Now that life is calm enough and all we can do is sit around worrying if a doe settled or not we really have time to evaluate the herd. All summer we have heard what the judges had to say about them, we saw them stand at the top of the line and we saw them stand at the bottom of the line (less than previously maybe, but the occurrences were still there). We have a good idea of that their worst faults are (especially the milkers) and what we love about them and yet we still play the "what do you think of her?" game.
The nice part is that all the does who have made it to the fall are nice enough in their own right, but knowing how many does were are breeding means we have the start thinking about who will go in the spring. It is sad at some level, but at the same time I know that none of the goats are not eligible for sale if something comes along.
So how is it done? Well take a doe for example - currently my most often subject is Thistle. What do we like about her? Well I love how deep she is and how strong she is on her feet and legs. What do I dislike? Well lets start with how I wish her mammary system was better, but what I really don't like is how much trouble she had last year after kidding. We have a show herd - this means that if a doe ends up with such a horrible freshening that she can't show - she will have a hard time fitting into the herd. But then I really like her daughter. Azalea is one of the nicest does kids we had this year... If you like the kids a doe gives you is that enough reason to keep her and at what point does she have enough daughters to pass on her good traits. It really leaves you to sit about and ponder what is a good doe?
What do you want your herd to look like? What do you like about each doe and what would you like to change? Fall is the perfect time to really sit around and evaluate the does. It makes the spring - when you are overwhelmed with kids to choose from - easier when you already have your list of who is staying or who has to shape-up or head out.