New Prospects
#1
I recently picked up a doe and a buck Saanen/Boer. My question is how big do you think they will get? they seem too have fairly long legs for only being 3 weeks old. I got the doe for breeding stock and the buck will become a wether here in about 2 months for packing, if not he will be sold as a pasture goat in 3 years if he does not grow big enough. I have a Saanen/Tog that is going too be huge, as in probably over 220. I like how friendly the Saanen's are. My plan is too find a really big and friendly Ober or Alpine too cross breed the doe with. You all think i'm on the right track?
Matt
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#2
I don't think that this question can be answered without pictures and knowing about the parents and what they will eat in the next years. My experience with boer crosses - the legs stay shorter and they will have a wider rump. Which doesn't mean that they won't be good packers - size isn't everything.

Also, please leave the wethering for a few more weeks - you will have less risk of urinary calculi that way.
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Sabine from Germany
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#3
(04-18-2018, 09:37 AM)Sanhestar Wrote: I don't think that this question can be answered without pictures and knowing about the parents and what they will eat in the next years. My experience with boer crosses - the legs stay shorter and they will have a wider rump. Which doesn't mean that they won't be good packers - size isn't everything.

Also, please leave the wethering for a few more weeks - you will have less risk of urinary calculi that way.

True, I have pics of the mother(saanen) on my phone, she looks too be tall and good conformation. She did not have pictures of the Boer that was cross bred too her. 

Also, the wethering I do is a 3 months, reread my original post......
Matt
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#4
and even three months is too young....... 5-6 months will allow more development of the urethra.
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Sabine from Germany
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#5
We band some of ours at three months. Sometimes it's the only way to manage having males and females on the same property without risking accidental breedings. Also, a normal bander won't fit after about 3 months, so there's that practical consideration as well. There is a whole lot more to urinary stones than age of castration. Diet, exercise, and genetics all play an important role as well. So while it's nice if you can tip the scales as much in your favor as possible by waiting, if you don't have that luxury don't worry about it. I was shocked to discover that our boy Pac-Man who we sold to a couple in Washington ended up having urinary problems. He was not castrated until he was a year old and had been used extensively as a breeding buck in that time. Dwite Sharp, on the other hand, bands all of his before 3 months. In fact, I think he does his at 1-2 months if I'm not mistaken. I don't agree with banding so early, but as far as I know most of his goats live long, productive lives and don't have a reputation for getting stones, so I can't argue with the man.

As for how big they'll get, that's all a matter of speculation as has been stated. It comes down to genetics and to nutrition and exercise while they're growing. Something to keep in mind is that conformation is more important than size. Big is not better unless the goat has some really good legs under it. My goat Sputnik is at least 220#, but because of his poor leg conformation I wish he were considerably smaller. His weight-carrying ability and stamina are less than our goat Finn who is under 200#. I suspect Sputnik will not have as long a working life either.

Saanens are big, leggy goats who typically have very nice personalities. But pay close attention to their foot and leg structure. Saanens have a reputation for splayed toes and weak pasterns. Breeders keep improving these flaws, but it's something you need to pay close attention to if you're using them for packgoats. One the other hand, I've rarely seen a Togg with bad leg conformation, so I imagine your big Togg cross has the legs under him to carry his weight and his load.

Boers can add a lot of substance to the more spindly Saanens, but once again pay close attention to conformation. Boers are typically short-legged and broad, and many of them have very dipped backs, which makes saddle fitting difficult. Many of them also suffer from foot and leg problems, but sometimes this is related to them being overweight all the time rather than poor leg conformation. Boers are very easy keepers, so exercise is really important to keep them trim and fit for work. Adding Saanen blood helps with this. I've seen some lovely Boer/Saanen crosses bred by people like Dwite Sharp and Carolyn Eddy. These folks know what to look for to produce a big goat that is also sound. Good luck!
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#6
Good info Nanno,
I look for goats that have a straight back for all my pack goats, I also look at there leg and foot conformation. One of the perks of growing up as a cattle rancher in E. MT I guess. So far I have not "picked" a bad goat as of yet. But I am fairly new too this and have only picked 9 pack goats. These two goats came from a breeder in MT I believe. The people I got the babies from had bought the bred female from them and sold 2 of the 4 babies she had too me. I suspect they will turn out decent with some care and exercise like my other 6 pack goats I have.
Matt
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#7
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Nanno said, "There is a whole lot more to urinary stones than age of castration. Diet, exercise, and genetics all play an important role as well." Very true, especially diet in my experience. My saanan does OK (no urinary issues) as long as he gets enough browse (he particularly likes ponderosa pine needles, which are acidic). If he's munching primarily on pasture grass and alfalfa (alkaline), he sometimes gets bound up and I have to drench him. But he responds well to drenching, back to normal in just a few days. Come to think of it, though, I've never had to drench him when we go backpacking - perhaps it's a combination of diet and exercise.


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