeding buck will most generally produce kids of the same caliber. And you should expect to sell the top buck kids for about that amount. The secret is knowing what is right for you and what exactly you need to match up with your does to produce the strength of breed quality.

What you need may not necessarily be what your friends and neighbors need. Being honest with oneself is the first obstacle to overcome. Getting acquainted with your goats, knowing their strengths as well as their faults, being aware that you can only correct one fault at a time and having the courage to make those corrections will help greatly in achieving breeding success. Look for the buck that will help you to produce better kids each year. And if you are truly serious, each year will bring you closer to the front line at your National Show, help you sell those top buck kids for a lot more money and help you sleep better at night!

Happy Trails,

W.E. and Carolyn
T4 Ranch 


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