Can you believe breeding season is upon us already?
It is time to make decisions about who will be cohabitating the honeymoon suite this fall, and on what type of schedule. I have already decided I am going to breed Maple and Penelope for March babies and Chrysanthemum and Betty for April babies, but I am having a real struggle figuring out which does I want to breed to which bucks.
A long time mini-Nubian breeder offered me a couple high percentage Nigerian bucks to use this year to try to bring the size down on some of my bigger girls. I am really excited about this opportunity, and am definitely going to breed Penelope to one of them. I am torn on the other pairings, though, because Tigger is smaller in stature too and from everything I could tell when we sold babies, they were all an improvement at least in general appearance on their dams. I definitely want to make sure I keep his genetics in my herd as well.
I have been wracking my brain to try to evaluate the best pairings, but I finally decided there were too many factors to keep it all in my brain. Not having a linear appraiser in my back pocket, and frankly still being confused by how linear appraisal's numbers actually work, I decided it was time to re-invent the wheel. I created my own spread-sheet on the all the factors that are important to me. Don't be confused, I organized (loosely) head to toe, not order of importance. I am sharing it here in case any of the rest of you have been struggling with the same thing. Hopefully this will help me be able to pick a clear winner for each of my does, and next year's crop of babies will be fabulous!