If your buck won’t serve the cause is often dietary – the minerals in his tucker aren’t in balance. Copper, iodine and phosphorus and Vitamin A are all necessary for a working buck. One way to ginger him up is to give him kelp powder. This is often available in supermarkets these days and is easily obtainable in health shops. Stock food places which specialise in horses also stock it.
The dose for an adult buck is 4 teaspoons twice daily for one week – seven days – no longer or you could give him copper poisoning. I found the best way to give it was to mix it into a paste with a little Ketol (propylene glycol) and feed it to the buck off the spoon. The first few times would be a battle but after that the buck would get to like the taste and gobble it up. (My name was mud when the week was up). By this time the buck should be smelling of hearts and flowers with the lovelight in his eyes. He will be so eager to work you will be wondering if you should have done it.
For a buck kid 2 teaspoons twice daily for a week, and if he still isn’t ready and willing, trot him to the vet for a sperm test. If he is polled and both his parents were, he may be hermaphrodite even though he doesn’t look it. As well as the sperm test the vet will palpate his testicles and urethra.
It isn’t wise to feed legume hay to bucks because the calcium and oestrogen content may have a dire effect on fertility. I have found they do best on meadow hay and/or barley straw and oat straw. They need a bran and grain ration to keep the phosphorus level up, and need access to a good iodised salt lick at all times. If your water is hard, you may also have to save rainwater for your bucks to drink, if you have a problem with getting them revved up. Access to green feed should take care of the vitamin problem but it doesn’t hurt to check him for loose front teeth which should be removed, as they will stop him eating properly; a goat with loose teeth often suffers vitamin deficiencies, especially Vitamin A which is found in greatest quantities in carrots, and you can imagine munching carrots with loose teeth!
NEVER GIVE BRASSICAS or BEETS to your bucks as digesting them produces insoluble oxalate salts which may block the male urinary tract not just causing impotence and sterility, but a painful death. Some weeds such as oxalis and sheep’s sorrel do the same as they are also rich in insoluble oxalate salts.
Some seasons have a bad effect on the bucks’ libido. I remember having to boost an excellent buck one year because he was taking 20 minutes to psych himself up to mount a doe, and getting very frustrated and bolshie, to the doe and to me, in the process. Previous years he’d been an up-and-at-’em type who had the doe served and was on the way back to the buck paddock before the doe realised the deed had been done. A week of kelp put him right in short order – actually, I could have stopped after 4 days! I describe this situation as Borderline Impotence.
Borderline Impotence when the buck becomes violent with frustration is not to be tolerated because it is physically dangerous to all concerned. Hard though it may be to credit, a week of kelp powder to increase the bolshie buck’s libido will improve his temper no end. Suddenly he can DO IT without a lot of mental anguish and you and the doe get a lot less bruises.
– Irene Ramsay.
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