I am a skeptic. Maybe I secretly hope for the best but I plan for the worst and expect it to come. I suppose in some ways this means life occasionally gives me good surprises but mostly it means when good things come my friends have one more thing to tease me about.
Well it was the same last fall when Zinfandel didn’t come back into heat after 21 days I held my breath. We had tried breeding her by AI twice and I was only going to give it 2 rounds before I took her for natural service. AI – or artificial insemination tends to be a hit and miss thing. In 2009 we bred 2 lamanchas (one time for one and two times for the other) and had 2 sets of kids. We also bred 1 Toggenburg and had no Togg AI kids. In 2010 we bred 1 Saanen twice and 1 Togg 3 times (she didn’t settle by AI at all). Zinfandel didn’t come back into heat BUT I caught Arabica out at least once near the time when she was in heat. I told my friends I would not believe that the AI had worked until those kids came out with long white ears.
To make me even more skeptical and worried Azalea ends up with a little grade Lamancha cross after breeding her specifically to a Saanen buck. Now I was truly worried. The doe that I have taken to the breeder to have serviced by a live buck and I never saw even close to the Lamancha pen kids with a cross so what was going to happen to the doe that I AI’ed and saw near the Lamancha buck pen.
Saturday morning rolled around and Zinfandel looked to definitely be in labor. She kidded with no problems and no assistant needed and guess what… the kids had perfectly shaped Saanen ears and were white all over!!!! It worked!!! I can now say I have successfully settled a doe with AI!!! The small downside was that they were both bucks so no does this year (last year our 2 sets of AI kids ended up being 3 does) but now I can add AI bucks to the list of potential sires. And yes – I am already plotting next year’s breeding plans including some cool AI crosses. I’m sure the skeptic will be back soon but until then I will go have a long chat with Alba about some Saanen doe kids ;-)