Unneutered male goats (bucks) are not allowed under Seattle City Code. This is no problem. When Brownie or Snowflake go into heat, I just pop them into a large crate in the trunk of my station wagon and take them to a stud buck for a $50 fee. This is what I would do even if bucks were allowed in Seattle. It would cost much more than $50 to feed a buck for a year. Plus, bucks have an extremely strong odor.
Does are ready to breed at about ten months old. Many books say that you can breed your doe at only seven months, but the people I know who have bred goats for many years say that this often results in problem births. Plus, at seven months, the doelings still don’t look fully mature to me.
Does have an estrus cycle of approximately 21 days. So, even before you breed your doe, see if you can tell when she goes into heat. This will help you figure out when she is likely to come into heat again.
Sometimes it is very obvious when a doe is in heat. Two years ago I woke up to Brownie yelling up a storm. I ran down to see if she was okay, and she seemed fine. Then, while walking my dog a neighbor asked, “Is one of your goats in heat?” and I realized that this was it. This crying, or calling really, lasted for several days and lots of people asked whether my goats were okay. I explained that Brownie was just calling out into the wilds of the city in search of a mate. Fortunately, she did not do this again for another 21 days and as the year progressed, she got quieter with each successive heat. (Goats typically go into heat only during the months between August and February).
Sometimes however, estrus is less obvious. This past year, when I was ready to breed Brownie, she was silent. To tell if she was in heat, I had to get a buck rag (a rag that is rubbed all over a male goat). Each day I would show it to Brownie until one day she wagged her tail madly when she saw it. It enthralled her and all she wanted was to be near it and nuzzle it. I took her to the buck, and sure enough, the time was right.