Here it is September, and we have no does bred. Well, last week 2 or 3 does got bred but of course, they are already sold to someone else.
Typically we would have at least a good handful of does bred, and at least a month along in gestation. But we have none. The bucks did not come into rut until a few weeks ago, and does have been coming in very lightly, if at all.
There are a few things it could be - 1) the very hot summer we had threw things off; or 2) the herd has some kind of deficiency. As a whole, the herd is in great condition, very healthy, coats are soft and slick, eyelids are good, their diet is the same as it has been for a few years now.
So, I have been researching and there are 2 deficiencies I keep coming across that relate to reproductive health. That is Vitamin A and Zinc. Both play a key role in reproduction. Another thought would be selenium deficiency, their mineral is very high in it, though they could need more I suppose.
BUT, if the herd is deficient, how did they get deficient and why would they be deficient? Right now I do not have the answer to that. Dry does and bucks get fed high quality green alfalfa hay and have access to browse and forage. Milkers get that same diet, except with 2-3 lbs (total) of 14% grain on the milk stand. They also get Onyx Cattle Mineral, and get copper bolused every 3-5 months.
This morning we put Apple Cider Vinegar in their waters to help bring them into heat. Maybe it's just a fluke and they'll all come in at once soon here. . . I hope.
I plan to keep you all updated.
p.s. - any input would be very welcomed.