“What’s a wether?” you ask.
You came to the right page! Keep reading!
You can go outside to check the weather.
You can choose whether you want to go outside to check the weather or not.
Whether the weather is nice outside or not, you can have a wether outside, preferably two (or more), to enjoy whether it’s raining, snowing, or sun shining!
Wethers are castrated male goats! They can’t make babies, but they can give you a lot of happiness! Wethers make great pets!
When we got into having dairy goats, we soon discovered how well goats multiply! It’s their favorite method of math! We wanted the milk for our family and for making goat milk soap. We can’t keep all the adorable babies, so we sell what we decide not to keep.
We have learned that few bucks are needed with their intact “crown jewels.” The next best thing is to castrate them. The term for a castrated male is “wether.” They can’t reproduce, but they make great pets! Nigerian Dwarfs are a miniature breed, so they are ideal for being around older people and little kids when it comes to having a smaller pet. Wethers are perfect for someone with brush filled land to clear as well. They are eating machines!
Wethers don’t develop all the “manliness” that mature bucks develop. There are exceptions based on when they were castrated, individual development, and personalities. Typically, wethers don’t get as “manly aggressive” as an intact male. They don’t go through rut season like a buck. Have you ever been around a buck in the Autumn on the hunt for females? They are stinky! Wethers are a lot like having a Doe. They are more sleek, and almost feminine looking compared to a buck that plumes out with his lion mane, and bushy long beard.
We have learned that male goats shouldn’t be wethered until a minimum of 8 weeks of age. They can develop urinary calculi. When their mineral consumption of calcium and phosphorus is out of balance, stones can develop and make urinating difficult to impossible. This is dangerous and life threatening to the goat. Prevention is the key. One aspect is to delay castration as long as possible to allow for his urinary tract system to grow. Castration cuts off hormones that encourage growth. We have read differing opinions on the youngest age to castrate. For the most part minimum of 8 weeks of age.
Therefore, on our farm we wait until 8-12 weeks to band the bucks. We use the banding method. There are other methods available. When we sell our wethers, they will come already wethered or sold at a wether price, and the buyer accepts the responsibility of having it done. The price of wethers is less than that of bucks and Does.
Taking care of a wether is not hard. There are things that need to be learned, and if respected and applied, should result in easy care. The Goat Care section of our website will have more information on taking care of wethers.
You just learned a little bit about wethers. Now, let me introduce you to Oakley Pirkle…
Meet Oakley Pirkle Our Wonderful Wether!
Oakley was born on June 9, 2016 to Sasha Katie. Sasha was born on our farm to Kit Kat who was one of our two foundation goats. (Sasha and Kit Kat are noted on our Reference Goat page.)
Oakley Pirkle was named by our daughter, Kaitlyn. She took delight in a road in Augusta named Oakley Pirkle. She was amused at this being the perfect name for this big fellow! Sasha had only one kid, so he had mama all to himself, and he grew like a weed!
Oakley grew up as a friendly fellow who is a good sport when we want to do fun things with him! He enjoys being our spokes-goat for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Ministry. He encourages everyone to pack shoeboxes that will be given out to children around the world!
Oakley is our go-to guy who can hang out with the girls and not make any babies. He can hang with the guys, but he doesn’t like how pushy they can be at times. He’s more laid back. He’s also the nice “uncle” to kids who need a temporary companion.
Oakley earns his keep here on the farm by being himself: a friendly fellow to everyone!