Farms are functional places. Every implement and critter has a purpose, even if we do not know what that might be at the moment. No loafing around here. One function of livestock is to make more. That means putting up with bucks. (Parental notice: this blog may not be considered PG-13)
Now bucks (or bulls, if you are raising cows and steers) are not something that you want to have around except during breeding seasons. Otherwise, the best buck is someone else’s problem, not yours. To knock-up your does you find someone who wants you to take the buck for a few months, 42 days if you want the least amount of hassle.
In the big scheme of farm life, does are more desirable than bucks. Does bear more kids. You only need one buck for a herd of does. This brings up a ratio issue, of course. If you need only one buck, and then only during breeding season, what do you do with all the other buck kids? Those are called “withers”, after, well you take care of a small operation. Keep a wither for a year and you then have goat meat: roasts, ribs, chops, ground meat… Our local vet charges $10 for the operation for young goats and $70 if you let them grow too long. Having wrestled with a few year old bucks, I can see why you would want to go with the $10 plan.
Bucks possess two qualities, other than being stud-buckets: they are aggressive and stinky. Aggression usually comes from protecting their does, or at least making sure that you are not going to try to breed with them. Watch out for those horns, and never turn your back on a buck. Their scent is somewhat like feta cheese that you forgot about in the back of your refrigerator. Two reasons to send the bucks back to whomever you got them from or off to the stock sale after you know they have been successful.
Our rent-a-buck, Nubie (short of Nubien, which is the breed of goats we have for milking) came from our neighbors Rodney and Kellie. They got it when they bought a milk goat last year. The owner of the milk goat would not sell unless they took the buck. Hmmm. Bucks are sort of like fruitcakes at Christmas: who got stuck with it this year.
If you are not into National Geographic descriptions or photos, you probably want to stop here.
If you were wondering about the 42 day comment, does cycle every 21 days. To be sure that the buck served his purpose, you want to have him around for at least 2 cycles. Between cycles, does have little interest in bucks, except for competing for grain. Bucks on the other hand are on the ready at all times. Sounds like relationships in most B-movies these days. The girls do have flirtatious behavior and when they are ready to romp, they “flag” with their tails. Sounds like the come-on scene in most B-movies. The buck notices this pretty quickly and starts a series of pursuits, dances, and crotch sniffing. Sounds like most sex scenes in B-movies. Then he gets a few shots at that wang0-bango, which last about 5 seconds a pop. Sounds about as long as you want a sex scene in a B-movie to last. Then he waits for another 21 days. Sounds like…