Goat Reproduction Selection Visual Appraisal


Doe udder.

A replacement doe should exhibit a feminine head and a feminine wedge appearance to the body with a long elegant  neck for a dairy doe (medium in length for the meat doe)  that blends smoothly into a wide shoulder and back. The doe should project good spring of rib and depth of body, which is a good indicator of volume. There should be adequate muscling in the rear leg without losing femininity. The body should have volume and capacity that demonstrates the ability to breed, carry several kids, and rear young in a pasture environment. The external genitalia of the female should be well developed and properly structured. Vulvas that turn up on end can cause a problem when the buck is serving the doe and can result in poor doe fertility.

Does should have well-formed udders with good attachment. It is important that the udder is constructed so that the offspring are able to nurse unassisted. The number of functional teats should not exceed two per side with one teat per side as more desirable. Culling faults include udder and teat abnormalities or defects to include, but not limited to, oversized or bulbous teats and pendulous udder. Other culling characteristics include cluster teats, fishtail teats, or a doe that has not kidded or exhibited signs of pregnancy by 18 months of age. Goats are prolific animals that will naturally reach puberty and be fertile at 6 to 7 months of age. Breeding-age females should show evidence of having kidded by the age of 2 years. For more information on selecting and evaluating goats for meat production click here.


Buck with excessive scrotal split.

The breeding buck should show masculinity and exhibit adequate muscling. The head should be masculine with a broad, strong muzzle and horns set far apart enough to not rap or break legs of other goats. The neck should smoothly flow into wide, smooth shoulders. The body should exhibit a masculine profile with a heavier chest and forebody. Because of manifestation of testosterone, older bucks may demonstrate higher, heavier, and more coarse shoulders.

Bucks must have two large, well-formed, functional, equal-sized testes in a single scrotum. Sperm production is related to the circumference of the testicles. More semen is produced by bucks with greater scrotal circumference. Mature bucks should have a scrotum circumference of at least 25 cm or 10 inches. In young bucks, testicles should be of equal size and large for day of age. Avoid selecting bucks that exhibit sizable splits in the scrotum. Avoid selecting bucks that show overly pendulous testicles. Testicles should be free of bumps or lumps and should be smooth.

Culling faults include single testicle, testicles too small, abnormal or diseased testes, and excessive split in scrotum. The teat structure of the buck should also be reviewed as the buck has a large impact on the herd if his daughters are retained as replacements.

Adapted from www.luresext.edu.